Greater Media chairman lauded for radio leadership

Staff Writer

 Peter Smyth Peter Smyth A lways at the forefront of his industry, Greater Media’s CEO has been recognized for his role in electronic media.

Peter Smyth, chairman and CEO of Greater Media Inc., was an honoree at the 12th annual Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts, a yearly event sponsored by the Library of American Broadcasting.

On Oct. 16 at New York’s Gotham Hall, Smyth was recognized for his distinguished leadership in radio alongside honorees such as talk show and game show host Regis Philbin and television executive Fred Silverman.

According to Donald West, chairman of the event, choosing Smyth as an honoree was a natural choice.

“We were looking, first, for the most conspicuous executive in the radio field at this moment,” West said. “The list was very quickly narrowed down to Peter Smyth. Greater Media is one of the last family-owned [companies] in the business who really believes in the radio medium, and who put so much of their investment into that, as well as other contemporary electronic media.”

West said criteria for the honor included integrity, dedication to the medium, and faithfulness to the principles of broadcasting and public service.

“He and Greater Media have always been notable for their approaching [radio] for the public service end of it, so I think that was probably the greatest determining factor,” he said. West cited Smyth’s activism in working to make radio “a more free and better First Amendment medium.”

Smyth oversees the operational efforts of 21 AM and FM radio stations in Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Philadelphia and New Jersey, and several telecommunications towers throughout the country. His newspaper division, Greater Media Newspapers, is distributed throughout central New Jersey.

After graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in 1975, Smyth’s first job was with Nestle. But Smyth had a passion for broadcasting — not chocolate — and began his broadcasting career as an account executive with WROR-FM in Boston.

Smyth joined Greater Media in 1986 and he has served in a variety of capacities over three decades. His titles have included general manager of WMJX-FM in Boston, vice president of the Radio Group, and chief operating officer of Greater Media Inc.

He has been recognized for revolutionizing the broadcasting industry by advocating for and adopting technologies such as HD Radio and Internet streaming.

Radio Ink magazine, a leading broadcast industry publication, selected Smyth as America’s Best Broadcaster in 2005 and 2011. The magazine also recognized him as Radio Executive of the Year in 2007, and has selected him as one of the 40 Most Powerful People in Radio over the last decade.

Smyth has served roles on various media-centric boards. He has been chairman of the Radio Advertising Bureau Board of Directors, president of the New England Media Association and an elected member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Broadcasters.

In addition to his work in electronic media, Smyth has a rich background in philanthropy. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of New England Baptist Hospital and the Hundred Club of Massachusetts, which is dedicated to enhancing the welfare and safety of the families of public safety officers and firefighters.