For Release: 2007-05-18 00:00:00V eteran journalist Al Smith announced his decision to retire this fall after 33 years as host and producer of Comment on Kentucky . He made his plans public on the program that aired Friday, May 18. His final program as host will be Friday, Nov. 16.
Comment on Kentucky debuted in November 1974, and Smith, 80, has been a continual moderator longer than any other public affairs program host in the PBS system.
"The phrase 'one-of-a-kind' shouldn't be tossed around casually, but it applies to Al Smith," said KET Executive Director Malcolm Wall. "Al and Comment on Kentucky represent the essence of what public television was created to deliver to the American public."
Smith, who was head of a chain of rural weekly newspapers based in Russellville when selected to host the new program, gave the series its name and served as its producer, apart from his stint as head of the Appalachian Regional Commission for Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan from 1979 to 1982.
Comment on Kentucky will continue as the longest running public affairs series on KET .
Comment on Kentucky is a KET production, produced by Smith and Renee Shaw. More information about KET programming and education services, as well as how to support KET, can be found at www.ket.org.
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