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Iowa Gets SMARTS

State broadcast association honors John and Jan Schad

As an advocate for a vibrant broadcast technology marketplace, I’m always glad when I learn that a longtime supplier has received kudos from their colleagues or clients.

So it’s nice to share news that at its 2022 annual convention in Altoona, the Iowa Association of Broadcasters inducted the founders of SMARTS Broadcast Systems, John and Jan Schad, into its Hall of Fame. 

The IAB Hall of Fame recognizes “the best of the best” — Iowans who have made a lasting and significant contribution to their community, their state and the broadcast industry.

SMARTS Broadcast Systems has its roots at KEMB, an FM station that the Schads ran for 13 years in in Emmetsburg, Iowa. John worked as morning show announcer, news reporter and president; Jan ran traffic, billing and sales. Their three children were also involved.

Company representatives celebrate their award. From left: Jeanne Schad, Peggy Stolley, IBA board member Bernadette Merrill, Johnny Schad, John Schad, Dave Potratz, Debbie Kribell and Kathy Roethler.

The automation software they developed for their station formed the basis of their company, which formed in 1989 and has provided products to more than 1,000 stations. 

John Schad remains president/CEO today; Jan Schad passed away six years ago. The firm has 17 employees, including son Johnny Schad and daughter Peggy Stolley, and is still based in Emmetsburg. Later the Schads also helped the local Chamber of Commerce secure a license for an LPFM station, which continues in operation today.

Congratulations to the Schads and their company family.

Read my 2019 interview about trends in automation with the company’s Johnny Schad and Debbie Kribell.