All sides happy after RAC meeting


It used to be that the issues being dealt with at Arbitron Radio Advisory Council (RAC) meetings were so hot that a press conference call followed each one with lots to talk about. But that was when PPM was new and broadcasters were demanding changes to diary surveys. Things have quieted down so much that the RAC first planned no press call at all, but then “due to popular demand,” one was scheduled over the weekend for Monday afternoon.

The only news of significance from this past week’s meeting was announcement of new criteria for determining whether a county is in or out of an Arbitron Metro for diary markets, with PPM market criteria yet to come.

With that news already out, Friday (3/11) brought only wrap-up statements from the RAC and Arbitron:

March 11, 2011
    Statement from Arbitron Radio Advisory Council Executives about the recently completed Spring meeting
    From: Tom Skinner,
    Vice President & General Manager, KZST-FM,
    Redwood Empire Stereocasters;
    Radio Advisory Council Chairman
    Don Benson,
    President & CEO,
    Lincoln Financial;
    Radio Advisory Council Vice Chairman
    Doug Abernethy
    Regional Vice President, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis,
    Radio One;
    Immediate Past Chairman, Radio Advisory Council
    We had a productive meeting of the Radio Advisory Council in Annapolis covering a variety of important topics for Arbitron and for Radio.
On the Diary front, we are encouraged that Arbitron is making significant investments to explore new approaches for Diary markets that go beyond paper and pencil diaries. Arbitron shared the current status of its test plans for project Leapfrog; a new experimental measurement approach that features a week-long, Web/mobile-based survey as the primary means of data collection. Arbitron has been sharing its progress on this work with the Council over the past year. We urged Arbitron to share more details about Leapfrog and other diary improvement initiatives with all customers as soon as practical.
Regarding PPM, we note Arbitron’s sample improvement in the past year.  We are pleased that Arbitron plans to continue that momentum with steps to improve PPM panel quality including the expansion of targeted in-person recruiting, address-based sampling, and a finer level of geographic sampling control.  We also encouraged Arbitron to move forward with the implementation of PPM360 (Arbitron’s newly designed mobile platform-enabled meter) with all due speed.
Arbitron comment on just concluded Radio Advisory Council meeting:
Our work with the Council is very important because it helps us shape our thinking around key issues and communicate better with our customers. We appreciate the Council’s suggestions to share more about our work to enhance the Diary and PPM service and we are planning a series of communications about our initiatives as soon as possible.