M.D. Smith IV was a lifetime broadcaster and one of the last local TV owners and operators in the country. He sold his station, WAAY-TV in Hunstville, Alabama, in 1999 and is in semi-retirement. He was an innovator in many ways and a pioneer in others. In this conversation, he offers his views of the challenges confronting broadcasters today, the internet, and what life was like when “TV was art.”
He talks about the days when the station had only 17 employees, and staff members had to handle many different tasks.
“Perhaps, we will come full circle in the coming years,” he notes, “with 17 people running a TV station and with computerized tools (similar to many radio stations of today) able to still attract an audience, sell commercials and make a profit.”
I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I have in putting it together.