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Should BMI's Good Old Boys' Network Make Rules for the Digital Age?

Stocks in this article: P GCI AAPL

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Broadcast Music, Inc., better known as BMI makes it difficult to find a list of its current Board of Directors. In fact, I'm not sure an actual Webpage exists. You know, the standard "Board of Directors" link off of an "About Us" tab or some sort.

I called a couple BMI offices, asking for the link. The folks who answered the phone weren't even sure one existed. They put me through voicemail hell. The 2012 annual report I discovered doesn't even make mention of a Board. Finally, I had to resort to an October 2012 press release, announcing the reelection of a board member, to secure a complete rundown.

(Yes, I could access an IRS form, but, why should I have to and how many people would think of that?).

Of course, it's probably just an innocent oversight. These cats are rockers, musicians, technologists, digital media types -- since when do they follow protocol?

Or maybe they're not.

A review of BMI's board membership helps add necessary, but omitted color and context to the lawsuit it recently filed against Pandora (P).

But first, speaking of that lawsuit, I have to thank BMI for the shout out in the official complaint. You can access a copy here. In all seriousness, I'm beyond flattered that a paralegal or maybe even the general counsel or somebody considered my work important enough for a citation on Page 9:

I did find it odd, though, that whoever wrote that part felt the need to provide a citation for something so well-known -- Apple's (AAPL) overly publicized entry into Internet radio. At the same time, loads of quantitative data -- Pandora streamed 14.01 billion hours of music in the year-ending Jan. 31, 2013 and such -- floats without citation. Just my curiosity as a writer getting the best of me I guess.

That aside, it should come as no surprise that really, really, really old school broadcast radio/TV executives comprise almost all of the BMI board.

Let's consider some representative examples.

One BMI board member, Jack Sander, now serves as a "Senior Advisor" to the Belo Corp., the owner of a couple dozen or so television properties. According to Broadcasting & Cable, "Sander's first post-college job, paying $85 a week, was with WLWC Columbus in 1965." I can't find his birthdate anywhere, but I feel comfortable saying he's pushing 70.

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