Smith highlights positives in Portsmouth


Submitted photo
Smith on the set of her new show

Submitted photo
Smith on the set of her new show

Submitted photo Smith on the set of her new show

Joseph Pratt

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Portsmouth might occasionally make negative headlines, but it also has some truly unique and positive tales to tell when it comes to driven individuals and impactful organizations that make Portsmouth what it really is— a community that cares.

Local Leigh Anne Smith will be starting a new television show with the Zone this summer called Positively Portsmouth, which will highlight the positives of the area.

“I think a lot of people who are negative about the area have never left for an extended amount of time,” Smith explained. “The things that are bad here are bad in other places, too, and sometimes the good things get overlooked.”

Smith backed this up further with an example that has stood out to her the most recently.

“There was a local last year, Angie Arnett, who passed away from melanoma,” Smith said. “Well, while she was in treatment, our township’s volunteer fire department’s auxiliary, the wives of the fire department, held a chicken noodle dinner and raised $10,000 for this family in one day.

“Anywhere else I’ve lived, Kent, Akron, Toledo, southern California, I’ve never seen small communities come together to do these huge things. Sure, I’ve seen large businesses do them, but not individuals in the community. This is the good in the area that overshadows the bad and what I want to talk about.”

Smith said that the Zone approached her to run the show months back. She was hesitant to accept, because she has never enjoyed seeing herself on film, but when the Zone said they planned on hosting the show regardless if she was involved, she decided she would grasp the opportunity, so that she could try to make a difference in her community.

Smith’s background was what appealed to the network. She has a background in communications and journalism, as well as a longstanding history in performing arts. She has also made a lot of connections in the area and volunteers as a representative of American Savings Bank.

Smith works full-time at American Savings Bank as a senior professional in human resources and said that her employer was very open to the idea and encouraged her to take the position on top of her current workload, due to the message she would be spreading.

“I want to showcase anybody who has done something positive. These people can be those who have grown up here, but moved away and are coming back for something special or those who have remained here. It can be those who have done something great for themselves, but I really want to highlight those people who have done things to improve our area. There is a huge amount of talent here, but I want to see it used to change and make a difference.”

Smith explained that she knows that things aren’t perfect and doesn’t look at the world through rose-colored glasses, but she doesn’t want to focus on the bad during her 30 minute block of the week.

“I am so excited to be a cheerleader for this area,” Smith said. “I’m not ignorant. I know we have bad things and I don’t want people to think I am overlooking them, but we have enough people talking about the bad things. What we don’t have is enough people celebrating the good and I am going to do it.”

Smith said that the show will originally run for thirty minutes with two guests, but the length will depend on sponsorship and viewers.

Positively Portsmouth will air 6 p.m. Saturday evenings and will re-air the same time on Sunday. The shows will appear online later in the week at www.watchthezone.com. The show will appear on channel 24 for Time Warner customers, but non-digital customers will need to view on 76-10, and will appear on on Minford’s TV channel 23. The first show will air Saturday, June 13.

Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.

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