WSRT Arb Book Scam Stunner: A PD's Wife Confesses
October 22, 2007 at 1:05 PM (PT)
The tale of the three "cooked" ARBITRON books at NORTHERN BROADCASTING AC WSRT/TRAVERSE CITY-PETOSKY, MI took a new twist, but it wasn't enough to save either of the implicated employees' jobs.
NORTHERN BROADCASTING Account Exec. GLENDA LEE, wife of the programmer TODD MARTIN -- who were both asked to resign over the incident -- sent a letter to ALL ACCESS, claiming that she is solely responsible for the three "tainted" books, which she filled out without her husband's knowledge.
I offer my humble and sincere apologies to both our competitors and Arbitron for the actions of one or two of our employees and this unnecessary, as well as embarrassing turn of events.
"I am the wife (although maybe not for long) of the programmer involved with the station," she wrote. "He knew absolutely nothing about diaries until we were approached by our GM last week.
"I did know. I thought that I had declined the offered diaries. They came anyway. Just for fun, just for the opportunity to do something I had never been able to do, and never intending for the diaries to be mailed or seen by anyone other than me, or perhaps my husband AFTER the ratings came back, I filled out three of the diaries. One was filled out based on my own listening, one as I thought he would fill one out, and one, as a much younger woman (wishful thinking maybe) just for kicks.
"Again, these diaries were NEVER intended to be submitted or seen by anyone outside of myself. While I did not mail these diaries myself, it is my fault for leaving them laying around on my desk where my son saw them and put them out for the carrier, thinking that I DID want them mailed. owever, when the ratings came back, and up until the day my GM brought this to my attention, I too had no knowledge or expectation that the diaries -- my play diaries -- had actually gone into the mail.
"When confronted, I compounded the issue by lying, both to my GM and to my husband. This is all on me. No one else. I accept full responsibility for the rather wide path of destruction created by my stupidity and have offered to sign an affidavit accepting full responsibility to clear the names of both NORTHERN BROADCASTING, and the most honest and upstanding human being I have ever known.
"Without ever meaning to cheat, I cheated. He did not, nor did NORTHERN BROADCASTING have any knowledge of my actions. My profound apologies to everyone that I have hurt by my actions."
LEE further notes that she informed GM CHARLIE FERGUSON in writing on OCTOBER 18th.
Too Little, Too Late
Apparently, the confession could not save MARTIN's job. FERGUSON released his own statement regarding the incident:
On FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12th, 2007, ARBITRON alleged that one or more of our employees had filled out listener diaries in the SPRING 2007 Audience Survey and will be releasing revised rating information for the TRAVERSE CITY/PETOSKEY market on MONDAY, OCTOBER 22nd, 2007. The revisions will primarily affect reported listening levels on 106.7 WSRT. It is important to note that this had no affect on the gains made by [sister stations] WKLT/WKLZ or The FOX FM. After performing our own due diligence, we concluded that the household of two of our employees had indeed filled out diaries which were subsequently used in the tabulation of the SPRING ratings. On THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18th, 2007, I asked for and received both of their resignations effective immediately.
Whether one or both were involved, we cannot tolerate any cloud of suspicion over the integrity of our company, ownership or management. I offer my humble and sincere apologies to both our competitors and ARBITRON for the actions of one or two of our employees and this unnecessary, as well as embarrassing turn of events. It is also our hope that our advertisers and agency partners will understand that NORTHERN BROADCASTING believes in a fair and unbiased ratings system and that we will be doing everything in our power to re-earn your trust.