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Clear Channel Hires Bob Michaels to Head Research

Company turns to an expert in PPM and diary analysis

At a time when many radio groups have diminished or eliminated audience research departments as the economy soured, Clear Channel Radio has created a new research position and hired a former top Arbitron executive to fill that role.

Clear Channel Radio hired Bob Michaels to supervise the broadcaster’s research projects and personnel across its many terrestrial and digital platforms.

Michaels most recently has been consulting clients through his company Bob Michaels’ MediaSense, including Sean Hannity (and he’ll continue to provide services to existing clientele). Before that, he was vice president of PPM programming services for radio and television at Arbitron, where he helped design diary and PPM programming analysis tools.

Michaels becomes executive vice president of research for Clear Channel Radio. Reporting to Tom Owens, Clear Channel Radio’s executive vice president of content/programming, he will supervise Clear Channel-owned research enterprises including Critical Mass Media. The company says he will also work on developing data-based performance metrics to evaluate how the company is doing at building audiences; and he’ll update its methods of data acquisition to make them more accurate and efficient.

Owens said in the announcement that the industry’s transition to electronic measurement creates opportunities for innovations in data organization and analysis. Michael’s “role in designing diary and PPM programming analysis tools, combined with his ability to synthesize this data to rating and revenue benefits, will increase Clear Channel’s consumer insights and distinguish our service for audiences and advertisers.”