Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Saga, Ed Christian, and Steve Goldstein rank high on my list of the most admired, fastidious and committed radio broadcasters. 

What a shock to read that they've gone from being leading members of the Arbitron Affiliates Advisory Council to the subject of a lawsuit by the ratings giant.

If Saga is guilty, who among us isn't guilty of something that Arbitron's attorneys decide is worth making business life difficult?

Anyone who knows Ed and Steve has to be aware that they run one of the tightest ships in radio, so if ARB has decided to send a message to the industry that when it comes to business matters, they're not at all concerned about being friendly and cooperative to all of their customers, they chose a great target.

This one is going to be worth watching, and yet most Arbitron legal actions against non-subscribing stations are kept under wraps, so we may never know the outcome in court.

Meanwhile, the list of generonyms just grew by one more word. 

Don't even think of calling it "an ARB bonus" in internal staff memos or employment contracts unless you are an Arbitron subscriber!

1 comment:

Tom Taylor "NOW" said...

Arbitron alleges, with very few specifics so far, that management and employees at Saga’s Milwaukee cluster “regularly obtained copies” of Arbitron’s copyrighted PPM data, over a period of about 2-1/2 years. Saga’s only comment so far is CEO Ed Christian’s quote that “we have referred this to our intellectual property law firm for study.” Saga doesn’t subscribe to Arbitron in Milwaukee or any other of its markets. Company policy is to ask AEs, sales managers and GMs to sign a document about the situation – that Saga doesn’t subscribe to Arbitron, and that using copyrighted material is grounds for termination. A couple of years ago, Ed Christian was even invited by Arbitron to one of its management meetings, to talk about why his company doesn’t use the ratings. Interestingly, Saga is a subscriber to the Arbitron-run Scarborough qualitative service. Another thing – Ed Christian’s been around intellectual property issues for years, as an active member of the industry’s Radio Music License Committee. Wall Street was unfazed by news of the suit. Stock in Saga (“SGA”) rose about 1% yesterday, 43 cents, to close at $46.28.