Monday, April 27, 2015

R.I.P.: MD, PA, NJ Radio/TV Exec Ron Smith

Ron Smith
Ronald "Ron" Smith, a retired broadcasting executive who had started his career in Baltimore on WFBR-AM, died of a heart attack April 17 at his Egg Harbor Township home in New Jersey.

He was 75, according to The Baltimore Sun.

"He was such a great guy. He started in radio and later switched to TV," said Dick Ireland, who had known Mr. Smith since they were both 16 and who was a familiar presence to Baltimore listeners for 26 years as a WLIF-FM radio personality. "He loved what he did on the radio, and I know he loved doing it, but I think he liked being on the other side, in sales and managing stations."

In 1957, he was hired as a personal assistant to Buddy Deane, who hosted "The Buddy Deane Show," a popular afternoon WJZ-TV rock 'n' roll show. He also was the show's announcer and would accompany Mr. Deane to dances and personal appearances.

In 1960, Mr. Smith left "The Buddy Deane Show" and worked at WDMV-AM and WICO-AM on the Eastern Shore until he developed vocal cord polyps that cut his announcing career short.

He was working as a vice president of Adler Communications Corp. in Washington, and when the agency expanded its operations into broadcasting, Warren Adler and Mr. Smith purchased WAYE-AM in Baltimore in 1968.

The new owners changed the station's format from classical music to one featuring all news. It was the first all-news station in Baltimore. They also purchased Hagerstown stations WHAG-AM and –FM; and in 1970, Mr. Smith successfully launched WHAG-TV, also in Hagerstown. He remained with the TV station for 17 years as sales manager.

While at WHAG-TV, he briefly owned and operated WAAT-FM in Johnstown, Pa., and from 1987 to 1989, he owned and operated WCBG-AM in Chambersburg, Pa.

Mr. Smith joined the staff of WMGM-TV in Linwood, N.J., an NBC affiliate, where he was sales manager for 14 years. In 2003, he was named the station's general manager, a position he held until retiring in 2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment