WASHINGTON—Gordon Smith has announced he will be stepping down from his position as president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters at the end of the year and transition to an advisory and advocacy role. Curtis LeGeyt, who is the NAB’s chief operating officer, has been appointed as the next president and CEO of the organization.
“It has been my great honor to give the lion’s roar for broadcasters—those who run into the storm, those who stand firm in chaos to hear the voice of the people, those who hold to account the powerful—and to stand with those of the fourth estate who have the hearts of public servants,” Smith said in a video message.
Smith, who previously served two terms as a U.S. Senator from Oregon and as a senior advisor for Covington & Burling LLP, joined NAB as its president and CEO in 2009. Smith has been a strong advocate for broadcasters, especially over the last year as many dealt with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the attacks at the U.S. Capitol.
In August 2020, Smith suffered a mild stroke.
“Gordon is the ultimate statesman, bringing people together from both sides of the aisle to discuss ideas, find common ground and lead NAB to success on countless fronts,” said Jordan Wertlieb, NAB Joint Board of Directors Chairman and president of Hearst Television. “On behalf of the leadership of NAB, we extend our sincere gratitude for more than a decade of service to the broadcast industry. We look forward to continuing to work with Gordon and benefitting from his guidance for years to come.”
Smith worked with the NAB Board on his succession plan that will see him exit as the organization’s lead on Dec. 31 and move to an advisory role, which he plans to hold until Dec. 31, 2024. Part of his work as an advisor will be to continue lobbying for broadcasters.
LeGeyt is set to take over as the new president and CEO of NAB as of Jan. 1, 2022. LeGeyt has been with NAB for nearly a decade, during which time he has worked on the permanent reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR), the inclusion of $1 billion in RAY BAUM’s Act to reimburse stations impacted by the spectrum auction repack and the passage of the Music Modernization Act.
LeGeyt previously served five years as NAB’s executive vice president, Government Relations, before taking on his current role as COO. Before joining NAB he was senior counsel to then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
“I am honored and humbled to be named the next leader of this great organization,” said LeGeyt. “To represent the broadcast industry and the local stations that bind our communities together in a moment of such tremendous change across the media landscape is a privilege. Our stations’ role in communities across this country have never been more important, and I look forward to working every day to ensure their ability to grow and thrive.”
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