Little Rock radio veteran Tommy Smith announced Tuesday morning that he will retire by the end of this year, noting ongoing health issues as a contributing factor. Smith will make his last appearance as co-host of “The Show With No Name” on station 103.7 The Buzz Wednesday, Dec. 29.
“It’s been 17 great years at The Buzz. Signal Media has gone above and beyond to take care of me, but my speaking problems have become overwhelming, and I think it’s time to pass the torch,” Smith said in an official statement with The Buzz on Tuesday. “Radio has been very, very good to me. I am deeply saddened that it had to end this way, but I want to thank the listeners, advertisers and all my co-workers for their support over many years on the air.”
Smith has been a fixture in Arkansas radio for more than 40 years. He joined The Buzz in 2004 and has used his platform to garner support for numerous charitable causes and organizations over the years.
103.7 General Manager Justin Acri said, “Tommy Smith has been a major force in making The Buzz what it has become today. Listeners across Central Arkansas have loved Tommy for decades, and many tune in each weekday to hear his familiar voice and unique perspective. We are extremely thankful to have had him on our air for almost 20 years.”
Smith was featured on the cover of Arkansas Money & Politics’ October issue. He visited with AMP contributor Kelley Bass about his distinctive career and contributions to the field in, “Rocker, Radio Longrider…Outlaw.”
“How much longer Tommy Smith will be a force in the local radio world remains to be seen. He has announced that he plans to leave the Buzz in April 2022. And the reasons why keep becoming more obvious to him,” Bass wrote. Smith then spoke candidly about his decision to soon retire:
“In the last week, we’ve [taken the show to] Pickles Gap, Morrilton, Arkadelphia and Stuttgart. On one of those trips, I almost hit a deer. I’m 67 years old, which is how old [legendary KATV sportscaster] Paul Eells was when he died in his car. I don’t need to be making 60-mile drives at 5 in the morning. My reflexes aren’t what they used to be. This business has been so good to me since 1974, but it’s time to pass the torch. I can’t relate to 25-year-olds anymore. Now 50-to-70-year-olds? I’ve got ’em!”
Sources say that Smith’s official retire date, which was originally set for April 2022, will now be Jan. 1, 2022.