Portnow joined NARAS as prexy in 2002

The Recording Academy’s board of trustees has extended prexy/CEO Neil Portnow’s contract for four years.

Portnow joined NARAS as president in December 2002 and was promoted to prexy/CEO in September 2007. He also serves as prexy/CEO of charitable arm MusiCares and the Grammy Foundation and chair of the board of the Grammy Museum.

Extension comes in the immediate wake of a huge 35% increase in viewership for the academy’s marquee event, the Grammy Awards, which aired on CBS in February. Acad’s Grammy Week MusiCares benefit salute to Barbra Streisand also saw a record take.

Portnow has also overseen broadening of the academy’s online initiatives and the opening of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live downtown.

Recording Academy board chair George P. Flanigen IV said in a statement that Portnow “has an innate understanding of the needs of our constituents and how best to serve them — especially in an ever-evolving industry.”

Before taking the Recording Academy helm, Portnow was senior vp of West Coast operations for the Zomba Group of Companies. He previously held exec posts at EMI America, Arista and Twentieth Century Fox Records.

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