New NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith officially started his new gig Tuesday.
I reported earlier that Smith, a former GOP senator from Oregon, met with trade press after addressing attendees at the NAB Radio Show in Philadelphia in September.
"Everyone on staff at NAB is delighted to welcome a new leader who is well-respected in Washington, has friends on both sides of the political aisle and will be a fighter on behalf of free and local broadcasting," NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton told me.
Gordon has ties not only to Oregon, where his family has a frozen food business, but to Maryland, where he grew up. That’s because Smith, one of 10 children, moved to the Washington area when he was 2 years old. His father was on Dwight E. Eisenhower’s presidential staff and his cousin Stuart Udall became secretary of the interior for John F. Kennedy.
Here’s a nifty little fact: He’s a Maryland Terrapin basketball fan. Yup, he told me that at the show. The last words he said to me as we were leaving Philly: "Go Terps!"