Former Senator Smith Takes the Reigns at the NAB

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225px-Gordon_Smith_official_portraitEver since David Rehr announced that he would be leaving his post as the CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), there has been much discussion about who would replace him in the position. That mystery has now been solved with the announcement of former Oregon Senator Gordon Smith as the new man at the helm.

On November 1, Mr. Smith will take the reigns as the new President and CEO of the organization. For those who wonder about his political ambitions, here is a pertinent quote from the man himself on the subject, via Matthew Daly at the Associated Press:

Smith, who has been rumored as a possible candidate for Oregon governor next year, said he will stay out of politics for the time being.

“The only cure for political ambition is embalming fluid,” he joked, adding: “My politics now are to advance the interests of radio and TV broadcasters.”

As the ongoing battle over music royalties rages through the nation’s capitol, I’m sure that we are all pleased to see this position filled. That’s especially true considering that Mr. Smith served on the Senate Commerce Committee, which is the panel that oversees all broadcast-related legislation, during his Washington terms.

A wide variety of news sources have quoted Mr. Smith’s comment in response to being picked up for the position:

“I am honored to have been selected as NAB’s new president and consider this an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Smith in a statement. “As radio and television stations embrace new technologies and new business opportunities, I look forward to articulating to public policymakers the unique and positive role played by local and network broadcasters in the fabric of American society.”

As someone with a record of reaching across party lines, Mr. Smith could well be the person needed to broker arrangements between the broadcast and music industries, especially with his experience on Capitol Hill to draw upon.

Any way you cut it, the filling of this position is one that will be good for morale across the industry. With the current changes caused by the evolution of mobile devices and the Internet, as well as the “performance tax” debate going on in the Senate and the House of Representatives, the determination of a leader is important.

I’d like to join the other members of the radio industry in welcoming Mr. Smith to the NAB. Ihope that he has a long and successful tenure!

[Transparency note: This blog is a joint project of the NAB, RAB, and HD Radio Alliance.]

Image: Gordon Smith Official Portrait via Wikipedia

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