Michael Smith, who most recently served as an svp, general manager for digital channels at Scripps Networks, has been appointed as NPR’s chief marketing officer.
The brand marketing executive will assume his position as NPR’s head marketer starting April 6. He brings over 30 years of experience in entertainment brand marketing, content, digital and revenue-generating brand extensions to the D.C.-based nonprofit membership media organization.
Smith will be replacing Meg Goldthwaite, who stepped down from her position at the company on March 2.
Smith is joining the national broadcast syndication company at a time when it “must extend the reach of content beyond traditional audiences to fully serve the American public,” said John Lansing, president and CEO of NPR, in a statement. Lansing deemed Smith as “uniquely qualified” to help NPR fulfill that mission.
That’s partly because Smith is a Jamaican immigrant and “avid NPR station and podcast listener personally engaged by the new and diverse voices in NPR’s content.” But also—according to Lansing—because Smith is a “strategic thinker and an extremely creative media executive.”
“[Smith] has spent his career finding new ways people consume content across an increasingly diverse population,” Lansing added.
Smith began his media marketing career in affiliate relations with CBS from April 1998 to April 1990, followed by an eight-year stint with Disney ABC Television Group as an executive director of on-air promotion, both domestically and in Asia. While working at Scripps Networks Interactive, he helped create and launch the Cooking Channel and subsequently oversaw marketing, brand strategy and programming for it.
As NPR’s incoming CMO, Smith hopes to make NPR’s overall audience more diverse, an area that he admits needs work.
“I believe the content has broad appeal to the next generation of audiences, we just need to get our story out to more people. I’m so excited to join a team of talented marketing and communications pros committed to this effort,” Smith said in a statement.