Recently retired former CBS Radio President Dan Mason (seen here with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai and Radio Ink Publisher Deborah Parenti) was a keynote speaker at Radio Ink’s Hispanic Radio Conference in Fort Lauderdale Wednesday, and he made some news. Mason told the crowd that when the Portable People Meter was introduced back in 2006, he was all for it. He said PPM was going to put a shiny new coat of paint on radio. Now, with a decade of ratings experience in the rearview, Mason says he was wrong.
Mason said that when former CBS radio researcher, master of the all-news format, and ratings expert the late Roy Shapiro told him radio would be better off spending all that money on improving the diary system, he didn’t believe it. “When PPM came out, I was jumping up and down,” Mason said. “I was all for it. I didn’t listen to Roy. I wanted to make radio the shiny new thing.” Mason also made reference to Nielsen’s Brad Kelly, who recently said the diary system still has legs, even today.
Mason said, “Roy was right and I was wrong.” Then he elaborated on what the industry has done since radio began programming to the PPM. “I thought, ‘Wow, look at what we’ve done.’ We’ve made determinations about talent based on PPM. We’ve reformatted clocks and music based on what people were allegedly wearing on their belt.”