Eric Smith has held production and leadership posts in public broadcasting for over 45 years; the last 25 as director of public broadcasting for the State of Florida under the auspices of the Florida Department of Education. His two main responsibilities were representing the interests of Florida’s public radio and television stations before the Florida Legislature and the US Congress, and to administering financial support for Florida’s public radio and television stations in the areas of station operations, broadcast equipment, and new and improved broadcast facilities.
He continues to provide governmental lobbying and consulting services to Florida public television and radio stations as the Director of Governmental and Community relations for the Florida Public Broadcasting Service Inc. He joined NETA Consulting in 2003 and served as its Managing Partner from 2005-2013.
Prior to his statewide responsibilities, he was General Manager of WSRE-TV and Chair of the academic Department of Broadcasting at Pensacola Junior College. He began his career in 1960 as a camera operator for the Alabama Public Television Network.
His national professional service includes election by his peers as co-chair of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives (OSBE) and served two terms as a trustee of the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS). He has provided search and management consultation services for many public broadcasting licensees.
In 2003, he received a PBS Leadership Award recognizing his leadership for securing and allocating more than $370 million in state appropriations for Florida’s public radio and television stations.
Outside his work in public broadcasting, he is certified as a Master USA Track & Field Official specializing in Field Events and Cross Country. Annually, he is selected to officiate NCAA and USATF National Championship Meets.