My Friend Steve Smith

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My first memory of Steve Smith was when we met at a press event in New Jersey so many years ago. He then worked as a reporter for HFD (a competitive publication). I thought at this meet that he seemed to be a really good guy – and after knowing him as long as I do, I have to say I more than agree with that first impression. Later he became editor in chief while I was publisher of TWICE.

We were, and still are, very passionate people, so though we’ve always had great love and respect for each other, on occasion there were explosive confrontations, followed always by love and respect.

Having seen him in action as I did, I can honestly say Steve knows the crazy CE industry better than just about anybody else, and he knows publishing. He’s a spectacular editor with a strong drive to get the story, understands it and writes about it fairly — absolutely refusing to print rumor and innuendo. Steve has always understood the power of TWICE and the vast amounts of readers it’s seen by, and so always took care not to stir up any unnecessary negativity, while still covering the news in the best possible way.

If you know Steve Smith, you know that he and baseball are synonymous. So much so that many of his editorials throughout the years have contained various kinds of baseball references and/or metaphors.

I’m pleased to say Steve and I, along with our spouses, have gone out socially on occasion, though definitely the most memorable time by far was the night we all went to a Yankee game. How adorable were Steve (a Yankee fan) and his much-loved wife Marion (a Mets fan) as they wrote in their scorecards, while I was simultaneously arguing back with two teenagers sitting in front of us who overheard me say, “I think the size of all baseball fields should be standard for all teams or I don’t believe it’s fair.” Everybody (including my husband Richie) agreed with the teenagers (I’m still not convinced) though we did have some great laughs that night and always have when together.

As a friend, I have no doubt he’ll always be there for me – as I will for him. He’s clearly a spectacular husband, family member, Italian and Brooklynite, but I am equally impressed with him as a manager.

Steve always taught by example, had his staff’s back and cared greatly about his direct reports. One of the incidents that most comes to mind is when some years back Steve was handed a budget containing percentage raises for himself and his editorial department. After looking it over, he came back to me and said he’d thought about it and didn’t want any raise at all next year, much preferring to split up his portion among the people in his department who he felt needed it more. (Hope Marion’s not finding this out for the first time here.) And that’s the kind of man he is.

I want to say how pleased I am to know Steve Smith, to have worked with him, and to be his friend. I wish him only the best and couldn’t be happier he’s getting all this well-deserved recognition.

As publisher of TWICE, Marcia Grand worked with Steve Smith for more than two decades.

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