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Smith to Receive NAB Distinguished Service Award

During Smith’s decade of leadership, NAB “played a pivotal role on a number of significant issues affecting broadcasters"

Gordon Smith in State Leadership Conference video 2021
Gordon Smith in an image from the 2021 State Leadership Conference.

Gordon Smith, who recently stepped down as president/CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, will receive the NAB Distinguished Service Award in April.

“It is an honor to present him with the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of the immense impact he has left on broadcasting in our country and around the world,” said his successor, Curtis LeGeyt.

The organization said that during Smith’s decade, the association “played a pivotal role on a number of significant issues affecting broadcasters, including the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction, preservation and modernization of the music licensing and copyright system, the ongoing transition to the NextGen TV transmission standard, reviews of media ownership rules and the increased dominance of tech platforms in the advertising marketplace.”

The award will be presented at the NAB Show Welcome session on April 25 in Las Vegas.

The award goes to a person “who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the American broadcasting industry.” David Sarnoff was the first recipient in 1953; Jim Henson is the most recent, given posthumously in 2020. Other recipients include Eddie Fritts, Cathy Hughes, Lowry Mays, Alan Alda, Dick Wiley, Jim Quello, and Robin Roberts, among others.

Smith is a former U.S. senator who practiced law in New Mexico and Arizona before returning to Oregon to direct the family-owned Smith Frozen Foods business in Weston, Ore. (His Twitter handle is @peapicker541.) He also served in the Oregon State Senate and was its president.