Skarzynski Out as Arbitron President
Rep. Edolphus Towns, a critic of the company's Portable People Meters, says exec "may" have provided false testimony in hearing
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/11/2010 5:57:15 PM
According to the company, Skarzynski resigned after the board concluded he had "violated a company policy in a matter entirely unrelated to the financial performance of the company."
An Arbitron spokesperson would not comment on the reasons for the departure, but Edolphus Towns (D-NY), chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, said he had received information Jan. 11 that Skarzynski "may have provided false testimony at a December 2, 2009 hearing" of his committee.
"As Chairman, I am committed to protecting the integrity of the Committee's proceedings," said Towns in a statement, "and will review this matter to determine whether the Committee was intentionally misled and whether further action is warranted."
Arbitron has been under scrutiny in Washington, including on the Hill and at the FCC, for its Portable People Meters, which critics say undercount minorities. Arbitron has said it has been working to improve the technology, which it stands behind.
Towns committee released a report back in September concluding that, among other things, "the ratings company was not sufficiently recruiting Spanish-dominant Hispanics for its survey." Arbitron countered that the conclusions were erroneous.
The report was released after the committee subpoenaed the Media Ratings Council for documents of its oversight of the PPM. MRC was created by Congress back in the 1960s to independently vet media ratings, though its seal of approval is not necessary for a company or technology to operate in the space.
Kerr has been a director since 2007 and has been chairman of the board of Meredith. He has also been on the boards of Interpublic Group, Whirlpool and the Principal Financial Group.
"Bill's service as a member of Arbitron's Board of Directors should provide a fast and effective transition into his new role," said Arbitron Board Chair Philip Guarascio.
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