Dillon Smith (BSJ63, MSJ64), a former award-winning broadcaster for WMAQ-TV (NBC) in Chicago and member of Medill's Board of Advisers and Medill Hall of Achievement, died on Friday. He was 71. A memorial mass will be held Thursday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. at Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 W. Adams, Chicago, Ill.
Smith established Dillon Smith Communications in 1984. His company developed and produced television programming, including "Dreesen Street," an entertainment special syndicated by Multimedia Entertainment.
Smith spent 15 years at WMAQ-TV (NBC) in Chicago. During his years as program director, Smith was responsible for development of "On Stage on 5," the station's highly acclaimed series of theatrical productions, and the "You" magazine program that won Emmy Awards three consecutive years. WMAQ-TV's program department won more Chicago Emmy Awards than any other station when Smith served as program director. From 1972 to 1980, Smith was editorial director of WMAQ-TV. In that position he also produced documentaries for the station, one of which won the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award in 1976.
As Professor Emeritus-in-Service Roger Boye recalls, “Dillon was the consummate journalist, so giving of his time and treasure, savvy, smart, dedicated, a treasured friend of the journalism profession and of Medill.”
Smith was a member of the Board of Governors of the Chicago Television Academy for 25 years. For eight years, he chaired the committee that selected inductees into the academy's Silver Circle.
Read a Time Out Chicago tribute to Smith.
In lieu of flowers, his family has requested that donations be sent to the Dillon Smith Fund, Office of Alumni Relations and Development, Northwestern University, 1201 Davis St., Evanston, IL, 60208.