The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has presented the Mark Richer Industry Leadership Medal to the former Oregon Senator who will be retiring as President/CEO of the NAB at the end of 2021.
Sen. Gordon Smith earned the honor for his “outstanding leadership” of the National Association of Broadcasters, where he has served as a “steady advocate for the broadcasting industry who has taken every available opportunity to promote ATSC 3.0 since we first started this important work on next-generation broadcast standards,” ATSC President Madeleine Noland said.
Named for the former ATSC president who led the organization for two decades spanning both ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0, the Mark Richer Industry Leadership Medal recognizes an individual or team “that demonstrates exemplary leadership in advancing the mission of ATSC and epitomizes the vision, tenacity and leadership qualities that were the hallmark of his leadership.”
Richer, who retired two years ago, presented the award on August 26. However, Smith was in Wisconsin, meeting with broadcasters at the state broadcasters association’s annual conference. As such, his appointed successor, NAB Chief Operating Officer Curtis LeGeyt, accepted the honor for Smith.
Smith became the NAB’s leader in 2009, “just before the technology we later termed ATSC 3.0 became a major focus of our organization,” Noland said. “Smith understood the value that next-generation television could bring to the broadcasting industry and he was instrumental in promoting the potential to NAB’s board and membership.”
The ATSC on Thursday also awarded its highest technical honor, the 2021 Bernard J. Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award, to Alan Stein, Vice President of Technology at InterDigital.
Stein currently heads InterDigital’s Visual Standards Team, where he manages a global team of senior technology experts who participate in major video standards organizations.