Suzanne Smith is a director and producer for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network and has been with CBS since 1983. She has been a trailblazer in the industry since her start, working on the NFL, Super Bowls, The Masters, NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championships, college football and everything in between. Looked at as a mentor to many, she entered the industry at a time when there was no road map for a young, female, gay production assistant. So, she mapped her own path, leading the way for those to come after her and becoming an industry pioneer.
Smith is a director for THE NFL ON CBS and currently the only woman, for any network, directing NFL games. In 2022, she became the first woman to direct an NFL Championship game when she served as director for the Kansas City Chiefs-Cincinnati Bengals AFC Championship game during the 2021 NFL Playoffs. She served as the director for CBS Sports and Nickelodeon’s groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning presentation of the Chicago Bears-New Orleans Saints NFC Wild Card game during the 2020 NFL Playoffs, as well as Nickelodeon's presentation of the Dallas Cowboys-San Francisco 49ers NFC Wild Card game the following year. Smith’s wide-array of producing and directing experience has also been on display at multiple Super Bowls, including as a replay director and studio director.
She also directs college basketball, including the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship since 1994, and is a member of the Network’s golf production team for the Masters. In addition to her live event assignments, Smith serves as Coordinating Producer and Director of WE NEED TO TALK, the first-ever nationally televised all-female sports show.
The eight-time Emmy Award-winner has been nationally recognized for her accomplishments in sports media and event productions. In 1989, Smith received a Directors Guild of America Award. In 2015, she was named Game Changer by Sports Business Journal and WISE Women of Inspiration. In 2017, Smith received the annual Mary Garber Pioneer Award, which recognizes pioneers who serve as role models for women in sports media.
Smith has been associated with some of sports’ most memorable moments during her career. She worked the “Doug Flutie Hail Mary” as a production assistant and, 21 years later, directed Flutie’s final NFL game. She also worked the first game of Peyton Manning’s Hall of Fame career as well as many of his record-breaking moments. She has also worked a variety of other marquee sporting events, including the U.S. Open Tennis Championships and both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. In addition to sports, Smith has also directed numerous entertainment specials.
A graduate of Temple University, Smith received a bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television and Film. She received the first volleyball scholarship awarded by the University. In November 2008, Smith was inducted into the Temple University School of Communications Hall of Fame and honored with the Excellence in Media Award. In September 2019, she was inducted into the Ardsley High School Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the inaugural class.
Throughout her career, Smith has been a mentor to many, serving on several boards and committees, including a term on the Board of the Empire State Pride Agenda. She also formed a network of professional women known as “Girls' Nite Productions,” an interactive social group for women from different networks in the television world.
Smith currently resides in Southport, CT with her wife, Cristina Bottegaro.