NAB Honors One of its Own


The NAB’s Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to “a broadcaster who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the American broadcasting industry.”

The 2022 recipient of the DSA: the man who led the NAB until his retirement at the end of 2021.

Former President/CEO and retired Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) will join the ranks of Jim Henson, Alan Alda, Robin Roberts, Bob Schieffer, Michael J. Fox, Mary Tyler Moore, Ronald Reagan, Edward R. Murrow, Bob Hope, Walter Cronkite and Oprah Winfrey by receiving the honor from the organization he successfully ran for 12 years.

It is the NAB’s highest honor, and he’ll receive it during the 2022 NAB Show welcome session scheduled for April 25, in Las Vegas.

During his tenure, NAB played a pivotal role on a number of significant issues affecting broadcasters. This explains the decision to award Smith with the DSA. Under his tenure, the FCC’s broadcast television spectrum incentive auction transpired, along with the preservation and modernization of the music licensing and copyright system, the ongoing transition to the NEXTGEN TV transmission standard, reviews of media ownership rules and the increased dominance of tech platforms in the advertising marketplace.

“As the head of NAB for more than a decade, Gordon was instrumental in advancing our agenda to help radio and television stations thrive,” NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt said. “Gordon’s leadership, dedication and political acumen have enabled broadcasters to continue serving their local communities in ways no other medium can. It is an honor to present him with the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of the immense impact he has left on broadcasting in our country and around the world.”