As the latest person to helm KNOM’s news department, Matthew Smith has come full-circle in his experience with Nome and our radio mission.
After several years working as an on-air reporter for KTVA Channel 11 and KTUU Channel 2 in Anchorage, the former KNOM volunteer (our public affairs director from 2010 to 2012) is now a part of our station’s permanent staff.
Matthew’s road to Nome began in Pennsylvania at Villanova University, where he studied English and writing. During college, he spent a summer abroad studying Chinese in Beijing. The experience piqued Matt’s interest in China, and after graduating Villanova, he returned there: this time, as a full-time volunteer. Through the Maryknoll China Service Project, Matt taught English in China for two years, from 2006 to 2008. After moving back to his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, Matt continued to teach, joining the faculty of Delaware Technical & Community College.
On a return visit to Villanova to talk about his China experiences, Matt happened to meet KNOM’s David Dodman, who was recruiting for volunteers at Matt’s alma mater. He learned about KNOM, applied, and arrived in Nome in August 2010.
Matthew was drawn to KNOM by listening to radio programs overseas and at home; he appreciated the power of radio to reach so many people and wanted to explore working in broadcasting. Ultimately, Matt served as a KNOM volunteer for two years, departing for Anchorage in summer 2012.
Matt returned to our station in April 2014 to become news director following the departure of Laureli Kinneen.
When not at work, Matt says he can’t help but devour news, about Alaska and beyond. But when he’s not doing that, he enjoys novels, movies, music, cooking, writing, and keeping active. When the weather is warm, he enjoys hiking and biking in and around Nome, and learning what he can of Nome’s – and Alaska’s – history. He also admits to having a perhaps unhealthy obsession for good coffee.