Ratings scandal in Providence?

Sid Schweiger sid@wrko.com
Thu Aug 7 16:51:13 EDT 2008

>>the gist of the story is that John DePetro's numbers showed a huge spike
(gain) and not at all reflective of the rest of his station's (WPRO) numbers
in other dayparts.

in the story, it's intimated that a number of in-tab diaries (6) may have
come from a "media affiliated househould," which is, and long has been, a
big no-no.

sometimes competitors scream, sounding like sour grapes.  this time around,
the shout did not fall on deaf ears and has led to Arbitron announcing it
would have to re-issue the Spring book.<<

The gist of the story doesn't end there.  There is a very heavy insinuation in the story (circumstantial evidence, if you will) that DePetro was directly responsible for those diaries.  They were placed in his home town and showed consistent listening to DePetro's show, every single day it was on.  Whether any of this is provable rests on Arbitron's willingness to do what they never do, at least not that anyone knows about: disclose the name(s) of the diary-keepers.  If they disclose the names, and it is DePetro or someone in his household, I'm guessing his career is over.  Anyone publicly identified with being a ratings cheat will likely be unemployable in broadcasting.  Ratings = money, and there's too much money at stake for any reputable company to take that kind of chance.

Sid Schweiger
IT Manager, Entercom New England
20 Guest St / 3d Floor
Brighton MA  02135-2040

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