Director of Branding and Programming for Star 94.5 Orlando and Jacksonville, Power 106.1, and Hot 99.5 owned by Cox Media Group
Born on the small but culturally and historically rich island of Bermuda, Elroy Smith had ‘big city’ dreams. He was determined to pursue a career in entertainment and become a behemoth in the industry. His rise came quickly after joining an R& B group and performing to a captive audience of five-thousand screaming fans. Elroy was well on his way until his star fell as quickly as it soared. Elroy was expelled from the group, crushing his quest for bright lights, dashing all hopes, and deferring his best-laid plans. So it seemed.
Elroy turned his pain into power while pivoting his focus to becoming a Bermuda radio personality. A respected radio executive took interest in Elroy’s ambition and drive and suggested that he learn more about the realm of broadcasting. There was just one obstacle. Unbeknownst to the radio executive, Elroy had dropped out of high school. Once again, the odds appeared to be heavily stacked against him.
Elroy did not give in or give up. An opportunity arose to attend the former Graham Jr. College in Boston but not until Elroy met the challenge to obtain two-character references; one from a local politician and a minister in Bermuda. Elroy faced and exceeded the expectations placed before him and was accepted. Within a year and a half, Elroy graduated with an associate degree in broadcast journalism, allowing him to transfer to Emerson College, home to a world-renowned broadcasting and theater school. While completing his studies, Elroy landed an internship at the former A.M. 1090 W.I.L.D. radio station in Boston. Defying the odds, Elroy would reach one of his many goals by receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and a business degree from Cambridge College in Massachusetts.
Upon graduating from Emerson College, Elroy landed a full-time job at W.I.L.D., the only R&B radio station in the city. After becoming one of Boston’s most popular radio personalities, three years later, Elroy was elevated and appointed as the Program Director. W.I.LD’s license was limited to operating only during the day as another station had Federal Communications Commission’s approval to use the signal. This restricted broadcast day caused Elroy to seek new avenues to utilize his talents. Elroy would flourish as a leading, award-winning, and sought-after program director in key markets in Dallas, Philly, San Francisco Chicago, and recently, Orlando.
Elroy continues to inspire and hone the aspirations of the best and brightest in the entertainment industry. Elroy has amassed an array of accolades for his skill set, integrity, and mentorship too long to list. Elroy Smith was the head of Radio One’s (8) gospel radio stations in America from 2008-2014. While in Boston, Elroy is widely recognized as the first Program Director and DJ to play “Candy Girl” by Roxbury’s R& B /pop young group known as the award-winning New Edition. While in Dallas, Elroy was the first programmer to play, ‘Ice, Ice Baby,’ penned by famed Texan, Vanilla Ice. While in Chicago, Elroy was one of the first Program Directors to introduce Alicia Keys to the airwaves resulting in the singer/ songwriter giving Elroy and WGCI a resounding shout-out during the Grammys.
Elroy Smith, the ever-evolving, creative, risk-taking program director took “a leap of faith,” by playing Kirk Franklin’s “Why We Sing, a pure gospel song, in heavy rotation amidst an R&B and Hip-Hop playlist. Elroy’s insight influenced a great number of radio stations across the country to follow his shining star by playing the same song on secular music stations.
Elroy is currently the Director of Branding and Programming for Star 94.5 Orlando and Jacksonville, Power 106.1, and Hot 99.5 owned by Cox Media Group.
Elroy has coached and worked with countless notable radio personalities and music industry talents such as gospel maven Yolanda Adams, and Charlamagne of the nationally syndicated, the Breakfast Club. Steve Harvey, of the Steve Harvey Morning Show and comedian, television host, producer, and actor, began his radio career with Elroy. Elroy Smith has also worked with radio industry pioneers, Tom Joyner, the late Doug Banks, and nationally acclaimed comedian and actor, George Wallace.
Elroy Smith, the consummate visionary, strategist, and negotiator holds a constant record of delivering unparalleled results in programming and ratings. While programming at WGCI, AM/FM in Chicago, Elroy garnered astounding ratings propelling WGCI’s revenue in the early 2000s to skyrocket to $43 million dollars, becoming one of the most lucrative urban stations in the country.
Elroy’s career highlights include; Midwest Radio Music Association Icon Award; Living Awards Foundation Honoree; R&B Hip Hop Operations Manager/ Program Director of the year for Billboard Magazine; State of the District Media Award by U.S. Congress 2006; Urban Programmer of the year at the Radio Music Awards in 2005; and Elroy was ranked this year, as one of the top radio programmers in America by Radio Ink publication.
Of all the industry distinctions, Elroy is most proud of his family and lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife Vonda Smith of 26 years. They have three children. He is a member of the Orlando Church of Christ.