THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK by accinent

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									                               THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
                                       OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
                                                                                            CITY HALL
                                                                                    NEW YORK, NY 10007
                                                                                          (212) 788-7116
  **FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
                                                                                          October 16, 2007

Contact: 212-788-7116
Release #: 0??-2007

 COUNCIL ANNOUNCES INDEPENDENT PANEL TO REVIEW ARBITRON SAMPLING
                        AND METHODOLOGY
         Announcement Comes as Sample Ratings Threaten Future of Urban and Minority Radio

City Hall - Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Members of the City Council today announced the
formation of an independent panel tasked with reviewing the met with Arbitron, an international media
monitoring and research group, is in the process of replacing its traditional paper diary method of media
monitoring with new Portable People Meter (PPM) devices.

This week Arbitron released In light of possible deficiencies in the accuracy of numbers representing
minority and ethnic listeners, the Council joins with the National Association of Black Owned
Broadcasters (NABOB) in asking Arbitron to revisit the proposed change. As part of a pilot program,
Arbitron’s new measuring methods have been applied in Houston and Philadelphia, where its effects on
local, minority-owned media have increased concern about the consequences on local radio stations,
should the system be implemented in New York City.

Specifically, the Council and NABOB are alarmed about the recruitment, composition and administration
of the sample panel, the attribution of sporadic exposure, and the absence of a metric that reflects listener
engagement. Inaccurate representation of listeners has a negative affect on advertising revenues, and
ultimately hamstrings the ability of smaller stations to stay afloat in a competitive media landscape.

―Minority-owned media has a strong history in New York City, and plays a critical role in our society,‖
said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. ―We cannot afford to have inaccurate listener-ship data rob these
stations of the advertising dollars they need to survive. We ask that Arbitron meet with us prior to the
implementation of the PPM system, to discuss what plans they have to ensure that their sample panel is
reflective of the diversity of our City.‖

―It is important that we send a message to Arbitron that the survival of Black, Latino and Asian radio is
vital for the survival of our people,‖ said Council Member Larry Seabrook. ―It is our most important
vehicle for information and intellectual thought. So Arbitron, please listen to us.‖

―As elected officials and community leaders, we are here today to request that Arbitron meet with the
Council to discuss and address the potential negative impacts that PPM’s will have on black and minority
owned radio stations,‖ said Council Member Inez Dickens. ―Arbitron’s planned installation of
electronic Portable People Meter's (PPM’s) is critical to the understanding of the historic relationship
black radio has to the health and welfare of black folks. We cannot allow them to put a system in place
that could jeopardize that necessary relationship.‖
―Diversity of opinion is what makes New York great, and ethnic and minority-owned radio provides a
unique forum to express those opinions,‖ said Robert Jackson, Co-Chair of the Council’s Black,
Latino and Asian Caucus. ―If we allow a new rating system to put the future of these stations in
jeopardy, we risk eroding an important foundation of free speech in our City.‖

―Minority-owned media is an essential link in keeping ethnic communities together, said Council
Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo. ―It is a means by which they can share their experiences and stay
informed about the issues affecting them most. It is critical that we do everything we can to make sure
that it remains a strong and healthy resource.‖

Local and ethnic radio play an important role in the lives of New Yorkers. Not only do they provide a
needed diversity of perspective, they are also a critical resource in providing community news and
updates for many immigrant New Yorkers – updates often overlooked by the mainstream media.

The Council appreciates Arbitron’s efforts to increase accuracy and create better insights into how people
consume media. Considering their reputation as a good corporate citizen, the Council trusts that they will
be willing to work with the NABOB and other concerned parties to find a common resolution. In the end
the goal is the same for all involved—a more accurate and reliable tool to measure New Yorkers’
listening habits.

―The issues surrounding the roll-out of the Arbitron PPM technology are ones of both civil rights and
economic justice,‖ said Sanford Moore, a radio personality on KISS FM. ―The air-waves are held as a
public trust for the American people with licenses granted by the Federal government. Black radio and
other minority radio and their audiences have struggled for decades to overcome the ―separate and
unequal‖ media paradigm erected by Madison Avenue. If the Arbitron PPM is allowed to go forward in
its current form it will signal the death of minority radio as we have come to know and depend upon it.

―The Latino community adds our concerns to those of our African-American brothers and sisters on the
potential negative impact that the introduction of portable people meters will have on the measurement of
the Latino radio audience in New York City,‖ said Angelo Falcón, Co-Chair of the New York Chapter
of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. ―There are now more than 2 million Latinos in the city,
making up 28 percent of its population. If reports from Philadelphia and Houston are a sign of things to
come, Arbriton still has some work to do to assure that it does not undercount Latinos and Blacks. We
stand ready to work with Arbriton to assure that their approach accurately measures all segments of the
city's radio audience.‖

―New York City needs Black radio. It is a key source of communicating information on critical issues
like Sean Bell, Imus, or Jena 6. While we cannot slow the march of technological innovations such as the
new PPM system, we can and must ensure that it measures what Black, Latin and other demographic
groups listen to and want in a radio station,‖ said Darwin Davis, President of the New York Urban
League.

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