The news of Cumulus being critical of Arbitron in recent years and selling without Arbitron ratings in numerous markets is old—along with the RFP it put out for a new ratings provider. But this is new: The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Dave Crowl, RVP in that market, says they are now close to a deal that would return ratings to their stations soon.
Keith Mitchell, Cumulus Cincinnati operations director and WGRR-FM PD told the paper: “Our corporate office is currently negotiating a new contract with Arbitron and we hope to have that finalized soon.”
Dave Crowl added: “Keith is correct. We are in the final stages of completing a new deal with Arbitron. Our numbers will be posted by the time the next monthly is released. Arbitron policy does not permit news outlets or trade publications to post non subscriber ratings in the press. All a technicality. ”
Currently in Cincinnati, they are selling without ratings for WGRR-FM, WFTK-FM (96 ROCK), WRRM-FM, WOFX-FM and Country WNNF-FM.
RBR-TVBR observation: The smaller the market, often it is that the less the stations need Arbitron ratings to sell. As well, agencies and advertisers are less interested in buying off of rankers that have little or no stations listed in those markets. That doesn’t benefit either the broadcaster, nor Arbitron in many cases—especially national buys. With a group as big as Cumulus, Arbitron would much rather sign a group-wide deal than to sign their markets piecemeal. It could be at this point that the group-wide deal offering is now actually less expensive than how Cumulus has been working it. Arbitron has also likely been able to work with Lew and John Dickey in hammering out their issues.