Vice President/General Manager of WFRV, WJMN calls it a career

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – After 7 years of hard work as Vice President/General Manager of WFRV and WJMN, Mike Smith is calling it a career and retiring.

Smith has worked in the information industry for approximately 35 years, serving as National Sales Manager, General Sales Manager and eventually Vice President/General Manager.

“You stay long enough and they have to do something with you, so I moved from a local account manager. from National Sales Manager to General Sales Manager and then I was General Manager here for 7 years. It was a good time,” Smith explained.

Smith is not known for taking credit for the accomplishments of WFRV and WJMN, instead blending into the background and letting others reap the accomplishment.

However, the accomplishments never went unnoticed, as CEO Perry Sook of Local 5 News parent company Nexstar praised Smith.

“Obviously Green Bay is an important station for the company for all of the contributions not just from the Packers but also regional news and the support they provide to our other stations in the area and Mike was obviously the architect of all of this,” Sook said.

The best of WFRV often joked that in its early days there was only one fax machine in the office. Now, Smith has overseen the explosion of web-generated digital platforms to reach audiences on their own terms.

You can usually find Smith enjoying his daily tradition, walking around the building, surveying those working, and checking in on each employee’s well-being.

“I truly believe that life is too short to have to come to work every day. If you don’t like what you’re doing, because you can’t always like it because you have to have a paycheck, but if you don’t like what you’re doing, do something else. Because there are too many options, especially now,” Smith explained.

  • Mike Smith retirement party
  • Mike Smith's retirement cake

He is well liked by all of us here at WFRV and WJMN and it has been an honor to work under such a meaningful, engaging and community-focused VP/GM.

Smith, at his retirement party on Friday night, was surprised by Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich, who awarded Smith a key to the city for his hard work and dedication.

Enjoy your retirement Mr. Smith, you’ve earned every second of it.

WFRV and WJMN recently announced that Judson Beck will take over as their new Vice President/General Manager.

Michael J. Chiaramonte