New survey boss for Arbitron


Steven M. Smith is the new Exec. VP, Survey Operations at Arbitron, overseeing accountability for all surveys, including PPM. He’s a former Exec. VP for Information Resources, a global market research firm, but his career took an odd turn a couple of years ago. Now he’s back to the research world.

Smith will have big responsibilities in directing the teams that recruit survey participants and then motivate them to either fill out and return diaries or carry their PPM units. He’ll be reporting directly to CEO Steve Morris. Smith succeeds Claire Kummer, who is taking on the new position of Exec. VP and Chief Quality Officer.

Smith will also be charged with the development of new operating processes and systems to deliver more precise representation of the key demographics in PPM and diary samples.  He will also enhance the company’s ability to measure small markets, niche media audiences and new audio sources, including the Internet and satellite.

Here are the details of his unusual resume. Smith graduated from the US Air Force Academy and then earned an MBA at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. In 2002 he became a Sr. VP for Operations at Information Resources. From 2003-2006, as Exec. VP, North American Operations for the company, he directed the teams that gathered and analyzed point-of-sale data from over 35,000 retailers and a standing panel of 70,000 consumers.

In 2006, Smith became COO of Flexi-Mat Corporation, a national designer, manufacturer and importer of pet products. But now he’s back to the research world at Arbitron.