Birch Ratings Returns ... Slowly But Surely
July 7, 2008 at 1:06 PM (PT)
For the first time in 16 years, TOM BIRCH has issued a BIRCHRESEARCH ratings report. The comprehensive multi-media study covers the newly defined NORTHERN NORTH CAROLINA-SOUTHSIDE VIRGINIA Radio Metropolitan Area, which includes the cities of HENDERSON, OXFORD and ROXBORO NC, and SOUTH BOSTON and SOUTH HILL, VA.
BIRCHRESEARCH personal telephone interviews were conducted with one randomly-chosen respondent in each of 1,009 households. Interviewing was conducted from the computer assisted telephone interviewing center of DISCOVERY RESEARCH GROUP in DENVER, and a random-digit-dialing sample frame from Survey Sampling, Inc. proportionately represented listed and unlisted telephone households.
The RFP specifically set forth a requirement that specifically described ... a phone-based approach to a single person per household, which is pretty much what we're doing today. That's why I think we're on the right track
In an exclusive interview with ALL ACCESS, BIRCH said "My plan is to expand as people approach us and ask how we can help them out, I have no marketing organization built, and I no intention of creating another ARBITRON, but I know there's a need for this type of service. As a broadcaster who owns four stations, my new survey is borne out of the frustration of not having quality research at a reasonable price."
He also cited the importance of reaching cell phone-only households (CTOs), something BIRCHRESEARCH will do. "In this initial survey, we have no special survey of CTOs, but it is something we'll have to address in future surveys. Getting men 18-34 requires pulling a separate sample of CTO phone. It's not terribly expensive, and is something we will most assuredly do."
Cumulus RFP: Needed ... But Not For Birch
BIRCH was also completely supportive of CUMULUS' RFP. "That's a shining example of the need for a competitor to ARBITRON in smaller markets," he said. "The RFP specifically set forth a requirement that the methodology be something other than diary, which specifically described what we're doing -- a phone-based approach to a single person per household, which is pretty much what we did in '80s ... and what we're doing today. That's why I think we're on the right track. Are we work going to work with them? We had conversations, but it's not in the cards.
"What I have right now is a very good product that's salable, but it has no marketing organization behind it," BIRCH continued. "CUMULUS is looking for a national organization to take it out to market quickly. If I could be in 50 markets overnight without a problem, that would be one thing, but as it is, I don't have that service."
BIRCH also expressed interest in EASTLAN's ratings service, but decided to do it himself. "The prior owner of the stations I now own subscribed to EASTLAN in 2002 and 2003," he said "I also spoke with EASTLAN [after purchasing the stations] and spent some time with them, but I decided to do this myself. I really didn't have enough knowledge and comfort with their methodology."
One Financial Backer Away From A National Rollout?
Judging by BIRCH's comments, it would seem that all BIRCH needs to quickly roll out his service on a wider scale is a party that could find the marketing. However, "I'm not interested in getting involved with investors," BIRCH said. "I've got a very good radio group -- it's small but profitable that gives me a lifestyle I enjoy, I've 'been there and done that' in terms of being involved with investors and outside financing which, at my age, I'm not willing to abide by. I would rather grow something like this incrementally or at an organically pace I could sustain."
You can reach TOM BIRCH at (919) 341-1804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.