NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith, former United States Senator from Oregon, celebrated his birthday by attending the 61st Annual VAB Convention May 25 in Montpelier.
Smith addressed the group of 175 radio and television broadcasters at the start of the annual “Commercial of the Year Awards” luncheon.
He stressed the important role local broadcasters play in shaping national broadcasting policy. Most local broadcasters have good relationships with their elected officials and can always get their ear if an issue of importance is at stake in Washington.
Smith was named to the top job at the National Association of Broadcasters on September 18, 2009. Since then, Smith has led the association’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and at the Federal Communications Commission regarding issues affecting the television and radio broadcast industry.
These issues include voluntary incentive auctions of broadcast TV spectrum, efforts by record labels to institute a performance fee on local radio stations for music airplay, and retransmission consent rules. Broadcast industry executives have credited Smith’s leadership with improving NAB’s lobbying clout and influence.
Of particular importance to Vermont broadcasters, the NAB has made state outeach a priority under Smith’s leadership. The state associations, including the VAB, now work closely together on the issues of importance to all broadcasters.
VAB Executive Director Jim Condon, who introduced Smith, said, “It would be an understatement to just say he’s done a great job. He has been an incredibly effective and intelligent leader. I can’t say enough about the job he has done.”
Smith also discussed the political scene and other issues during a morning seminar with broadcast attorney David Oxenford.