National Association Of Broadcasters Ushers In New Era As Curtis LeGeyt Replaces Former Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith As CEO

National Association of Broadcasters ushering in a new era, with pre-execution Curtis Leggett Replacing the former Oregon Sen. gordon smith as Chairman and CEO.

Smith, who served two terms as a Republican in the Senate, guided the major lobbying organization for 12 years. He has moved into an advisory and advocacy role with NAB, Batten died last Saturday, January 1, following an early announcement last spring,

Leggett, who was the chief operating officer of the Washington, D.C.-based business group, steps into the top role with a few issues on members’ minds. Among them are the new round of industry consolidation amid the streaming boom and the rollout of ATSC 3.0, a new set of technology features aimed at augmenting station broadcasting with high-quality audio and video as well as interactive functionality.

LeGeyt has been with the NAB for nearly 10 years, and was previously senior counsel to then-Senate Judiciary President Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who is now the Senate’s pro tem president. LeGeyt took a measure to reimburse stations $1 billion for costs from broadcast spectrum auctions, along with efforts to reauthorize laws such as the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act.

“The broadcast community is extremely grateful to Gordon for his many years of service as an influential advocate for our industry,” David Santrella, chairman of the NAB Joint Board of Directors, and CEO of Salem Media Group, said in a press release. “We are now excited to guide Curtis into the organization’s next chapter. He is a proven leader and accomplished fighter on behalf of broadcasters, and we are thrilled to have him serve as our voice in Washington and around the world. “

Along with representing education and diversity initiatives and broadcasters’ interests, NAB hosts one of the largest US trade shows, providing a significant influx of annual revenue. This year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas is scheduled to be held in person in April, its usual spring slot. The 2020 edition was virtually held due to COVID, and the 2021 show was postponed and eventually canceled due to pandemic-related constraints. An emerging spinoff event, NAB Show New York, was recently announced to return this fall.

“It is an honor to lead this great organization and advocate for local television and radio broadcasters who inform, entertain and serve their communities every day,” Leggett said. “I am grateful to our board of directors for trusting me and look forward to working with them, the entire NAB team, and our members to ensure a vibrant future for broadcasting.”

In addition to confirming the change to the corner office, NAB also said that Michelle Lehmann, EVP of Public Affairs, is taking on the additional role of Chief of Staff. Leslie Pea is being promoted to deputy chief of staff. Both are newly created roles within the organization.