Now, instead of filling out diaries about your radio listening, Arbitron asks selected people to carry a gadget that listens to your radios and reports back automatically to the master computer. This is supposed to be better for radio and its advertisers, because it cuts out the middle-memory–your suspect recollection of what station you listened to when, and for how long. Never mind that the old flawed statistical sampling system dictates billions of dollars in advertising every year, split among most of the 10,000 or so commercial radio stations in the U.S. As you might expect, the new “People Meter” system gets somewhat different results from the old diary method. Arbitron has started it up in Houston, Philadelphia, and, now, New York City. It’s just one more disruption to the established radio order (Author’s Note: Understatement). The New York Times reports today on one of these minor shifts in the environment–Arbitron’s People Meter reduces listening to minority-programmed stations by 30 to 40 percent from what the diaries reported. This will reduce those stations’ income; ad agencies buy on a cost-per-thousand basis. Arbitron, which communicates kinda like our current government administration, is saying they’re working on the system, but their data is basically correct, and besides, this is kind of a preview report–the software business call them “beta”s. Ratings and market research are radio’s and the ad biz’s scientific sacraments, so there is no alternative to the concept of infallibility. Once again we witness the genius of the marketplace.


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RADIO RATINGS GO DIGITAL. UH OH.

RADIO GUY GALLERY


hertzsketch1
Heinrich Hertz's experiments proved the existence of electromagnetic radiation. Cycles-per-second, the standard measure of radio wave frequency, was named for him. He died in 1894, at 37. Wikipedia: Hertz

RADIO GUY GALLERY


STERN-3
What do you do with a problem like Howard? After decades of profits and FCC indecency fines as routine budget items, Howard Stern, king of all pottymouth radio guys, followed his enabler Mel Karmazin to Sirius Satellite Radio, leaving CBS to make up a hundred million in revenue (They sold stations) and fill the void for the half of Howard's loyal audience who didn't choose to buy a new radio and pay fifteen bucks a month for a few more, ranker epithets.
Wikipedia: Stern

RADIO GUY GALLERY


PALEY-S
CBS might have become the Cigar Broadcasting System. William S. Paley was the scion of the family business. In 1927, his cigar tycoon dad, Samuel, bought the struggling network of early radio stations from a group of poor schlumps who were trying to – would you believe: sell programming to radio stations! Every syndicator since has had to relearn that this doesn't work. Bill and his dad figured out the right business model -- you sell commercials to advertisers, and give the programs to stations. Got it?
Wikipedia: Paley
zenithfloor

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