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A Changing of the Guard at Arbitron

Creamer to replace retiring Kerr on Jan. 1

Arbitron EVP/COO Sean Creamer will replace the retiring Bill Kerr as president and chief executive of the audience research firm.

The change is effective Jan. 1, 2013 and Kerr will remain on the board.

The move was expected as Kerr groomed Creamer for the job.

Kerr was chair of Meredith Corp. and on the Arbitron board when he was asked to take over the ratings firm in 2010 after former chief executive officer Michael Skarzynski and the company parted ways eleven months into Skarzynski’s tenure. At the time, Arbitron said Skarzynski resigned after violating a company policy; we reported Skarzynski misspoke during congressional testimony.

At issue was whether the Portable People Meter undercounted minorities and harmed the ratings of minority-owned or programmed stations. During Kerr’s three-year tenure, Arbitron negotiated a compromise with a coalition of minority groups over the issue.

Praising Creamer, Kerr said a priority during his tenure as chief executive officer was to build a strong executive team.

Creamer has been in his current position since 2011; he’s responsible for Arbitron core businesses—ratings, qualitative, and software — and for the execution of Arbitron’s global cross-platform, digital, and mobile growth strategies. He joined Arbitron in 2005 as executive vice president, finance and planning and was promoted to executive vice president, U.S. Media Services, responsible for the company’s radio and cross-platform services and operations in 2010. Prior to joining Arbitron, Creamer was senior vice president and chief financial officer of Laureate Education, Inc.