ACM SVP Lisa Lee died of a brain tumor at the age of 52
Lisa Lee 1968-2021
Very sad news as Lisa Lee, Senior Vice President of Creative and Content for the Academy of Country Music, died of brain cancer on Saturday, August 21st. She was 52.
Born Alicia Faye Young in Cabot, Arkansas on December 24, 1968, she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Lisa got a job as a reporter for the Cabot Star-Herald newspaper straight out of school. As a true advocate of the human condition, her reporting throughout her career has been based on a strong emphasis on the importance of a story for those who are concerned and for the audience.
One of her early jobs was at KTAL-TV, an NBC subsidiary for Texarkana and Shreveport, LA. When it was first used, the camera stopped working due to the high humidity; Lisa and her crew got “creative” and dried the aging device with a hair dryer instead of missing out on the story because of a technical problem. Although her duties covered a wide variety of topics, she made it clear early on that it was entertainment stories that really interested her. Eventually she convinced the station management to allow her to do film reviews; she promptly built her own little critic corner set.
If there was a country star performing anywhere in Arkansas or the surrounding states, Lisa would cover the event. She always delivered well-researched, well-thought-out interviews and proved that local partners can do insightful and quality work.
The ever-friendly television journalist, who regularly plays at country music events across the region, made meaningful friendships with fellow media outlets. A friendship with a reporter / producer at Jim Owens and Associates, the then Nashville-based production company behind TNN Country News, suggested keeping in touch. Soon she checked in with Jim Owens’ folks, briefing them on all of the entertainment pieces she was working on, but didn’t work so subtly to convince them to hire them.
As always, her ambition, talent, and reluctance to say no paid off. She was employed by Jim Owens and Associates and was a reporter and producer in Nashville from 1995 to 1999.
In 2000 Lisa joined CMT and CMT.com as a news correspondent and producer. At that time part of the MTV Networks group, she reported not only on events in the USA, but also in England, Japan, Canada and Switzerland.
Always anxious to create and expand social conversation, she also wrote and produced the Prism Award-winning special “Addicted to Addiction” as well as the TV news specials “Sex in Videos: Where’s the Line” and “Controversy:” Tammy Wynette ”. ”
In 2004, Lisa moved to Los Angeles and became a Hollywood correspondent and head of the West Coast News Bureau for CMT Insider, the network’s interview-driven newscast covering music, films, and television.
In 2007, three years after moving to LA, Lisa accepted the Academy of Country Music’s offer to use her experience as a television journalist and producer to help the Academy build and expand its own creative and video production department. As a senior executive at the Academy, she oversaw all video production and the design, creation and editing of ACM logos, digital and printed materials, including ACM Tempo magazine, the ACM Awards program book and the ACM and ACM Lifting Lives websites .
With years of experience in production and network teamwork, Lee served as a liaison with the creative departments of CBS Television and CBS.com for promotions and creative content related to the annual ACM Awards. She has been named producer of the Academy of Country Music Honors, a live industry event to celebrate the Academy’s special award winners, off-camera category winners, and ACM Industry and Studio Recording Awards winners. Held annually at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Lisa infused the event with real love for the people who go the extra mile to support, expand, and protect country music in its most creative places.
In 2014, Lisa wrote and created This Is Country: A Backstage Pass to the Academy of Country Music Awards. The thoroughly researched coffee table book celebrated the 50th anniversary of the ACM Awards and included a forward by Reba McEntire.
Employees from around the world and over the years have remained close friends. Everyone quickly recognizes not only the cheerful ambition that takes them from a small Arkansas town to a graduate school at Northwestern University, to a position as entertainment correspondent in Los Angeles, and to a position as senior vice president at the Academy of. led country music, but also her deeply generous heart. In a difficult business, she understood the challenges, but also saw the power to shed light on everything she did.
Lisa was a member of the Writers Guild of America. She was also an alum from Leadership Music. She was a devoted mother, wife, and friend; always the first with a smile, a quick laugh or a nice word on a long day.
Lisa is survived by her parents Charlie and Faye Young; her husband (and high school sweetheart) Doug Lee; Daughter Grayson and son Jackson. Also in the laws are Phillip and Sarah Lee of Cabot and many other members of the Lee family. She was preceded in death by her grandparents and brothers Jason Young and Dennis Young. The tour will be held at Moore’s Funeral Home, 700 North Second Street, Cabot, Arkansas, from 5pm to 8pm this Friday, followed by a memorial service on Saturday. To keep up to date with details about next weekend’s services, celebration of life in Nashville at a later date, and to support your family by contributing to your memorial fund, please click HERE.