Featured Speaker Senator Gordon Smith of NAB To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

FOR RELEASE: October 19, 2021

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Arlington, Va., October 19, 2021 – The Media Institute will bestow awards on William E. Kennard, chairman of the board of AT&T Inc., Norah O’Donnell, anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News,” and NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith at its annual “Free Speech America” Gala on Oct. 20.  The virtual event will start at 8 p.m. ET.

William Kennard, who headed the FCC from 1997 to 2001, will receive the American Horizon Award for his visionary industry leadership while serving in both the public and private sectors.  Presenting the award will be Randall Stephenson, former chairman and CEO of AT&T, who received the American Horizon Award in 2011.   

Norah O’Donnell, anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News,” will receive the Freedom of Speech Award for her journalistic accomplishments in furtherance of free speech and a free press.  The award will be presented by Gayle King, co-host of “CBS Mornings,” who is also editor-at-large of Oprah Daily and hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM.

The Institute will honor Senator Gordon H. Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, with its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing his career of unparalleled leadership in both government and industry.  Senator Smith will be the event’s Featured Speaker.

The master of ceremonies will be former FCC chairman Richard E. Wiley of Wiley Rein LLP.  Mr. Wiley is Chairman of the Board of The Media Institute.

The “Free Speech America” Gala will be the Institute’s signature event marking Free Speech Week, Oct. 18-24.

The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation specializing in communications policy and the First Amendment.  For more information, visit the Institute online at www.mediainstitute.org.

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