Univision Radio making slow recovery from PPM fight


Univision stuck to its guns and refused to subscribe to Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) in most markets until changes were made in recruitment methods which satisfied Univision regarding the likely Hispanic composition of panels. The station owner paid a price in ad sales, so Wall Street is now wanting to know about a recovery.

Univision finally came to terms with Arbitron and signed a PPM agreement late in 2010. That had no impact on Q4 ad sales, which were down 1.3% from a year earlier.

When an analyst asked whether radio ad sales were improving now that Univision is able to use PPM data, CFO Andrew Hobson had this response: “We’re not getting the effect that we would like from the PPM immediately. We expect that radio in the first quarter will kind of be flat to slightly down, but we see a ramp coming, you know, in the second quarter – and then improving as we go throughout the year.”

“And keep in mind,” added CEO Joe Uva, “the PPM, we just began using that in January, because we had come to terms on a new Arbitron agreement middle to end of the fourth quarter last year.”