The Ratings Game eBook

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The Ratings Game eBook


Tracy Johnson pulls back the curtain and shows broadcasters how the radio ratings system works, including secrets ratings companies don’t want you to know.

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The radio ratings system is broken. The ridiculousness of the process continues and it appears broadcasters are doing little to fix or replace it.
Every market has stories about crazy ratings swings that can be traced to one or two households. In some cases, a single meter or two affects millions of dollars in ad spending. Yet management continues to anguish over monthly or quarterly changes and programmers adjust formats based on data that is clearly unreliable. Yet that’s what the programming success is still measured against.

As long as the existing system is in place, the game is real. To win and dominate The Ratings Game, every programmer and manager must know how the game is played. This 66-page eBook explains it in detail, along with strategies and tactics to dominate.


  • Details on how ratings are gathered, calculated, and presented, from the first contact with a respondent to the finished market report.
  • The math behind how to gain credit from listening.
  • An explanation for why sample sizes are so low, and the consequences on your results.
  • Ratings Pros and Cons: Find out who participates and how this knowledge should affect the way you program and perform.
  • PPM or Diary: Both methodologies are explained, with a detailed discussion on the pros and cons.
  • Why Top Of Mind Awareness is still one of the most important factors in winning the game-even for PPM markets.
  • Each component of the ratings process and why it matters to your station.
  • How most programmers misunderstand P1 listeners. Adjust your thinking and your programming will change.
  • The amazing value of Superlisteners!
  • 3 ways to win the ratings game…but one is most effective.
  • How to deal with a bad ratings period without freaking out.
  • Inside tips and the best practices for winning in any market.


What They Say

This book should be required reading for every GM, PD, and air personality. The first page alone shines more truth on the ratings system than I’ve seen or heard anywhere else. This is an invaluable presentation for newbies and seasoned vets who need a refresher.
-Veteran Radio Programmer Randy “RDub” Williams.

I’ve read this one more than a few times.  It’s an honest assessment of how the ‘game’ is played and how to set the cadence for winning in a tough environment.  This book stays in my folder of info that is vital to my success.  -Don Rau, Air Personality.