WASHINGTON, DC — Gordon H. Smith, President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, has agreed to a five-year contract extension that keeps him at the helm of NAB through 2016, NAB Joint Board Chairman Paul Karpowicz announced today.
Smith, 59, joined NAB in November 2009 and oversees the advocacy efforts of thousands of local radio and television stations across America. He is a former two-term United States Senator from Oregon (1996-2008) and was a successful entrepreneur before launching his career in politics.
“NAB membership is happy to have Gordon Smith navigating our interests in Washington, and we’re delighted that he’s agreed to this contract extension,” said Karpowicz, president of Meredith Corporation’s Local Media Group. “Faced with two potential game-changing issues – the Performance Rights Act for radio and the spectrum bill for television — Gordon demonstrated uncommon grace, savvy and determination in preserving a bright future for broadcasting.”
“I’m thrilled by the vote of confidence by the NAB Board and membership,” said Smith. “As president of NAB, I get a first-hand view of the indispensable role that local and network broadcasters play in serving communities every day with news, entertainment and life-saving weather warnings. Broadcasters take seriously our role as stewards of the airwaves, and it is a privilege to represent a diverse membership with a vibrant future.”
During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Smith’s committee assignments included the Senate Commerce Committee, the panel that oversees broadcast-related legislation. He also served on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was 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.
After leaving the Senate in 2008, Smith joined the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP for 10 months before accepting an offer to head the NAB.
Born in Pendleton, Oregon, Smith attended college at Brigham Young University and received his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles. He practiced law in New Mexico and Arizona before returning to Oregon to direct the family-owned Smith Frozen Foods business in Weston, Oregon. Smith Frozen Foods is now a $50-million-a-year enterprise, and one of the largest frozen foods companies in America. Before serving in the U.S. Senate, Smith was elected to the Oregon State Senate, rising to the position of president of that body after only three years.
Smith and his wife Sharon are the parents of three children and have two grandchilden.