"Arbitron has named this "the year of the 25-34 male." After their many creative tactics last year "successfully" improved sample return from 18-24 males and Hispanic households, non-ethnic broadcasters in Los Angeles and Fresno, among other markets, are upset about strange results and outright mistakes that make them feel disenfranchised."
On December 29, 1995, Mike Bettelli, J.J. Cook and I wrote a "Share Points" memo for BP Consulting Group (now, Jones Radio Networks) clients that contained that paragraph, a reminder of just how long vexing sample proportionality issues have been nagging away at consistent radio ratings. We concluded that mid-1990's article with a prediction:
"The diary remains the cheapest, most efficient means of measuring radio usage. But, it comes with all the disadvantages of direct mail advertising - very poor response rates and the problems of accurately crediting unaided recall. As long as direct mail responsive people are the majority of the in-tab sample, up to nine diaries can be delivered to one household - for example, a dorm or barracks room with a telephone in it, one person in a family can fill out multiple diaries and give 400+ quarter hours of listening to one station in a week --- keep the name of your ARB sales rep and Arbitron Affiliates Advisory Council member handy. You'll probably need it. Especially if your station targets females or adults 35+."
It's hard to believe that was written 13 years ago, eh? It could have been written yesterday.