As editor in chief of TWICE Magazine and the Official CES Daily, Steve Smith was arguably one of the most important editorial voices in the consumer technology industry for more than two decades.
Smith was born on Aug. 4, 1953, in Brooklyn, N.Y. His father, Frank, was a graphic artist, and his mother, Bianca, a secretary and payroll clerk. Smith was raised in the Williamsburg section of the borough in an extended household shared by his mother’s parents, along with his aunt/godmother, and often crowded with family and friends. Surrounded by raucous discussions about politics, music, art, books and sports, Smith’s curiosity and intellectual development was encouraged early. At the age of four, his grandfather taught him the alphabet on a typewriter; by the time he was seven he learned how Alexander the Great’s phalanx worked and how Crazy Horse beat Custer at the Little Big Horn, becoming an avid reader and history buff. He also became enamored of technology when he got his first used color TV, which he owned until he was married.
While a junior at Brooklyn’s Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, Smith took advanced English and history courses, and discovered a knack and desire for writing. After transferring from Brooklyn’s St. Francis College to City College of New York, he joined the college paper, The Campus. He became the paper’s movie and entertainment reporter, with dreams of writing a column for a New York newspaper on either sports or politics. He also continued to hunger after the latest technology of the period such as a VCR and hi-fi systems.
After graduating with a B.A. in Journalism in 1976, Smith began covering the industry, joining Electronic News in 1978, then became editor-in-chief of Toy & Hobby World in 1981. He attended his first CES in 1982. Three years later, Smith moved to Home Furnishings Daily (HFD), where CTA Hall of Famer Manny Greenberg was his mentor. Smith became HFD’s CE section editor in 1987 and, in 1990, became editor of its Summer CES Show Daily. After being recruited by a headhunter, TWICE hired Smith as editor in March 1993, and he became editor of its Official CES Daily for the 1994 show. In January 2000, Smith succeeded the retiring CT Hall of Famer Bob Gerson as TWICE’s editor in chief.
Over his three-decade-plus career, Smith has traveled the world to cover the introductions of all the seminal products and technologies of the last quarter of the 20th century and the opening decades of the 21st century, consumer technology’s most prolific era, as well as the constantly changing electronics retail landscape. Smith was frequently cited as an industry expert in mainstream stories about technology, appeared on numerous radio and TV programs discussing the industry, and has been a speaker and moderator at a variety of industry events. Smith has hosted and attended many TWICE roundtables and events that brought together disparate buying groups and distributors under one tent, where competition would take a back seat to sharing of information and best practices.
Even though Smith stepped down as TWICE’s editor in chief in August 2014, he has continued as the publication’s editor at large and a contributor to CTA’s It Is Innovation (i3) magazine.
Smith, who married his wife Marion in October 1980, and remained in Williamsburg, has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the ADL’s Torch of Liberty Award from its National Electronics & Appliance Industries division in 2004, and two Best DTV Journalism Awards for TWICE from the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers.