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Classical KUSC President Dismisses Disastrous Arbitron Ratings

Per Mike Boehm of the the LA Times, in this corner we have KUSC 91.5 FM president Brenda Barnes. She thinks that latest Arbitron figures, which show a 63% drop in “core listeners” since 2009, fail to take into proper account the college-graduate demographic.

In the other corner, there is Arbitron spokesman Thom Mocarsky. He stands by the figures for the period ending October 10 and says that if anything, the college-grad tier has been previously over-represented.

While Barnes deflected these numbers via email and KUSC’s total individual donor totals have actually increased from 2011 to 2012, a former employee hints the president may in fact be aware of what Arbitron is reporting:

Kimberlea Daggy, a veteran KUSC host who lost her afternoon weekday slot over the summer, said that when Barnes told her she was being let go on July 20, she cited drooping ratings and drops in donations. “I was told that the station had lost half its listeners and a million dollars in the last year,” Daggy said.

Barnes said the station doesn’t comment on personnel matters.

Earlier this year, KUSC acquired three simulcasting Bay Area classic music stations, which Barnes oversees with the help of Bill Lueth. Overall, she does not sound too worried in the article, which ends with her questioning Arbitron’s methodology. To read Boehm’s piece, click here.

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