Cross-Industry Evaluation Team Will Move Forward with Three Contenders for Radio’s Next-Generation, Electronic Ratings System

Radio Company Leadership Reiterates Unwavering Commitment to Improving Measurement – and to Making the Best Choice

Multi-Discipline Team Expresses Special Interest in Cell Phones As Measuring Device as The Media Audit/Ipsos, Arbitron, and MediaMark Research Proceed to Next Stage

Thursday, March 09, 2006

New York, NY– The cross-industry, multi-discipline evaluation team reviewing proposals for a next-generation electronic ratings system for the radio industry today announced that three of those finalists – MediaAudit/Ipsos, Arbitron, and MediaMark Research – are moving forward to the next level of examination.

“It has been encouraging to find that there are real, potential alternatives and options for radio audience measurement and we are moving forward aggressively to review them,” said Jess Hanson, who chairs the evaluation team and is Senior Vice President of Research for Clear Channel Radio. “The evaluation team was impressed with the ingenuity and proven track record of several of the finalists and is particularly interested in the cell phone as a measurement device.”

The three companies will be invited to present their electronic ratings systems in more depth later this month. The evaluation team will then determine how many finalists proceed to a live test stage. No further information will be disclosed about the submissions as the evaluation team continues its examination of the three surviving finalists. A live test period is still planned to begin in the Spring. Implementation is still expected in 2006.

An aggressive schedule for better measurement

Support for the evaluation team and the RFP process continues to be strong.

“I applaud Clear Channel and the industry for doing its homework before making an important investment in a tool that will be so central to the success of the industry for years to come,” said Mark A. Kaline, Global Media Manager for Ford Motor Company. “I’m impressed with the speed and thoroughness with which the evaluation team has worked.”

The review and roll-out process is not yet a year old and continues to move aggressively. Clear Channel Radio issued the original request for proposals in June 2005 with a deadline of December 15th and then convened a cross-industry evaluation team, comprising a cross-section of radio companies, media buyers, advertisers and industry professionals. Seven finalists were named in December and reviewed by the team over the next two months.

“This is a vital process for our industry,” said Lew Dickey, CEO of Cumulus Media. “We’re impressed with the options selected by the evaluation team.”

“The work of this evaluation team will ensure that we make the best choice,” said Joel Hollander, CEO and Chairman of CBS Radio. “We must be patient enough to fully evaluate each of our options. A bad choice, made immediately, is the worst possible circumstance for all involved.”

“Radio is clearly moving towards electronic measurement and we are focused on selecting the best possible vehicle to make the transition,” said David J. Field, president and CEO of Entercom Communications Corp. “However, it is critically important that we deploy the best technology for the future that will fairly and accurately reflect radio listening levels, not just rubber stamp the incumbent's proposed solution.”

Radio companies represented on the evaluation team are: ABC, Bonneville, CBS Radio, Clear Channel Radio, Cox Radio, Cumulus, Emmis, Entercom, Entravision, Greater Media, Journal, Radio One, Regent and Susquehanna. Media buyers include: CIA Media:Edge, Initiative, Mediacom and MPG. Representing advertisers is Ford Motor Company.

For more information on this press release, please contact:
Richard Silman
Chief Executive Officer
Ipsos UK
+44 (208) 861-5515

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Cross-Industry Evaluation Team Will Move Forward with Three Contenders for Radio’s Next-Generation, Electronic Ratings System

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Richard Silman
Chief Executive Officer
Ipsos UK