Kansas City GM to Retire at the End of the Year

By Kevin Eck 

After nearly four decades in local TV, KMBC-KCWE president and general manager Sarah Smith will retire at the end of 2021.

Smith has been the president and general manager of the Hearst Television-owned Kansas City stations since 2011, and has worked for Hearst for 15 years.

Hearst Television president Jordan Wertlieb wished her “great success in her well-deserved next chapter.”


“Throughout her impressive career, Sarah has tirelessly advocated for the power of local television in our communities,” said Wertlieb. “She did an outstanding job leading and growing three important properties, including two of the highest-rated ABC affiliates in the country. She has been an important voice in our company and leaves a tremendous legacy that will continue to be felt in the years ahead.”

Smith said she has been blessed to work with so many great people.

“Their creativity and commitment have been crucial to the ongoing success of KMBC-KCWE, as well as KETV, and I have had the wonderful support of the nurturing culture of Hearst Television,” she said.

Under Smith’s supervision, KMBC was recently recognized for the sixth consecutive year as the top television news organization in Kansas and Missouri by the Radio Television Digital News Association, earning three regional Edward R. Murrow awards—including the prestigious Overall Excellence Award, as well as Best Newscast.

Before joining KMBC-KCWE, Smith served for nearly five years as president and general manager of Hearst-owned KETV in Omaha. Smith served as vice president and general manager of both KRCR and KAEF in Chico-Redding and Eureka, California.

She’s also worked in various sales roles throughout her career at KVUE in Austin, Texas, WFAA in Dallas, KXTV in Sacramento and WISH in Indianapolis. She started her career as a local account executive for KOTV in Tulsa, Okla. before moving to Los Angeles as an account executive for the national broadcast sales representation firm Telerep, where she was responsible for spot sales for 22 TV stations.

Hearst said Smith now plans to turn her attention full time to her family farm overlooking East Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains.