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Council Eyes New Radio Rating System

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New technology aimed at better gauging a radio station's listenership is drawing fire from some minority run stations who say it undercuts their ratings. They say the new "People Meters," made by the company Arbitron, aren't given to enough minorities.

In testimony before the City Council, Arbitron president, Steve Morris, said the new system caused ratings to drop all around.

MORRIS: It's not just urban and Spanish language stations that are impacted by this affinity for a station or a personality. The phenomenon affects all stations, all formats in varying degrees.

The old system relied on listeners to log their listening habits and Morris says they over report, especially on shows they listen to everyday.

The City Council has no jurisdiction over the use of the Arbitron device. Members want the FCC to investigate the new technology before it's officially rolled out in New York City.

The new technology is already in use in cities like Philadelphia and Houston.

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