ARBITRON REPORTS NET EARNINGS DROP

Releases Ratings Data From 'People Meter' Trial

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Arbitron reported a drop in net earnings for the first quarter, in line with company expectations.

The media and marketing research company saw a 12.6% decrease in net earnings for the first quarter to $14.2 million, or 49 cents per share, from $16.3 million, or 56 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue increased 9.5% to $65.9 million from $60.2 million, in part due to the revenue resulting from the acquisition of Statistical Research Inc.'s RADAR ratings service last July.

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week Arbitron and Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting Corp. resolved an ongoing negotiation to extend Infinity's contract with Arbitron. The new deal gives Infinity's radio stations access to Arbitron's Winter 2002 quarterly radio ratings until the release of the next quarterly report.

Also this week, Arbitron announced initial ratings results from the second phase of its Portable People Meter trial, which monitors viewing and listening habits through pager-size devices worn by 1,500 consumers 24-hours-a-day in Philadelphia.

The devices pick up inaudible codes that network, cable and radio broadcasters embedded in their programming. Arbitron said the People Meter measured higher audiences for TV and radio than did existing measurement methods, including its own radio diaries and Nielsen meter and diary estimates.

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