FCC to examine Arbitron ratings method

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The Federal Communications Commission has launched an inquiry into Arbitron’s Portable People Meter, the ratings methodology scheduled to roll-out in the top 50 markets by next summer. The commission is responding to concerns of “broadcasters, media organizations and others” about how the PPM methodology affects ratings of stations targeting minority audiences, according to the notice of public inquiry released yesterday. “I want to emphasize that this proceeding is not about preserving the status quo or inhibiting technological progress,” said Michael Copps, FCC acting chairman, in a statement posted here. “To the contrary, Arbitron should be commended for trying to improve its ratings methodology and for committing significant resources to that effort.”