We hope you’ll join us in wishing a fond farewell to a KNOM staffer who’s just departed our mission. After years of service to Western Alaska, news director Matthew Smith has moved on from his position at KNOM, as of mid-November.
While we’re sad to lose Matt’s regular presence at KNOM — as both a friend and a colleague — we’re blessed from the years of service he gave to Alaska.
Hailing from Wilmington, Delaware, Matt first came to KNOM in 2010 to serve as volunteer public affairs director. For two years, he contributed with aplomb to KNOM news, producing episodes of our long-form news series Profiles and Elder Voices. As a reporter, he brought countless local and statewide stories to our rural Alaska listeners — such as the unprecedented wintertime fuel delivery to Nome undertaken by the Russian fuel tanker Renda; Matt (as pictured) was one of the only American reporters allowed on board the vessel.
Although Matt departed KNOM in 2012, he kept both Alaska and news reporting in his life; in Anchorage, he cut his teeth in television broadcasting with stations KTVA and KTUU. In spring 2014, Matt brought his news chops right back to our mission as our news director.
Over the past 18 months, Matt’s built on the deep traditions of more than four decades of KNOM news. He’s led new initiatives to engage our region — such as through individual news stories published to this website, knom.org, and through a reinvigorated, regionally topical call-in show, Exchange, that brings together the concerns, questions, and opinions of Western Alaska listeners with local experts and community voices. He’s also continued his work as an outstanding reporter, such as during his time on this year’s Iditarod trail — an experience that, as you’ll read here, produced award-winning journalism.
Matthew has been an essential part of our mission for the years we’ve been blessed to have him at KNOM, and we — and our communities — will surely miss his presence in Nome and on the radio. (We’ll be thinking about Matthew, too, as he moves to southern Florida — a big change from northern Alaska! — to be close to his fiancée.) We thank you so much for making his tenure at KNOM possible; as we hope you’ll agree, it’s been greatly impactful.