November 12, 2008

PPM sucks for Urban Radio in the Chocolate City

Arbitron's PPM rating system seems to mean doom for some Washington, DC area radio stations. Let's look at the first ratings book under the PPM system for DC.

Keep in mind that the city itself is about 90% African American and the following stations have traditionally finished in the top 5 in ratings despite the fact that suburban Washington is mostly white.

Howard University's 96.3 WHUR is listed at #5 and usually comes in close to #1 in DC.

CBS Radio's WPGC fell to #15 from #7. This station is home to Donnie Simpson and Big Tigger.

Radio One's 93.9 WKYS dropped from #6 to #10. However Magic 102.3 WMMJ actually went up to #7 and Praise 104 WPRS went up also from #13 to #12. It should be noted that Radio One's CEO Alfred Liggins is fully on board with the PPM rating system.

Meanwhile Vinnie Brown has landed at Stevie Wonder's Los Angeles station 102.3 KJLH as Program Director. Brown left Inner City Broadcasting and stations WBLS and WLIB as Program Director and Operations Manager after 10 years of service in January and can take responsibility for bringing in the successful Steve Harvey and Wendy Williams shows. Brown was one of the first radio people that became outspoken about the PPM rating system "calling it a rating system that threaten the very survival of Black Radio".

At the time Brown said in a New York Daily News article from November 2007, "These numbers could put us out of business. And it's not just us. Listeners need to know this could threaten the future of black and Hispanic radio across the board." Read more on Vinnie Brown's career in the New York Daily News from January 2008.
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