Arbitron Denies Rumors Of 'Massaged' PPM Ratings
CC/Chicago Urban PD Derrick Brown Defends WVAZ's Success
December 4, 2009 at 11:18 AM (PT)
A story in TODAY's CHICAGO SUN-TIMES reports that unnamed "CHICAGO radio executives" have alleged that the recent ratings success of Urban AC WVAZ could be attributed to ARBITRON, which -- under pressure to improve ethnic sampling -- has been "reallocating" its PPMs "and/or weighting the data from those meters" to favor "minority-oriented formats." An ARBITRON spokesperson strongly disputed that contention.
In WEDNESDAY's appearance before a HOUSE committee, ARBITRON CEO MICHAEL SKARZYNSKI cited data that showed that Urban AC is the most-popular format many major markets. Indeed, WVAZ/CHICAGO was #1 in the 25-54 demo in the NOVEMBER PPMs. Obviously, this evidence is being used to negate the impression that the PPM hasn't been able to accurately count minorities and Urban/Hispanic stations.
This prompted the "CHICAGO radio executives" to point out WVAZ's recent success in 25-54 and STEVE HARVEY's ascension from 8th to 3rd in the ratings. "We're absolutely not doing anything different -- our people meters are distributed to reflect the census data in each market," ARBITRON SVP/Corporate Communications DEIRDRE BLACKWOOD told the paper ."We have not made any changes in the way we weight the data from those meters."
CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO/CHICAGO Dir./Urban Programming DERRICK BROWN seconded her remarks, attributing HARVEY's success to making more local appearances and increased marketing. "STEVE was here twice in recent weeks, and we have invested more in marketing his show," he said.
An ARBITRON spokesperson told ALL ACCESS that the company will have further comment to rebut these allegations in the very near future. Stay tuned.