The National Association of Broadcasters has extended the contract of president and CEO Gordon Smith through March 31, 2023. By that date — shortly before that year's annual NAB Show — Smith will have headed the group for nearly 14 years.
Smith became the NAB’s CEO in November of 2009, succeeding David Rehr, who resigned suddenly in March of that year after three-and-a-half years heading the group. His predecessors included Eddie Fritts, who served for 23 years, and Vincent Wasilewski, who headed NAB for 17 years.
In announcing the extension, NAB Joint Board chair Caroline Beasley said, "Gordon Smith has shown a steady hand guiding America's local radio and television stations through the public policy challenges of Washington."
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"He has enormous credibility on Capitol Hill and at the FCC, and is a determined advocate for local broadcasting. We are thrilled that we will benefit from Gordon’s leadership into 2023," Beasley, CEO of Beasley Media Group, added.
Smith, a former two-term Republican U.S. senator from Oregon (1996-2008), directed the family-owned Smith Frozen Foods business in Weston, Ore., and had also served in Oregon State Senate. After leaving the U.S. Senate in 2008, Smith joined the Covington & Burling law firm for 10 months before joining the NAB.
In a statement, Smith said he is “committed to an innovation agenda that allows local TV and radio to thrive on emerging media platforms.”
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“I’m honored to lead a talented NAB team fighting for viewers and listeners who rely on hometown TV and radio for the best in entertainment, quality local news and lifeline programming in a crisis,” he said.
During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Smith's committee assignments included the Senate Commerce Committee, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Finance Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee. He said that his role on the Commerce Committee and as the chairman of a Senate High-Tech Task Force fostered his interest in media and technology issues.
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