The National Association of Broadcasters has selected Gordon Smith, currently with the legal firm of Covington & Burling and a former two-term U.S. Senator from Oregon, as the association’s new president and CEO.
Smith, who officially takes the reins of NAB Nov. 1, told those gathered for the 2009 NAB Radio Show in Philadelphia that he is “familiar with the issues that impact America’s local broadcasters” and is “amazed" by broadcasters’ public service, adding that broadcasters “are the glue that connects your friends, family and neighbors to each other.”
The 57-year-old Smith served in the U.S. Senate from 1996 to 2008. His committee assignments included the Senate Commerce Committee, the panel that oversees all broadcast-related legislation. Smith also served on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has been widely respected as a pragmatic lawmaker able to successfully reach across party lines. Smith's role on the Commerce Committee and as the Chairman of a Senate High Tech Task Force helped foster his interest in new media and new technology issues.
During his remarks in Philadelphia Sept. 23, Smith said it would be his job as the next NAB president and CEO “to make sure policymakers and the rest of America understand the many ways broadcasters give back to their communities.”
Acknowledging that the broadcast industry faces many challenging issues, Smith said he would work with input from the association’s leadership and members and focus “on growing from our strengths, improving our weaknesses and always serving as the premier advocate for America’s radio and television stations.”