An early exit: Smith’s departure would come before the end of his contract, which runs through March 2023. The former Republican senator who represented Oregon is expected to leave later this calendar year.
In a scheduled video message due to be released shortly, Smith will highlight his devotion to his family and religion, indicating that he has “put these activities on hold” for decades. “I’m looking forward to the time with [family]”I am also pleased to announce my intention to take on a new role at NAB, an advisory role for three more years.”
“This transition will be seamless for you and safe for employees,” added Smith. “This is the right time and the right person to fill this NAB CEO position.”
Jordan Wertlieb, who heads NAB’s joint board of directors, will also post a video message thanking Smith and noting that Smith worked closely with the board on the succession plan. In his advisory role, he will continue to lobby for broadcasters, according to Wertlieb.
Amid previous speculation that the House’s former chairman of energy and commerce, Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Might have been in the mix to lead the group, NAB has previously said Smith intends to fulfill that contract. In late 2020, Smith was hospitalized for a stroke, but it was believed he had made a full recovery.
Key context: Smith’s departure would mean a major shift on K Street and a change of the guard for one of the top lobbying posts in Washington. D. C. Smith testified repeatedly in front of Capitol Hill about the development of the video market.
His trade association scored a notable victory in a lobbying battle for an expiring satellite television law in late 2019 to secure the revenue broadcasters bill cable and satellite companies for distributing their content. In recent years, Smith has also helped protect television networks by selling radio waves to wireless carriers in a high-profile FCC auction, securing a music copyright overhaul to reflect the rise of digital streaming, and NAB’s headquarters Relocated in Washington.
NAB, a lobby heavyweight, said it spent more than $ 9 million on advocacy last year, despite the financial pressures of the coronavirus pandemic taking a toll. The broadcast group has hoped to resume his annual Las Vegas show in person later that year.
What’s next: The NAB is expected to officially announce the change on Wednesday.