UK Radio Ratings Body Sued by Miffed Media Mini-Mogul

17 March 2004

After huffing and puffing for over a year Kelvin MacKenzie, chairman/ceo of British radio minnow The Wireless Group, is finally putting his money -- or Rupert Murdoch's money, to be precise -- where his mouth is.

MacKenzie, a former tabloid editor, is famed for sound and fury signifying nothing. But he now says a writ has been issued against RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) claiming over £66 million ($119.5m; €97.55m) in compensation for allegedly under-rating the reach of TWG's flagship Talksport and sixteen smaller radio stations.

MacKenzie avers that Talksport is losing £1.5m in revenues, based on advertising that might have been attracted by higher audience numbers. Says he: "Incredibly, I have spent more than three years of my life trying to persuade the radio industry that the diary, pencil and short-term memory should be replaced by a technology that measures radio audiences more accurately.

"My opponents have tried desperately to kick the issue into the long grass because they are making a hell of a lot of money out of this fraudulent system."

The figure of £66m is based on the premise that if TWG claims damages from August 2000 (when it first urged RAJAR to introduce electronic measurement) "then they would amount, before tax, to more than £66m together with interest up to judgement [date] which is expected to be in March next year".

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff