Bob Neil bashes PPM in Q3 call


While reporting Q3 profit down 21% on declining revenue and softening economic conditions yesterday (See Radio News), Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil also had a few choice words for Arbitron’s PPM rollout and investigations from New York and New Jersey’s Attorneys General: “We continue to believe that PPM has significant flaws, and with no sign of accreditation in sight, a huge increase in our costs for a service that has thus far provided no better revenue indexing, we think that Arbitron will be under increasing pressure from all broadcasters with regard to the value proposition it brings to the table.”

He added, “At this point there’s no way to speculate on the outcome of these investigations, it’s just sad that it had to happen this way. I’ve said over and over again how disappointed I am with Arbitron’s lack of attention to its customers’ concerns, and this is the result. The only good news is you can’t ‘spinmeister’ the Attorney General’s office, so maybe some good will come out of this.”

Cox Radio currently has PPM in Houston and Long Island and over the next year it will be introduced in Atlanta, Miami and Tampa. Atlanta pre-currency numbers should already be released. “So far our stations in Houston and Long Island have done very well. Our lower commercial loads tend to play well in the PPM measurement. We certainly know how the [PPM] game is played, we know how to win at it, but we’re just wondering if the PPM game is the right game for the industry.”