Chair change at Arbitron


Former CEO Steve Morris has now exited as well from chairing the board of directors. Long-time director Philip Guarascio, an ad agency veteran, has been elected the new Non-Executive Chairman of the Board.

Guarascio has served on the Arbitron board since 2001. Following a 21-year advertising career at D’Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles (formerly Benton & Bowles, Inc.), Guarascio spent 15 years through 2000 as the Vice President of Corporate Advertising and Marketing for General Motors, where he commanded one of the largest media budgets in the United States. Guarascio has been the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of PG Ventures LLC since 2000; served on the Board of Directors of Papa John’s International, Inc. since 2003; and been a Consultant for the William Morris Agency since 2001.  He also served in a senior advisory capacity with the National Football League from 2000 to 2006.

Guarascio currently serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Advertising Council and serves on the Executive Committee of that organization. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Ellis Island Restoration Commission and the Board of Directors of Adspace Networks; a place based digital media company. Also, Guarascio acts as an advisor to Tribeca Enterprises and is on the advisory board of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Morris did not stand for re-election to the board, so he has now completed his departure from Arbitron. His seat will not be filled, with the board reduced to eight members from nine.

RBR/TVBR observation: There’s been a lot of movement at Arbitron in recent months. Lots of new faces and many veterans gone. What radio clients really care about, though, is having reliable ratings. That means improving the diary sample, which the company is working on, and getting PPM accredited by MRC everywhere. The criticism isn’t going to abate until that happens.