Are there exceptions to this? Oh, of course there are. Arbitron has (and has always had) many great employees. And most of them are fully aware that they work (or worked) for a company whose arrogance fit it like a patent-leather cat woman suit.
So it comes as more than a bit of surprise to find that things appear to actually be changing at Arbitron, and that those changes seem to be very much for the better. New CEO Michael Skarzynski is employing the ancient management dictum that, “a new broom sweeps clean” as he blows out position after position, and replaces the departed with dreaded “outsiders.”
I doubt the “new attitude” is totally due to any sweeping changes from the guy with all the consonants in his name. I think they feel the threats, finally, from a plethora of sources: the general malaise in the radio biz, Nielsen entering the radio-audience-measuring business, inadequate internal technology, lukewarm acceptance of the PPM, and more.
I hope they make it, though, and not just because I still have some friends there. Accurate research benefits everybody except bad radio stations. Research from multiple sources using different methodology will give different results. The “man with two watches” thing. But I still think the PPM is as close to accurate as anything we are likely to get anytime soon. And it has the capability of measuring anything that makes a noise.