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Arbitron tunes into deal

Inks multiyear deal with Clear Channel Radio

Radio ratings firm Arbitron has averted what could have been a major setback by inking a multiyear deal to provide its ratings data reports to the radio division of media giant Clear Channel. Terms of the new pact, which covers all Clear Channel Radio stations in 99 markets and some of its stations in 31 more, weren’t disclosed.

Earlier this year, Clear Channel Radio told Arbitron it didn’t intend to pick up contracts that expired in fall or winter 2000 for the spring 2001 book. At the time, Arbitron warned that losing the business could cost it up to $14 million in lost revenue. Clear Channel Radio, which owns nearly 1,200 stations across the country, is by far Arbitron’s biggest customer, repping 22% of its 2000 sales.

With the new pact in place, the firm is now under contract to provide ratings information in all of the 187 Clear Channel Radio markets for which Arbitron collects data through fall 2004.

News vaulted Arbitron’s NYSE-listed shares up nearly 5% to $27.30 in Monday’s trading, even as the broader market tumbled.

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