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Gordon Smith to step down as CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters

An early exit: Smith’s departure would come before the end of his contract, which runs until March 2023. The former Republican senator, who represented Oregon, is now expected to leave at the end of this calendar year.

In a video message slated for an upcoming release, Smith will highlight his dedication to his family and religion and that he has “put on hold” these activities for decades now. “I can’t wait to spend time with [family], do things grandfathers should do, “Smith said in the post.” I am also happy to announce my intention to move to a new role at NAB, an advisory role for three more years. “

“This transition will be seamless for you and secure for the staff,” Smith added. “Now is the right time and the right person to take on this role as CEO of NAB.”

Jordan Wertlieb, who heads the joint NAB board, will also post a video message thanking Smith and noting that Smith has worked closely with the board on the succession plan. In Smith’s advisory role, he will continue to lobby on behalf of broadcasters, according to Wertlieb.

Amid previous speculation that former House Energy and Commerce chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) May have been in the mix to lead the group, NAB previously said Smith intends to fulfill that contract. At the end of 2020, Smith was admitted to the hospital with a stroke, but is believed to have made a full recovery.

Key context: Smith’s departure would mark a major shift on K Street and a change of guard for one of the main lobbying positions in Washington, DC Smith has testified before Capitol Hill on several occasions about the evolution of the video market.

His trade association won a notable victory at the end of 2019 in a lobbying battle over an expiring satellite TV law, protecting the revenues broadcasters charge cable and satellite companies for the retransmission of their content. In recent years, Smith has also helped protect TV stations by selling airwaves to wireless carriers in a high-profile FCC auction, securing a legal overhaul. author of music to accommodate the rise of digital streaming and to move NAB’s headquarters to Washington.

NAB, a lobbying heavyweight, said it spent more than $ 9 million on advocacy last year, although financial strains from the coronavirus pandemic have taken their toll. The broadcast group hopes to resume their annual Las Vegas show in person later this year.

And after: NAB is expected to officially announce the change on Wednesday.

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