Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters' Past President Chuck Southcott presented the organization's Diamond Circle Award to veteran Los Angeles newsman Bill Smith at the January 29, 2016 luncheon honoring Henry Winkler. Below are Mr. Southcott's remarks introducing Mr. Smith:
In broadcasting, one can sometimes find a talent who does it all. You can rarely find one who does it all well. Our Diamond Circle honoree today is one who has done it all very well…..Bill Smith.
Early on young Bill Smith was a reporter for the Sunland-Tujunga Record Ledger, then continued in radio as a news reporter and disc-jockey at KVFM in Panorama City.
KGIL beckoned in the 1960s and Bill became a master of multi-tasks. He was soon Promotions and Publicity Director for the station as well as producer of Dick Whittington’s show and also the station’s backup sky watch pilot traffic reporter for Francis Gary Powers.
As you might guess, he became a newsman and eventually News Director at KGIL.
At KABC Radio Bill Smith was the fill-in anchor for the Ken and Bob morning show as well as Michael Jackson’s program. Yes, he also did traffic reports. Finally, Bill joined Wink Martindale for their highly-rated afternoon drive talk show.
Los Angeles television then welcomed Bill as he joined KTTV, channel 11, as a news field reporter, then midday news anchor with Nancy Nelson. Together they reported live for the Academy Awards, the Olympics, the Rose Parade and many more. For a time, Bill was also the weatherman on the evening news. Besides all this, he worked on the non-traditional late night news program “Metro News-Metro News,” where he co-wrote, produced and co-anchored with Chuck Ashman.
Bill also reported the news on then KNXT, channel 2.
Next he became a field reporter for all the news programs at KTLA, channel 5. He also did many out of town special reports including Mammoth Mountain skiing, white water rafting in Alaska and climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia. His boss at KTLA, PPB’s own Jeff Wald, summed it up simply by saying “Bill Smith is the best.”
Echoing those words, I am now pleased to present the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Diamond Circle Award to Bill Smith!
Bill Smith accepts his award from Chuck Southcott