House Committee Requests Info From FCC on PPM

In a letter to FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) has requested information regarding the impact of the Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) on radio listening estimates. In response, Arbitron said in a statement that it welcomed the opportunity to discuss the effectiveness of PPM with Congress.

"I remain deeply concerned that without deliberate and timely investigations into this matter, the increased used of PPM will further threaten the financial viability of minority-targeted radio stations," Towns wrote.

"Arbitron welcomes any opportunity to discuss the importance of electronic measurement, the effectiveness of the PPM technology, the value of the data it produces and our disciplined approach to the deployment of the service across the United States," said President/CEO Michael Skarzynski. "Arbitron looks forward to sharing with the committee our expertise and insights based on our long history and extensive experience in gathering, distributing and supporting the currency that is used throughout the radio industry by broadcasters, advertisers and agencies."

The ratings company also said that while it continues to commercialize its PPM service across the country, Arbitron is seeking input from its stakeholders and in the midst of adding more cell-phone only panelists and increased targets for minority listeners in PPM samples.

"We maintain an ongoing dialogue with broadcasters, industry groups, advertising agencies, the Federal Communications Commission, and Congress as part of our commitment to continuous improvement program for the PPM service and technologies," added Skarzynski.


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