Do Denver and Boulder Prefer Easy-Listening?

January 2010

Apparently Denver and Boulder are easy-listening kinds of towns---or perhaps we simply overdosed on Christmas music. At least, that's the impression given by new radio ratings from Arbitron's electronic "portable people meters," beeper-like gadgets that allow listeners' habits to be tracked in real-time. Among adults age 25-54, the meters say KOSI 101FM is the most popular radio station, and KOA 850AM is number 10 (via The Denver Post). Talk-format KOA's ratings seemed to fall as the Broncos began to tumble, and it turns out ethnic stations, like Latino KXPK "The Peak," are more popular than previously thought. But how reliable is the new data? The PPM devices are controversial, as The New York Times notes in an article highlighting the recent resignation of Arbitron CEO Michael Skarzynski. Skarzynski uttered a "single imprecise sentence" during Congressional testimony about the rating system changes, saying he was helping a local market through the process when, in fact, he was not. The resignation comes as Arbitron has failed to achieve accreditation for the PPM system in several markets.

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