CC & Cumulus Drop Arbitron For Neilsen

Garrett Wollman
Tue Nov 18 21:13:40 EST 2008

<<On Tue, 18 Nov 2008 20:13:49 -0500, Roger Kirk <> said:

> (Per R&R) Clear Channel & Cummulus have opted to get their ratings 
> annually (for 50 small & medium-sized markets) from Neilsen and rather 
> than quarterly from Arbitron.

> Arbitron president claims "this is a step backwards."

> Is this just cost-cutting?  Lack of faith in Arbitron?  Posturing?   Other?

Probably a bit of all of the above.  If advertisers are no longer
trusting Arbitron's numbers (and why should they?) then stations don't
need them any more.  An annual survey is probably good enough as
guidance for the management in small markets where programming doesn't
change frequently, and if necessary they can always commission a
special survey.  Since these are diary markets anyway, and the intab
is going to be fairly small, the ratings are likely to be next to
meaningless anyway.  (If, by cutting the frequency, you can increase
the sample population, then you might actually win by getting numbers
that can actually distinguish between #3 and #12 in a 15-station

Ultimately, radio is in competition with other advertising media which
have lower cost and auditable audience response.  Arbitron doesn't
measure response at all, and the various ways that stations could do
so probably cost less than what Arbitron's charging for numbers that
aren't saleable.


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