Arbitron Settles Lawsuit Over Undercounting Minorities

Radio ratings company Arbitron will revamp a new measurement system to make it properly account for minorities, according to a settlement announced Wednesday.

Last Updated: January 15, 2009 @ 8:08 PM

Radio ratings company Arbitron will revamp a new measurement system to make it properly account for minorities, according to a settlement announced Wednesday with the New York and New Jersey attorney general’s offices. The states sued Arbitron three months ago, accusing the company of failing to account for young black and Hispanic residents, people who do not speak English, and cellphone-only households. Minority-oriented radio stations said Arbitron-rated audience size dropped significantly after a new system was put in place,  reports the New York Times. The lower ratings "disenfranchise minority communities and have a devastating impact on small businesses," the minority radio broadcasters said. Arbitron must now "substantially improve" the methodology it uses to record people’s radio listening habits, pay several hundred thousand dollars in fines and launch an ad campaign supporting minority radio.