Arbitron late yesterday issued its response to the six radio groups who sent the company demands for higher targets for Portable People Meter (PPM) sample performance and for a one year deadline for PPM to win accreditation by the Media Rating Council (MRC). Arbitron CEO Steve Morris said the company had already committed to presenting proposals on higher benchmark to the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council next month, as well as options for re-allocating the meters assigned to Children 6-11. But Morris drew that line at committing to any deadline for MRC accreditation. Since Arbitron does not control the MRC process, he insisted that “we simply cannot commit to a specific deadline.”
Here is the email Morris sent to Clear Channel, Cox Radio, Cumulus Media, Inner City, Radio One and Saga:
“The support that you and your fellow broadcasters are expressing for high-quality electronic measurement is right in line with our own goals and initiatives.
As we have reported in our monthly PPM client calls, we continue to improve on the delivery of our published sample targets for 18-54 and 18-34. We have made substantial progress since November, building on what was already a statistically sound base, and we are consistently delivering in excess of our benchmarks and targets in a number of markets and demos. We have also been very public in our commitment to continuously improve PPM sample delivery going forward.
We had already agreed with our Advisory Council to present additional proposals regarding higher benchmarks and options for re-allocating Children 6-11 samples at the upcoming July meeting. We look forward to that discussion and trust that your Council Member will represent your company’s point of view.
As always, we remain committed to the Media Rating Council process and to obtaining accreditation in all our Portable People Meter markets. However, the MRC process is not in our control, so we simply cannot commit to a specific deadline.
Thank you for your continued attention to the quality of our radio rating services. I would very much like to hear from you directly on these issues, so I will be calling to follow up this note. While much progress has been made, we welcome a continuing and important dialogue as we move ahead with electronic measurement.