Agency: Arbitron station blacklists not hurting our data


That’s what a major radio buyer told us on Friday, who wished to be quoted off the record. A bit of a firestorm has been created since we broke the story that Arbitron was sending out lists and telling the networks and syndicators that were subscribing to this national data that they couldn’t use stations which were no longer subscribers in their audience numbers for pitches to advertisers.

The buyer told us it never affects the agencies. “Agencies always have access to all of the data. In terms of the networks, apparently it’s not going to affect RADAR or Nationwide data. So it doesn’t affect national at all. It’s business as usual for us. The networks will also have access to all of the data. I think this is a Cumulus issue.”

RBR-TVBR observation: What the buyer told us is true. And yes, a lot of this does affect Cumulus, which does not subscribe to Arbitron data. But bottom line—being forbidden to make pitches to agencies with the full slate of data leaves networks and syndicators at a bit of a disadvantage in negotiations.