Creating Your Second Act
Life seldom runs in a straight line, even for artists and creative businesspeople. Enduring in music often leads to a 'second act' where reinvention takes people out of their comfort zone into new territory. Explore the gratifying and sometimes frightening aspects of moving forward.
Daring music industry trend-setter, with a flair for launching careers and building brands
“Leslie Fram is beloved throughout the entire industry. Everyone knows of her hard-driving passion for music, her unyielding integrity and her relentless work ethic. I have always believed that Leslie, in her soul, ‘belonged’ at MTV Networks, and she’s finally here!”
–Brian Philips, President, CMT
August 16, 2011 - Nashville, TN
Until recently the name Leslie Fram would have most likely been associated with her numerous and cutting edge contributions to radio. However, in 2011 Fram decided to make a fearless jump from radio to television, assuming the position of Senior Vice President at Country Music Television (CMT). After two decades of pioneering the radio waves and establishing herself as one of the most influential and successful female broadcasters in the music industry, Fram was eager to take on the role of programming the most successful television station in country music. Speaking of her transition to CMT Fram states, “This move just feels right for me on so many levels. CMT is on a hot creative streak, and I’m honored to join Brian Philips and his all-star team at the network…I am excited about the creative freedom I’ve been given to invent and innovate with music across all CMT’s platforms.” Under her new role as Senior Vice President, Fram leads the music strategy division at the channel, overseeing all music integration within the CMT brand. As an expert brand builder and true innovator in the music industry, Fram accepted the position without hesitation, trading New York City and alternative rock radio programming and broadcasting, for Nashville, a career in country music television, and maybe even a pair of cowboy boots.
Prior to her transition to television with CMT, Leslie Fram’s career included being one of the original architects for WNNX (99X)-Atlanta, when the radio station launched in 1992, to later leading New York rocker 1019RXP (New York's Rock Experience) as Program Director and Morning Show co-Host (with Matt Pinfield). As Program Director at RXP Fram was responsible for booking all talent for the numerous RXP shows and major concert events, including the annual Halloween, Christmas, and Anniversary concerts. Talent includes Weezer, Broken Bells, Florence and the Machine, Cake, Julian Casablancas, Gaslight Anthem and many more. During her time as co-Host of RXP’s morning show, Fram worked alongside Matt Pinfield to conduct exclusive interviews with rock the world’s biggest acts as well as emerging artists, all sourced via Fram’s extensive network. The range covered Mumford & Sons, Foster The People, Bon Iver, up to Chris Cornell, Liam Gallagher, Iggy Pop and many more. It was during this timeframe that Fram also began cultivating her relationships in the country world, bringing mainstream country to alternative radio and New York City. While at RXP Fram was responsible for initiating and conducting unprecedented interviews with several of country music’s most influential and emergent artists, including Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert and many more, successfully expanding RXP’s format to incorporate the then-nonexistent country radio market in New York.
After working at WABF during and after high school in Alabama, Fram landed a gig at WABB-FM in Mobile, Alabama, where she moved up the ladder at a rapid pace. Fram moved to Atlanta in 1990, after a decade in Mobile. Offered the morning co-host spot at Power 99, Fram also worked as the Assistant Program Director in order to keep feeding her hunger for programming. As music and radio changed, Fram and Power 99 saw the opportunity to fill an empty niche in Atlanta’s market, and a few short years after her arrival transformed Power 99 into 99X, one of the first profitable commercial alternative stations in the country.
Many people do not realize the extent of Fram's endless contributions to radio, countless artists' careers, and the music industry in general. Largely responsible for 99X’s cutting edge format and innovative programming, Fram helped establish the station as an industry leader. She is known as a hit-maker, trendsetter and trailblazer. For over ten years Leslie was responsible for booking all of the talent for the annual 99X concert series Big Day Out, featuring the Foo Fighters, Green Day, STP, Incubus, and hundreds more. Among many awards and honors, Leslie is the first woman to receive the TJ Martell Award in recognition of outstanding performance in the music industry in 2000. In 2003 she was presented with the NARAS-Atlanta Chapter Heroes Award for her outstanding contributions to music and the music community, and in 2009 Fram was honored as a Life Time Achievement Inductee in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. During her time in Atlanta, Fram was also an Associate Member and on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Chapter of NARAS.
Countless gold and platinum albums line the walls in the Fram household, most inscribed with 'Thank You' and similar praises from the artists whose careers she has helped launch and maintain. Showing off her diverse taste in music and the span of her influence, everyone from Collective Soul, Shawn Mullins and Elton John to Radiohead, Coldplay, The White Stripes, The Foo Fighters, Live and The Strokes have felt her support throughout the years. Fram’s profound influence is also felt in the community; An avid philanthropist and spokesperson, Fram uses her voice and power to help numerous non-profits.
While in Atlanta Fram was actively involved in several local non-profits including The Foundation for Medically Fragile Children, Brain Tumor Foundation for Children, Samaritan House of Atlanta, Angel Flight of Georgia, Habitat for Humanity, Grady Pediatric AIDS program, RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network), Noah's Ark, Camp Sunshine, Atlanta Community Food Bank, GCAPP (Georgia Council For Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention), Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Fund, Breast Cancer Awareness-For the Young Survival Coalition, AID Atlanta and The Elton John Aids Foundation.
JOHN P. STROHM is a transactional entertainment and intellectual property attorney based in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is Senior Counsel for the firm Loeb & Loeb LLP. John's practice focuses on the representation of musicians, songwriters, producers and record labels. His clients include several Grammy winning acts. John has been a frequent speaker for entertainment industry events and an adjunct professor of law teaching entertainment and music industry classes.
Prior to becoming an attorney, John was a professional musician and producer for over a decade. He performed and recorded as a member of several notable alternative pop/rock acts, including The Lemonheads and Blake Babies. He continues to occasionally record and perform original music.