Arbitron Responds to New York City Council's Thoughts on Monitoring

October 4, 2007


New York City - Sep 29, 2007 - According to an article from the New York Post, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and a group of her colleagues urged Arbitron to ditch a proposed new way of monitoring New Yorkers' radio habits, saying the method will skew results against minority-audience stations.

"We want to make sure that in the five boroughs minority radio continues to flourish and thrive," Quinn said at a press conference, denouncing the Portable People Meters -- a device that will replace handwritten diaries people keep of the stations they listen to.

Arbitron responded by stating that it appreciated the interest of the New York City Council. "We are more than willing to present to the Council a complete review of our panel recruitment methods, the composition of the sample and how we apply the two statistical disciplines of random sampling and of weighting to ensure the validity of the Portable People Meter ratings as well as to ensure that all segments of the population are properly represented in the Portable People Meter surveys.

"We are well aware of the crucial economic and political role that the media industry, including minority-owned radio stations, has played in New York City. In many ways, the success of these stations is based on confidence that advertisers, who are the financial foundation of the broadcast radio industry, have in Arbitron''s continuing ability to provide the valid, reliable and effective audience measures.

"Our goal is to give stations and their advertisers better information about the radio audiences. The insights that the Portable People Meter will deliver can help minority broadcasters enhance diversity in the news that is reported and offer viewpoints that Urban and Hispanic radio are uniquely able to provide and deliver an audience attractive to the advertisers and marketers of the city.

"We are proud of our reputation as a good corporate citizen and our New York City roots. We have already been working jointly with NABOB and other concerned parties to enhance the stability and utility of the audience estimates that the Portable People Meter would provide. We will review with the Council the joint progress that we have made to date."



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