NY AG Cuomo To Investigate PPM
September 9, 2008 at 3:57 PM (PT)
NEW YORK STATE Attorney General ANDREW CUOMO is investigating ARBITRON's PPM ratings system, which Black and Hispanic broadcasters warn could put some Urban and Spanish stations out of business, reports DAVID HINKLEY in the DAILY NEWS. CUOMO's announcement follows months of pressure from radio owners, including INNER CITY BROADCASTING and a coalition of Spanish broadcasters.
It also comes on the eve of City Council hearing on whether ARBITRON's PPM system fairly measures all communities. The council scheduled the hearing, at which both ARBITRON and its critics are to testify, after receiving similar complaints from Black and Hispanic broadcasters.
CUOMO's letter to ARBITRON says, "A significant and improper decline in ratings under the PPM methodology could cause minority stations to suffer drastic reductions in advertising revenue. A full investigation of ARBITRON's deployment of the PPM methodology is warranted before these sudden -- and possibly irreversible consequences -- are imposed on minority radio stations."
CUOMO says his investigation will focus on whether ARBITRON is properly measuring all listenership. He is asking ARBITRON to supply all PPM-related records back to 2003.
ARBITRON has repeatedly said its PPM measurements reflect all communities accurately.
As for CUOMO's probe, an ARBITRON spokesman said early this afternoon the company had not seen the subpoenas or letter and thus had no comment.