The Independent Broadcasters Association: Gaining Steam


While the National Association of Broadcasters has served as the loudest voice in Washington for radio and TV stations across the U.S., an increasing number of AM and FM station owners have expressed interest in the formation of a new organization.

This group would focus on the needs of stations not owned by large, publicly traded companies. Introducing the proposed Independent Broadcasters Association, ready to represent some 1,850 radio broadcasting facilities.

The total number of stations interested in bringing the IBA to life has increased by some 500 stations since last week.

Word of the IBA plan was first reported by Streamline Publishing’s Radio Ink, earlier this month. It’s the brainchild of Ron Stone, CEO of Adams Radio Group.

On June 5, Stone said the IBA 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,” he said. “This is significant for the first week.”

He called it a good start, but that there were 7,000 independent stations.

With the updated tally as of Friday (6/12) of owners and operators representing 1,850 stations, the IBA is now 62% of where it needs to be to officially form as an organization.

“With 7,000 independent stations needing all the help they can get I am certain we will secure the 3,000 stations we need to commit to make the IBA a reality,” Stone says. “I believe every independent will ultimately embrace the IBA once they see what it can do for their bottom line. We have chance to make things better for the independents and it is time we do.”

Owners and operators can sign up now without any commitment HERE. Stone asked that those who have already signed up contact every independent broadcaster they know and share the website link with them.

“Together we can grow new revenues to improve our top lines and we can improve our bottom line with more efficiencies and shared services only achievable by a membership organization like the IBA,” he says. “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. 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.”

In a way, the COVID-19 pandemic helped put the wheels in motion on the IBA plan. On April 10, Stone hatched a plan that saw all independent-owned radio stations come together to hold a one-day fundraiser to help feed people most impacted by the coronavirus crisis. Some 1,500 radio stations responded.

Adams is based in Lakeville, Minn., and operates stations in Fort Wayne, Ind.; Las Cruces, N. Mex.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Salisbury-Ocean City, Md.; and Northwest Indiana.