A graduate of the radio-television program at A-State, Mark Smith earned his degree in broadcasting in 1986 and received a Master of Public Administration in 2015. He actually started in radio in 1982, just out of high school, with a part-time summer job at KBXM, a small AM station in Kennett, Mo. After his freshman year at Arkansas State, he landed another summer job at KBOA/KTMO in Kennett and continued to work weekends there while attending college.
Smith first worked at KASU as part of the station’s student staff in the early 1980s. After graduation, he worked at commercial radio stations in Arkansas and Missouri before returning to KASU as a member of the professional staff in May 1990.
Starting out with the title of farm director, he produced an early morning program of farm news and features. He has received awards from the Associated Press for his farm reporting and was twice presented with the “Tell the Farming Story” award from the Arkansas Farm Bureau Association.
When KASU picked up NPR’s highly acclaimed news program, “Morning Edition,” in October 1995, Smith became the local host of “Morning Edition” and took on the task of integrating local news and features into the program. It was about this time that KASU began doing on-air fundraising drives, asking listeners for financial support for the non-commercial public radio station.
Smith hosted “Morning Edition” on KASU until April 2011, when he took over as the station’s development director, charged with organizing KASU’s fundraising efforts. In the years since, KASU has continued a trend of incrementally increasing its fundraising goals and exceeding those goals each year.
Smith has also played an active role as a panelist in live broadcast political debates and other events.
He recently helped spearhead the premiere of a new one-hour weekly radio program titled “A-State Connections.” The series informs listeners of the many ways that Arkansas State is connecting to people in the region, across the state and around the world. The program is broadcast each Saturday at 11 a.m. on 91.9 FM and streamed at kasu.org. It is hosted by news director Johnathan Reaves.