Nielsen Bails on U.S. Radio Measurement

News Follows Clear Channel-Arbitron Renewal Contract

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- Just two years after announcing its first U.S.-based radio measurement product with Clear Channel and Cumulus as launch clients, Nielsen is tuning out of the radio business. The leading measurement company announced today that it would discontinue its radio measurement offerings, although Nielsen clients will still have access to historical data and limited access to the company's Radio Advisor software. Nielsen also offers radio measurement operations in 11 other international territories, which were not affected by today's announcement.

The news comes on the heels of Clear Channel signing a multi-year, multi-market renewal contract with Arbitron, the leading radio measurement company, that will align the two companies through 2016. Clear Channel is also Arbitron's leading client, representing some 19% of the company's 2009 revenue.

"Going forward Arbitron and Clear Channel will be working closely with other radio groups in an industry-wide advocacy program to further promote the value of radio as the ultimate audio-powered and community-driven medium," said William Kerr, president-CEO of Arbitron Inc.

A Clear Channel spokesperson said simply of the new deal, "Clear Channel Radio recently announced a long-term renewal of its research arrangements with Arbitron that addresses our comprehensive research needs."

Clear Channel is also undergoing shifts in its management, having recentlytapped former MTV Networks CEO Bob Pittman as a consulting chairman and seeing global sales chief John Partilla take a new position as chief operating officer of ad agency Dentsu West. The company is expected to name a new CEO, replacing Mark Mays, in the coming weeks as well.

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