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Arbitron, Inc. (ARB)

Business Update Call

January 12, 2008 5:00 pm ET


Thomas Mocarsky – Senior Vice President Press & Investor Relations

Stephen B. Morris – Chairman of the Board, President & Chief Executive Officer

Sean R. Creamer – Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President Finance and Planning

Michael P. Skarzynski – President & Chief Executive Officer


Alexia Quadrani – JP Morgan



Welcome to the Arbitron business update call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks there will be a question and answer session. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Thomas Mocarsky, Senior Vice President Press and Investor Relations.

Thomas Mocarsky

Welcome to the Arbitron business update call. I’m Tom Mocarsky and I’ll be your moderator for today’s call. Today I have the pleasure of introducing Steve Morris, Chairman; Sean Creamer, Chief Financial Officer; and Michael Skarzynski, Arbitron’s newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer.

In today’s call Steve, Michael and Sean will discuss our executive transition, the accreditation of PPM and Riverside, our settlements with the New York and New Jersey Attorney General and the financial implications related to these events. After the presentation, we will be happy to take your questions.

Before we begin today’s presentation, I do want to note that this afternoon’s discussion does include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are within the meaning of the Private Security Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on our current expectations about future events. We’ve derived these expectations from the information currently available to us.

Actual results might differ materially from results projected in forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks. For a discussion of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements, please refer to Arbitron’s 10K for the period ended December 31, 2007, our quarterly report on Form 10Q for the period ended September 30, 2008 and elsewhere and any subsequent periodic or current reports filed by us with the SEC. A copy of all these documents are on file with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

At this time I want to turn the call over to Steve Morris.

Stephen B. Morris

As we indicated in our press release Friday, it seemed a good idea to provide some color on what these recent events mean to Arbitron. We also want to address the issue that many of you have raised as to the cost implications of the enhancements we are making to our service and of course we will cover today’s announcement of CEO succession and the arrival of Michael at Arbitron.

Consistent with our past practice, we will release our annual guidance following final board review of our budget. Historically, that’s in conjunction with the release of our fourth quarter earnings. Since that has not yet occurred we will not be providing detailed guidance today. With that said, there are financial implications associated with some of the recent announcements and Sean will walk you through them later on the call.

Let me comment first on the appointment of Michael Skarzynski as the new CEO of Arbitron. Michael’s arrival is a culmination of a succession process that the board and I initiated three years ago. Our intention was to ensure with so much change taking place in our business and in the media industry that we could accomplish a smooth transition of leadership of the company as I reached retirement age.

I give our board a lot of credit for starting early so that we’ve been able to use the three years to add depth to the executive team preparatory to executing the actual search for a new CEO. This mix of the nominating committee developed recognized the importance of finding a candidate with a mix of public company CEO experience and technology management experience in addition to the usual requirement of strategic and operational skills and leadership talent.

We interviewed a number of excellent candidates and we feel very fortunate to have found someone like Michael who has all those qualities and an enthusiasm for applying them to Arbitron and the many challenges and opportunities that we face in this business. Michael comes from us most recently from Iptivia, a privately held performance management software company where he was CEO.

He was also CEO of Performance Technologies, a publically traded telecommunications and IP networking company and Xebeo which made high performance switches. He also spent three years as assistant secretary of trade development in the Commerce Department. He’s on the call with us this afternoon, although this is his first day and we’re not going to ask him to answer questions about the business but I’m sure he’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about his previous positions or his approach to managing the business like this one.

For my part, I’m not going away. I’m going to stay as non-executive Chairman of the Board for as long a transition period as is required to ensure that Michael gets all the support that he needs and not more. I’ve loved this job over the last 16 years and I’m going to regret leaving the day-to-day challenges and my interactions with all of you. However, it is time for me to move on to a new phase of my own life and it’s time to bring in new leadership that can make the critical decisions to the future with the knowledge that he’ll be here to see the results.

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