In praise of Houston PPM coverage last week – Bob Neil, Cox Radio CEO


Thanks for spending the time this week getting to understand some of these PPM issues. I think I said before, I know we as an industry need electronic measurement, but it has to be right. I am afraid Arbitron has rushed into something that they are ill prepared for. This whole "seasonal" thing makes me nuts…..with all of the testing they’ve done didn’t they see that they would have these problems with panel management?  When they tout a sample size as being 1,800…but the in-tab they base published ratings on is 900…that’s not good. And, sadly, so far the exact opposite seems to be happening in terms of buyers responses to the lower AQH ratings.  Buyers are just cutting the rates and delivery.  We’ve both been at this a long time, and if you think buyers are going to buy radio one way and TV another….I just think it’s a fantasy.  Buyers buy AQH ratings for TV and they are going to do the same thing for radio….they aren’t going to buy this "radio is a reach medium" argument….at least not the ones I’ve talked to.

Finally….since PPM has been the currency Miami has passed Philly in real dollar revenue because Philly is so far down….and we have yet to see in Houston but the most sensitive-to-ratings business (National)  is pacing way down in the back half of the year. I think too many group heads have been too busy with bankers, buyouts and The Street to stay engaged on this issue and actually take the time to read the sample pages in the PPM reports…not to mention spending the time understanding the changes occurring in the media businesses.
Anyhow, thanks again for staying engaged on this subject.  We need our trade press to help be a conscience in this business.