Is Houston PPM Accreditation In Trouble?
December 6, 2007 at 11:17 AM (PT)
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK OWNED BROADCASTERS (NABOB) Executive Dir./General Counsel JIM WINSTON testified before Congress yesterday, and in a suprise, unveiled that ARBITRON has applied for "re-accreditation" for the PPM methodology in HOUSTON. If so, that would be less than one year removed from MEDIA RATING COUNCIL (MRC) accreditation of the market.
WINSTON said "additional factors have been uncovered," by the MRC that would jepordize the HOUSTON accreditation.
In testimony, WINSTON asked the House subcommittee to force ARBITRON and the MRC to make public the status of their review, as well as documents, meeting minutes and communications between the MRC and ARBITRON.
If Arbitron knows of a problem, since they refer to MRC accreditation as a risk and uncertainty in their financials, I believe they have an obligation under SEC law to disclose it to their shareholders and customers.
Asked WINSTON, "Please investigate ARBITRON's new PORTABLE PEOPLE METER Audience Measurement system, because it appears that within its design is a critical flaw in the gathering and processing of the audience data, which has resulted in a clear bias against the reporting of minority audiences. That bias is compounded by ARBITRON's failure to implement the PPM service in the manner in which ARBITRON committed that it would. Initial results from the PPM measurements have shown such huge rating declines for stations serving Black and Hispanic audiences that the financial survival of these stations would be at stake if ARBITRON were to implement PPM across the nation in the form it has been initially introduced. As it stands today, PPM is a greater threat to the survival of minority-owned media than even the FCC's threatened ownership rule changes."
Reached by ALL ACCESS, ARBITRON SVP/Press And Investor Relations THOM MOCARSKY told us, "The MRC process is confidential for all parties. I can make no comment."
We received the same general response from a HOUSTON GM, who wrote us, "Probabaly best if you talked to the MRC. Their process is very secretive and I could not comment with any confidence."
Neil: Time To Fess Up
COX RADIO Pres./CEO BOB NEIL commented, "“If ARBITRON knows of a problem, since they refer to MRC accreditation as a risk and uncertainty in their financials, I believe they have an obligation under SEC law to disclose it to their shareholders and customers. Obviously, losing accreditation in HOUSTON would have a major impact.”