Kill The People Meter

I give up.

Go ahead, radio industry -- kill The People Meter. A number of influential executives obviously are intimidated by the digital future so I hope you get what you're asking for.

Friday, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo decided to file a lawsuit to block next week's planned rollout of Arbitron's People Meter in the New York market.

No biggie. Small market, that New York.

Not many ad agencies there.

Cuomo is a politician. Worse yet, he's an attorney general -- the job that helps advance political careers (especially in New York). He's pandering to the radio executives and Hispanic broadcasters who want to stop Arbitron in their tracks.

Politicians pander? Tell me it ain't so.

Cuomo is accusing Arbitron of misleading the public about PPM's fairness and reliability and says its use amounts to "repeated and persistent fraudulent and illegal business practices."

Sounds like Cuomo's charges are right from the talking points of radio's illustrious PPM detractors.

Hispanic and other radio broadcasters have real concerns, but they are still sounding moronic and selfish on this issue.

They haven't yet seen the consequences of those real concerns -- they will.

So, kill The People Meter.

Barack Obama and John McCain have also weighed in and what else would you expect with an election about a month away. More Pandering. Thanks for the leadership on this issue, gentlemen. So go ahead, do your part.

Kill The People Meter.

Radio's long ugly food fight with the ratings company they both hate and continuously support has just gotten uglier. Don't forget these major broadcasters have signed contracts with Arbitron for -- you guessed it, The People Meter.

It all makes sense to me in a business that is devoid of common sense.

Cox Radio President Bob Neil did a good job as a warm up man letting the entire advertising community know that The People Meter is seriously flawed. His minion, my anonymous old friend Randy Kabrich has just about worn his telephone out dumping on The People Meter behind the scenes with the trade press. He doesn't like much about The People Meter and isn't shy about it.

Nice jobs fellas -- looks like your positive work on behalf of the radio industry is starting to pay off. You've helped bring about a big lawsuit in radio's top market which will help you feel justified in what appears to be your mission.

Kill the People Meter.

The advertising community is still behind PPM -- after all, if someone offered you a horse or a car, which do you think you would choose? Unfortunately, buyers and agencies are no fools. They'll use radio's own trashing of PPM the way presidential candidates slime their opponents in the final days of a campaign.

You see, radio has to succeed now in its attempt to kill The People Meter or else it will have hell to pay negotiating ad rates in the future while they are eating their previous words.

So, you finally won me over.

Let's do it your way.

Spend a few years litigating while we help build Cuomo's career for a run at higher office.

Lose a few more critical years in a dying radio industry that has not been able to attract substantial listener growth any other way than to read People Meter ratings.

I feel badly for smart guys like CBS Radio President Dan Mason who is sitting on top of a few stations that show under reported audiences using the outmoded diary system. You'd think these robber barons would be able to understand that cutting back resources will not help grow ratings.

The only way to improve radio ratings is to use better methodology to report existing listening. Radio sure isn't going to be a growth industry without the next generation. They'll have to hang on to what they've got -- older, available listeners.

Talk to the Neils and Kabrichs of the world and you'll get a different story. They knock PPM even while Cox signs PPM contracts. They must be harkening back to the old days when program directors liked to think they could influence listeners' diary entries. PPM stops all that.

Kill The People Meter.

Go ahead. Forget about, "be careful what you wish for, you may get it" type warnings.

Stand up for your industry -- help keep radio in the 1970's.

Radio's going to be over soon and you folks -- the ones who can't see how to make an enlightened decision about almost anything these days -- will be responsible.

It didn't have to be that way.

Arbitron will eventually prevail in this lawsuit. They'll be fine. Their stock is selling for $40 which is more than any radio group can say.

But you won't be.

Radio executives are proving once again that they have found yet another way to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.

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