Does Radio Need An Indepedent Broadcasters Association?


The brains behind the effort to create an Independent Broadcasters Association, Adams Radio Group CEO Ron Stone, says his effort is off to a fabulous start. “As of today, the IBA has received interest from owners and operators representing 1,360 stations. These are people that have taken the time to go to the site and sign up. This is significant for the first week. We still have a long way to go given there are 7,000 independent stations. But this is a very good start. I believe as information continues to spread about the organization throughout the industry and what our mission is, we will continue to see independents embrace it. We all know we can accomplish far more success together than we can alone”.

Operators are encouraged to sign up without any commitment at this point. Stone says he is only gauging the interest level and keeping everyone updated. “We are on a mission. We need this organization. The fact is we have needed it for years. We need the revenue it can bring to smaller companies…we need the cost savings it can create…and we need the shared resources it can provide. I cannot think of a single independent operator or small company that will not benefit from the IBA or a single reason they would not want to participate in it.”

Sign up for the IBA HERE


  1. I served on the NAB Board from 2013 to 2019 and during that time saw the power of the NAB in lobbying for all broadcasters – large and small. As has been said by others, small and medium market broadcasters have benefited from the NAB’s efforts in fighting the performance royalty, helping to open FM translators for AM stations, convincing the FCC to adopt a better system for resolving interference complaints between translators and full power stations, and other important issues. My honest valuation is that some larger companies do exercise lots of influence within the NAB and aren’t afraid to lobby to their benefit. However, the NAB also recognizes the political clout smaller broadcasters bring due to their relationships with many members of Congress, especially those from rural area and it’s up to smaller market broadcasters to be involved and fight for their cause. That being said, the NAB is not set up to handle all of our needs and appreciate Ron Stone standing up and starting this discussion.

  2. Sounds like a great focus organization for the special needs and issues with small market radio… We need ideas for our stations where the staff wears many hats!!!

  3. Originally I was intrigued by the idea of a group of Indies coming together for sales promotions and discounts on things like health insurance. But as this has begun to look like a Yelp listing about the NAB. And NAB hasn’t lost many fights these days.

    I’ve been in and out of the NAB over the past 40 years and they have done much for small markets like mine. If you’re in a small market, how’s your AM station’s translator? The big markets didn’t get those. My streaming costs are about a third of what they were a couple of years ago due to millions in legal bills the NAB spent litigating lower rates. And heaven help me if the Performance Tax ever gets loose in Congress.

    NAB has clout to help small markets and a record for doing it.

  4. What is considered an Independent Broadcaster? I’m not sure how a multi-station multi-market group is any different than any other multi-market group.

  5. I also appreciate what Mr. Stone is trying to do. However, my experience with the NAB through the years has been outstanding. All of our stations are in very small markets and the NAB has provided a massive amount of help to us, long before I was ever elected to the board. It goes without saying that NAB lobbying efforts are second to none. Especially the year round work fighting the performance tax. The Radio Show and the NAB Show, featuring sessions that specifically target small markets, the Crystal and Marconi Awards that often highlight the best in small market radio, the extensive leadership and management training opportunities. There are so many ways that the NAB provides assistance and services to the small markets. As was previously stated, the NAB has dedicated small market radio broadcasters currently serving on the board.

  6. I applaud Ron Stone’s effort as an idea and we will be supportive as a sharing forum. “Feeding America” was helpful supported by a lot of smaller stations and Westwood One Networks. It was great. There are other Things we can do together to help our communities. That being said, I don’t share Mr Lee’s comment that NAB does not represent small markets. In my 45 years as a licensee I have seen first hand as a member and Board Member ways that NAB has protected and enhanced small market radio broadcasters. If folks think of Ron’s initiative is as a competitor to NAB, RAB, Our State Associations (or some other smaller groups) it will be counter-productive in my View. The Boards of these organizations (Past Radio Board Chair, New RAB Board Chair) are lead by small market broadcasters and there are many on the Boards.
    Even small market broadcasters don’t have the same point of view on some issues.
    The biggest challenge for all is in sales. Our small market business is mostly local and larger markets are more dependent upon agencies and national transactional. That’s the big difference. On FCC and Congressional issues we need to work together. We are important to the process as we know our Congressional representatives on a first name basis using our state associations and visits at home to communicate. NAB is fundamental to this and It serves no one to undercut that. Thus Ron has a good idea, but not as a competitor to NAB or our other existing organizations I don’t think that is his idea at all.

  7. This is not about lobbying or taking away anything from the NAB as I understand it. This is about providing small broadcasters a solid organization that provide resources to the thousands of stations that do not really have access to even a small percentage bigger markets naturally have.

  8. Allow me to respectfully disagree with Mr. Lee’s contention that NAB does not represent the interests of “the little guy”. NAB’s successful effort to defeat a performance royalty alone has collectively saved tens of millions of dollars for small market radio stations over the years. NAB has also: preserved 100% tax deductions for businesses advertising on radio; successfully persuaded the FCC to allow FM translators to extend the audience reach of AM stations; successfully obtained millions in “repack” dollars for radio stations negatively impacted by the TV incentive auction. I could go on. Our NAB Board has many passionate small market radio broadcasters, and I can assure you: Their voices are heard, and we are committed to supporting small market radio.

  9. My sincere hope is that anyone joining the Independent Broadcast Association who also belongs to the NAB continue to do so. There is no match for the lobbying strength of NAB and that is as essential, if not more so, for small broadcasters today. Gordon Smith leads the most respected and effective lobby efforts in Washington, DC. It is very important for all broadcasters, large and small, to support NABPAC and present a united voice to Congress. The NAB does that.

  10. Sounds good to me. The NAB clearly does not represent the interests of the little guy. How many times have we seen that???


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here