Protest over Radio One’s decision to drop Warren Ballentine and Rev. Al Sharpton from 102.5 FM line-up
Inside Atlanta Radio — A group of Atlanta listeners of the Warren Ballentine and Rev. Al Sharpton radio shows on WAMJ 102.5 FM will protest against Radio One’s decision to drop the shows and the group urges other listeners to join in a boycott of 102.5 FM and all other Radio One stations in the Atlanta market. The protest demonstration is scheduled for Monday, February 16, 2009 outside the station’s offices at 101 Marietta St at the corner of Spring St.
The group of protesting listeners also encourage other WAMJ 102.5 FM listeners to help boycott the station by tuning into 104.1 FM instead to show support for re-instating Ballentine and Sharpton’s shows on 102.5 FM.
The group believes 102.5 FM, a Radio One affiliate, used flawed data from an Arbitron monitoring system called Portable People Monitors (PPM) to make the decision to drop the shows from their line-up. The Portable People Meter is a mobile phone-sized device that consumers wear throughout the day that works by detecting identification codes that can be embedded in the audio portion of any transmission.
The group of listeners cites the December 2008 PPM Client Update, which reports only 1,946 people carried this monitor in the Atlanta market. Of the 1,946 persons selected, 623 were Black, 158 were Hispanic and 1,165 were an unspecified “other”, (http://www.arbitron.com/downloads/monthlyppmclientupdate12_31_08.pdf). When this data was coupled with a Jan. 7 report that Arbitron settled several PPM lawsuits which alleged that the rating company engaged in deceptive marketing in the deployment of its portable people meters, the group of listeners became suspicious.
A New York suit also charged Arbitron with failing to disclose flaws in the New York PPM that resulted in the underrepresentation of African-American and Hispanic radio listeners, causing financial harm to minority broadcasters in the market, (http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/local-broadcast/e3i8e621449d41d95c1226913969aa0f808).
“How do we know that the embedded codes in the PPMs were programmed accurately to identify the transmission of either the Ballentine or Sharpton shows in the Atlanta market?” asks Tosha Johnson, organizer for the protest demonstration and boycott. “We demand that Warren Ballentine’s show be reinstated! We will boycott every avenue Radio One has until they place him back into the Atlanta market.”
Johnson urges all 102.5 FM listeners to heed the group’s call to action for the protest and boycott. “These two radio shows educate and empower people to stand up and take action for themselves, and, in turn, give back to their communities. Everything will be done to prevent the removal of these two icons from the Atlanta air waves. The people will be heard! We are expecting at least dozens, if not hundreds, to join us for the protest demonstration on Feb.16,” she says, “And the boycott of 102.5 FM and all the Atlanta market Radio One stations could involve tens of thousands of listeners.”
Answer the call to action by:
Attending the protest demonstration
When: Monday, February 16, 2009
Time: 8AM – 4PM
Where: WAMJ 102.5 offices at 101 Marietta St. at the corner of Spring St., Atlanta, GA 30303
And “tune out” WAMJ 102.5 FM, 97.5 FM, 102.5 FM, 107.9 FM and BlackPlanet by tuning into 104.1 instead.
Sign and distribute the petition that is being circulated:
Call, write, fax 102.5 FM and demand the Ballentine and Sharpton shows be reinstated:
Office General Info: 404-765-9750 and ask for Derek Harper
Office General Fax: 404-688-7686
Email Radio One
firstname.lastname@example.org or IR@radio-one.com
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