Face of Commerce

Published 11:31 am Monday, December 22, 2008

Well-known Tri-State television news anchor and broadcast journalist Bob Smith has been appointed Director of the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce.

Smith, a Huntington, W.Va., native who now calls Proctorville home, is the first director in a little more than a year.

“This is another chapter in my life,” he said. “I was in broadcasting for 35 years. I was in education for eight years teaching and fund-raising for Ohio University South. This is a brand new chapter. I think this is a pretty good fit for me and my talents and what I can do.”

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Smith came onto the broadcast scene in the late 1960s as a staff announcer and weatherman for WHTN-TV, Channel 13, now WOWK-TV. In 1970 he was one of the journalists who kept a vigil at the site of the Marshall University plane crash, covering the tragedy that wiped out the university’s football team. He became a news anchor at the station.

In 1986 he took over the anchor desk for WSAZ-TV, where he anchored the news for the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts. In 1999, Smith moved to the field of education, teaching journalism and leading a $5 million fund-raising campaign at Ohio University Southern.

“My challenge is to get in touch with all the businesses that are members,” Smith said. “I will be in touch with them, cultivating those relationships, paying attention to their needs and offering stewardship.”

As Smith sees it, the chamber offers businesses the chance to network and share experiences and ideas. He has set as a personal goal to bring in 15 new members for the chamber in the new year.

“Chamber members get together and can talk with each other. They can support each other,” he said. “One of the things I hope to accomplish is to get the younger members of the chamber more involved. This is a neat opportunity for me and I look forward to the challenge.”