9-11-2001 Proved The Diary And Radio Worked, Writes Randy Kabrich
September 12, 2016 at 3:42 AM (PT)
Consultant RANDY KABRICH often points out problems in radio's ratings systems. This time though, he take to his blog writing, "For years, I had people tell me how inaccurate the ARBITRON diary was. I would always hear how diarykeepers were very bad at recording their actual radio listening. I heard it so often, that I actually believed it as well. But when I obtained far greater access to data than simply looking at a single market, I started tracking key events on stations across the country. And over the decades the accuracy of the diary even made me a believer!"
KABRICH notes a number of instances where the diary showed a direct spike from a specific radio event, but goes into detail about, "the morning of 9-11-2001. People in NEW YORK were running for their life just trying to get out of MANHATTAN, not filling out their diary, right? Transportation in MANHATTAN had come to a halt. Subway service and public transportation was suspended. The bridges and tunnels were closed to traffic. People were fleeing the city by walking (and running) across bridges. They just wanted out of the city. Period. No time to accurately fill out diaries!"
"So again this week for the 15th anniversary of that day, I dug up those NEW YORK 12+ numbers again which literally have never been made public until now," details KABRICH. "Stations are listed across the top in rank order 12+ Share, TUESDAY 9/11/2001 8:45a-7p. That allows you to see where people tuned from and where they tuned to. Green highlights a peak. Simply look at the 12+ Share of WINS-A, WCBS-A and WPLJ if you believe the diary did not work. Look how people tuned out of HOWARD STERN to get real news, who on WXRK was #2 in the market until the first plane hit. And if you think the shares were high because radio listening was low (i.e. people did not fill out their diary), simply look at the AQH Market Rating."
KABRICH concludes, "Give SCOTT SHANNON (then WPLJ PD/morning man) and PATTY STEELE credit for knowing how to work on listener’s emotion and staying on the air all day, giving WPLJ the domination on the FM Dial. No doubt ELVIS DURAN has grown and learned enough over the years to do the same in the future, as witnessed with WHTZ's broadcast during HURRICANE SANDY. And we clearly can see that New Yorkers know to tune to 1010 WINS-A for News. I need to add this caveat in ... the diary works if sample is recruited, placed and managed properly."
Read the full blog with a larger version of the chart above and much more detail here.