Ex-Oregon senator takes reins at NAB

Gordon Smith was two-term Republican senator

Gordon Smith, a former two-term Republican U.S. senator from Oregon, has been named president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters. He succeeds David Rehr, who resigned in May.

Smith's first industry appearance will be this week in Philadelphia, where he will speak at the NAB Radio Show. His first official day on the job will be Nov. 1. In mid-October, he'll hold his first meeting with the group's board of directors.

Most recently a senior adviser with the law firm Covington & Burling, Smith served in the Senate from 1996-2008, where he sat on the Senate Commerce Committee, the panel that oversees broadcast-related legislation. As a member of that committee, Smith served as chairman of a Senate's High Tech Task Force, developing an expertise in new-media and technology issues.

"Smith's background as a lawyer, a statesman and as an entrepreneur, coupled with his extensive knowledge of broadcast issues from having served many years on the Commerce Committee, make Gordon eminently qualified to represent the interests of free and local broadcasters in Washington," NAB joint board chairman Steve Newberry said.

"As radio and television stations embrace new technologies and new business opportunities, I look forward to articulating to public policymakers the unique and positive role played by local and network broadcasters in the fabric of American society," Smith said.

Before public office, Smith operated the family-owned Smith Frozen Foods business in Weston, Ore. He entered public office in 1992, serving in the Oregon State Senate.