KACU manager named Rising Star of Radio

Posted August 02, 2012

Dave Smith ('04), operations manager of KACU, has been named a 2012 "Rising Star of Radio" by Radio Ink Magazine. Smith was selected in a nationwide contest as one of the best and brightest radio talent under the age of 35.

"The focus of 'Rising Stars' is to identify those individuals who possess the potential and the passion to be the radio industry's innovators and leaders tomorrow," says Eric Rhoades, publisher of Radio Ink.

Smith is one of 40 individuals selected from around the country. As a Rising Star, he will participate in a panel for an upcoming radio show produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). The show will take place in Dallas on Sept. 19.

"To win this award from a publication that highlights the work of giant radio corporations and broadcast stations is very meaningful," Smith says. "It shows me we're making a difference in the industry as a whole, not just in our part of the world. I hope it bring us new avenues to reach new listeners and grow our audience."

Smith was nominated for the contest by KACU's development director, Myra Dean. In the nomination letter, Dean wrote, "Dave has, with innovative ideas and planning, dramatically changed and improved KACU’s business structure, production and operations over the last 10 years."

Smith began his work at KACU 12 years ago as a student announcer. In 2003, he launched "The Appetizer" radio show, a weekly radio program showcasing his talents as host and producer. "The Appetizer" has been the first radio outlet for emerging artists Lindsay Katt Through, The Rocketboys, The Light Parade and Aryn Michelle. Bands such as Iron & Wine, St. Vincent, Flatfoot 56, Matt Morris, Citizen Cope, Rosi Golan and many more have also appeared on the show.

"I have worked hard the past 14 years in radio, from on-air work to production to creating 'The Appetizer,' which is now syndicated across Texas," Smith says. "In fact, thanks to the Internet, we have listeners all over the country."

Smith keeps busy, to say the least. He has brought special guests to town, including William Fitzsimmons and Lindsay Katt Through, placing Abilene on the map for music artists, and his work with students has helped them win numerous awards through the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA). He assists in the Center for Contemporary Art's monthly Art Walk in downtown Abilene; he works with local coffee shops to bring in musical guests; he attends Abilene Leaders of Tomorrow meetings; and he is an active member in the Clyde Chamber of Commerce.

Smith's efforts earned him the National Association of Social Workers/Texas Media Award of the Year in 2010. The award is given to “individuals who demonstrate significant contributions consistent with the values and mission of social work.”

Read more about Radio Ink's Rising Star of Radio contest, KACU-FM, and The Appetizer.