Black Radio Went From Hero to Zero Under New Arbitron Ratings

Comments (0)


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 3:49 PM

click to enlarge STEPHAN BARNETT
  • Stephan Barnett
We misattributed a quote, now fixed, after the jump.

A new Arbitron ratings system that put Spanish-language and African American radio stations in the dumps will be changed according to settlement with the state of California and the cities of L.A. and San Francisco.

The likes of California Attorney General Kamala Harris and L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich were unhappy with the effects of Arbitron's Personal People Meters (PPMs), which seemed to push minority radio into oblivion.

Even a Spanish-language station that once enjoyed being number one in L.A. ...

... was dunked to number three.

In all 16 of 18 minority oriented stations in the state had 30 percent or more ratings decreases under the PPM system implemented in 2008, according to the City Attorney's and Harris' offices.

KJLH (102.3 FM), a Los Angeles R&B station, saw much of its daytime audience measured at 0.0. Really.

So what, you might say?

Well, in radio land, ratings are money. So if the PPM ratings were inaccurate, they could have cost stations millions of dollars in advertising.

The problem was that the system didn't reach enough minorities, apparently.

Under the deal the state and city get $150,000 each and San Francisco gets $100,000. Arbitron will also do "cellphone sampling" because, it is argued, using landlines to find out what people listen to undercounts minorities. And it will more aggressively seek minority participants for measurement.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich: California Attorney General Kamala Harris:

This settlement ensures that California's diverse audiences will be fully counted by Arbitron's ratings systems and that broadcasters serving these communities will have the opportunity to compete fairly in the marketplace. I am pleased that Arbitron will be revising its practices in the state ...

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Young Man Killed Over His Skateboard in Echo Park

    The streets just northwest of downtown were busy with club-goers attending the Echo Park Rising music festival over the weekend, but that didn't stop three suspects from attacking a skateboarder over his ride, according to police and reports. The skater in his 20s was fatally stabbed, cops said. Family members...
  • An Unexplained Death in L.A. — A City That Has Hundreds of Them

    When police officers arrived at a two-room apartment just south of USC last fall to investigate complaints of foul odors, they found a body decomposed beyond recognition. Something else caught their attention, too — the black electrical cord knotted around the man’s neck. A Los Angeles Police detective declared the...
  • Are You Ready to Vote on Weed Shop Policing?

    A proposed law that would have established policing of marijuana dispensaries statewide was essentially killed in the California legislature last week. Dale Gieringer, state coordinator of California NORML, says it's now time to take the matter directly to voters. He envisions the possibility, in 2016, of an initiative that would...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets