The end of 2023 brings a milestone for WRALTechWire. WRAL Digital Business and Technology Manager Rick Smith, one of the creators of the TechWire brand, is retiring.
WRAL is committed to continuing Smith’s legacy of leadership in tech reporting and the WRALTechWire brand with a high profile on WRAL.com.
Smith began his reporting career covering sports in 1966 and first worked for Capitol Broadcasting (the parent of WRALTechWire and WRAL-TV) for Interpath, an early internet service provider.
In January 2002, he and the late Allan Maurer, backed by entrepreneurs in Charlotte including Andy Agrawal launched Local TechWire, a news site to track the changes the internet would bring – to communication, jobs and lifestyles – and chronicled the business boom of Research Triangle Park and the Triangle at large.
The product that evolved into WRALTechWire celebrated 20 years under Smith’s leadership in 2022.
Over two decades, Smith has broken news and chased almost every major technology and business story in North Carolina. His in-depth coverage of major moves by Apple, Google, Amazon and VinFast helped set WRAL apart from the competition.
Smith landed exclusive interviews, organized a speaker series, spearheaded the FullSteam Awards to honor the best in local tech, and contributed to Emmy-awarding winning coverage. Twice TechWire received the top news media award from the North Carolina Technology Association.
After a much-deserved break, Smith will return to produce deeply-sourced technology and business news for WRALTechWire in a way no one else can. He will step back from the day-to-day breaking news grind to take a longer view of the changes technology has wrought, with a focus on the moments and changemakers who are literally and figuratively building the future of the Triangle.
Smith told WRAL News he will “keep writing about technology and feisty entrepreneurs” and that he looks forward to traveling, spending time with family and philanthropy work providing technology to underserved children.
WRAL News Director Rick Gall says, “The combined forces of WRAL News and WRAL TechWire have been formidable in breaking, enterprising and adding substantial depth to big stories. Rick is one of the hardest working and most dedicated journalists I’ve met. He sure knows how to own a beat. What a career!”
WRALTechWire will continue to deliver the latest on the local jobs picture, development and investment, and the local and national economy, with the analysis you have come to expect from Tom Snyder on the future of technology, Grace Ueng and Donald Thompson on management, and Joe Procopio and David Gardner on startups.
Their reports will be complemented by the best business and technology coverage from WRAL News, the New York Times and the Associated Press, and from local partners at universities and in the business community.