Al Smith, journalist (#250)
In a special two-part edition of One to One, veteran journalist Al Smith offers his reflections and reminiscences about his 33 years as host of KET’s longest-running public affairs program, Comment on Kentucky, and his years of observing politics and public life in the Commonwealth.
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A well-known broadcaster, Smith edited, owned, and published weekly newspapers in Kentucky for more than 30 years. He came to the state in 1958 after 10 years as a reporter and editor for two daily papers in New Orleans. Smith grew up in Florida and Tennessee and served in World War II, then attended Vanderbilt University.
A former head of the Appalachian Regional Commission in the Carter and Reagan administrations, Smith is one of the founders of Leadership Kentucky and has headed several other statewide groups, including the Kentucky Press Association, state arts and oral history programs, a governor’s council on education reform, and the Shakertown Roundtable.
Since 1974, Smith and his Comment on Kentucky guests—reporters, newspaper editors, and the occasional professor—have provided a deeper insight into the inner workings of Kentucky political, educational, agricultural, and business affairs. Though the series continues, Smith presided over his last program on November 16, 2007.