Author: Katie Dombrowski

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Does it seem like your favorite radio station starts playing holiday music earlier and earlier every year? There might be a reason for that. Warren Kurtzman explains the all-holiday format in this classic 2007 interview. 

Coleman Insights Names Katie Dombrowski as Communications Manager

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, January 30, 2013Media research firm Coleman Insights announced today that it hired Katie Dombrowski as the company’s Communications Manager.  Dombrowski returns to Coleman Insights after leaving 18 months ago to serve as a key staff member for a North Carolina Lieutenant Governor candidate during campaign season.  Her appointment is effective immediately.

“We are very excited to have Katie back on the Coleman team,” said Coleman Insights President and Chief Operating Officer Warren Kurtzman, who made the announcement.  “As Communications Manager, Katie will focus on all external communications and marketing for the company.  Her expertise in social media and public relations will play a vital role in communicating the insights we deliver to our clients and the industries we serve under our Coleman Insights, Music Forecasting and knowDigital brands.”

Prior to leaving in 2011, Dombrowski worked for Coleman Insights as a Field Coordinator for two years, giving her a valuable understanding of music research operations.  Dombrowski previously held multiple Communications Specialist positions with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington from which she holds a B.A. degree in Communications Studies.


Coleman Insights Finds that Large Daily Cumes, Multiple Listening Sessions and Out-of-Home Listenership Differentiate Canada’s High Performance Radio Stations

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, March 22, 2012 – The radio stations that perform best under BBM Canada’s Portable People Meter (PPM) audience measurement in Canada’s five largest markets are differentiated by their abilities to attract large daily Cume audiences, get listeners to tune into them multiple times each day and generate significant out-of-home listening.  These are the key findings of “The PPM DNA of Canada’s High Performance Stations,” a new study released today by media firm Coleman Insights.   A presentation of these findings was debuted this morning in a session at Canadian Music Week’s RadioActive conference in Toronto.

“Our findings are similar to those we uncovered in a similar analysis of American PPM data in 2009” said Coleman Insights vice president Doug Hyde, who authored the study and presented its findings in Toronto with Coleman Insights president and chief operating officer Warren Kurtzman.  “They support the idea that those radio stations that are well-known, have clearly-defined positions and have brand attributes that listeners want to affiliate with are the most likely to perform well under PPM measurement.”

The study compared a full year of audience data on 13 “High Performance Stations”—so designated because their Adults 18-49 audience shares were significantly larger than the shares of competing stations—to 68 other stations in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver using InfoSys+ Radio software from BBM Analytics.  Among other findings, this comparison revealed that:

  • The average Daily Cume Rating of the High Performance Stations was 130% higher than the average for the non-High Performance Stations
  • High Performance Stations achieved slightly higher Time Spent Listening levels, primarily because they generate an average of 5.6 listening sessions per day, 15% more than the 4.9 average number of daily listening sessions generated by non-High Performance Stations
  • At 69.9%, the proportion of listening High Performance Stations generate out-of-home is higher than the 62.9% of listening generated out-of-home by non-High Performance stations

A detailed written report summarizing the study’s findings is available here.


Radio Delivers 93 Percent of its Lead-In Audience During the Average Commercial Break

Comprehensive study of 18 million commercial breaks across 48 markets indicates radio maintains its audience delivery when the spots come on;

Arbitron, Media Monitors and Coleman Insights expand on landmark 2006 study

NEW YORK; December 7, 2011 –Radio delivers more than 93 percent of its lead-in audience during the average commercial break, according to a new study of radio ratings data and commercial occurrence data conducted by Arbitron, Media Monitors and Coleman Insights.

What Happens When the Spots Come On: 2011 Edition is a comprehensive update of a landmark 2006 study on the radio audience behavior during commercial breaks. Both studies took advantage of the increased precision of passive electronic measurement, both for radio audiences and for commercial occurrences.

The 2011 study of minute-by-minute audience levels across 48 top radio markets again demonstrates that radio maintains its audience delivery during commercial breaks, contrary to the common misperception among advertisers, agencies and even radio executives that audiences during commercial breaks are a fraction of the numbers that were listening to the station just before the commercials began.

For the 2011 study, Arbitron, Media Monitors and Coleman Insights analyzed 18 million commercial breaks, 62 million minutes of commercials and 866 stations for a year of audience data from all 48 PPM markets to compare the audience level for each minute of a commercial break to the audience for the minute before the commercials began.

Key findings of the 2011 study include:

• One to three-minute commercial breaks deliver radio audiences levels that are  practically the same as the lead-in audience. The average minute audience during one-minute breaks is equal to the lead-in audience for that break; two-minute breaks deliver 99 percent of their lead-in average minute audiences; and three minute breaks deliver 96 percent of their lead-in audience levels.

• Longer spot breaks of four to six minutes-plus delivered an average minute audience that was nearly 90 percent of the lead-in audience. Four-minute breaks delivered 92 percent of the lead-in audience; five-minute breaks delivered 87 percent. Even spot breaks of six minutes or longer delivered an average minute audience that was 85 percent of the audience level before the commercials began.

• Commercial breaks in morning drive deliver 97 percent of their lead-in audience, on average. The higher percentage during mornings is driven by shorter commercial breaks during morning compared with other time periods and the higher number of people who are first tuning into radio early in the day than those who tune out.

• Among teens and persons aged 18 to 24, radio delivers nearly 90 percent of its lead-in audience during commercial breaks. Among people age 65 and older, radio delivers 98 percent of the lead-in audience once the commercials come on.

New findings unique to the more comprehensive 2011 study include:

• There is little difference by market in terms of the average audience delivery during commercial breaks. Of the 48 markets studied, three markets with the highest percentage delivered an average of 95 percent of their lead-in audience levels during commercial breaks and the three markets with the smallest percentage delivered an average of 91 percent of their lead-in audience levels.

• Audience delivery during commercial breaks was consistent throughout the year. Radio commercial breaks delivered between 93 percent and 94 percent of lead-in audience levels during each month of the year.

These findings stand in stark contrast to the perceptions of the advertiser/agency industry and even of radio broadcasters about the impact of commercials on the radio audience. In a web poll conducted by Arbitron and Coleman Insights, people identifying themselves as members of the advertiser/agency industry (362 responses) said that, on average, the size of the audience during a radio commercial break is only 68 percent of the size of the audience before the commercial began. On average, respondents identifying themselves as members of the radio industry (1,178 responses) believe radio holds only 78 percent of the audience during commercials.

“Radio does a remarkable job of maintaining its audience delivery when the commercials come on,” said Bill Rose, senior vice president, Marketing, Arbitron Inc. “Now that the Portable People Meter service can track radio audiences across 48 top markets, we can now demonstrate how radio constantly replenishes its audience with new listeners during commercial breaks. Today we know that the medium can deliver an average of 93 percent of its lead-in audience levels on a consistent basis, no matter the market, the daypart or the time of year.”

“The incredible ability of radio stations to deliver audiences during commercial breaks suggests that programmers should not obsess over their stations’ spot placement strategies,” said Warren Kurtzman, president and chief operating officer, Coleman Insights. “There is no doubt that running excessive commercial inventory can undermine a station’s brand and hurt its long-term performance, but we see very little evidence that commercials cause nearly as much audience tune-out in the short term as many radio industry professionals believe.”

“Our Media Monitors technical team did an amazing job of computing a massive full year of spot break information on US radio. To our knowledge, this is the first study of this magnitude ever done. We’re thrilled to continue writing the book on audience behavior for Radio,” said Philippe Generali, president, Media Monitors.

A copy of the full report detailing the study’s findings and implications are available here.

How the study was conducted:

This study looks at the 866 radio stations measured by Media Monitors and Arbitron across all 48 Portable People Meter-measured radio markets in the United States during the months of October 2010 through September 2011. All told, the study analyzed 17,896,325 unique commercial breaks involving 61,902,473 minutes of advertising.

The study analyzed ratings data from Arbitron’s Portable People Meter service to determine the audience during each of these nearly 18 million commercial breaks, ranging in length from one minute to six minutes and longer. The audience for the minute prior to the start of each break (the “lead-in audience”) was compared to the average minute audience during each commercial break.


Coleman Insights Names Amy Crosby as Field Manager

Media Research Firm Also Bolsters Its Field Operations with the Addition of Martin Schwartz as Field Coordinator

 RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, October 5, 2011 – Coleman Insights announced today that Amy Crosby and Martin (Marty) Schwartz have joined the media research firm as field manager and field coordinator, respectively.  The announcement was made by David Baird, director of research operations at Coleman Insights.

 “Amy and Marty both have skills and experience that make them ideally suited to oversee our field operations,” said Baird.  “In their new roles, they will continue to ensure that the research projects we deliver are fielded according to the high standards Coleman Insights clients expect of us.”

As field manager, Crosby will oversee Coleman Insights’ relationships with the partner firms that recruit and interview consumers for a wide array of research studies, including those conducted via telephone, online and in-person.  She brings more than a decade of project management and research experience to Coleman Insights, having most recently served as project coordinator for FDH Engineering.  Crosby holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and a master of public health degree from the University of Massachusetts.

Schwartz, as field coordinator, will serve as a liaison between the Coleman Insights staff and the company’s fielding partners.  He has more than 30 years of business experience in a wide variety of settings, including state government, finance, mining and—most prominently—information technology.  The graduate of the University of South Carolina most recently ran his own information technology consulting business.


Coleman Insights Announces Three Promotions in its Research Department

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, May 31, 2011 – Coleman Insights announced today the promotions of Jennifer Donnelly and Mandy Couch to the positions of senior research analyst and Karen Wayne to the position of field coordinator.  The announcement was made by David Baird, director of research operations for the media research firm.

“These promotions are in recognition of the outstanding contributions Jennifer, Mandy and Karen have made to the success of our clients and our company,” said Baird.  “In their new positions, I am confident that they will continue to enhance the insights we bring to our clients.”

As senior research analysts, Donnelly—who graduated from Western Carolina University and has been with Coleman Insights for more than 16 years—and Couch—an 11-year veteran of the company, who is a graduate of North Carolina State University—will work with the company’s senior executives analyzing the results of strategic and music research studies.  Both have extensive knowledge and passion for music and focus their expertise on the results of the FACT™ Strategic Music Tests utilized by dozens of Coleman Insights’ radio station clients.  Prior to their promotions, Donnelly and Couch held the titles of research analyst.

Wayne, who joined Coleman Insights as a field assistant in 2010, will serve as a liaison between the company’s staff and partner firms who recruit and interview consumers for a wide array of research studies, including those conducted via telephone, online and in-person.  She is a graduate of the University of Illinois.


Coleman Insights Releases Advice to New Radio Programmers in PPM-Measured Markets

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, March 17, 2011 – “Top Ten Things to Do as a New PD in a PPM Market,” a list of strategic guidelines for new radio programmers in North American markets measured by the Portable People Meter™ (PPM™) services from Arbitron, Inc. and BBM Canada, is now available for free downloads at  The list is based on a presentation delivered by Coleman Insights chairman and chief executive officer Jon Coleman at the Arbitron Client Conference held in Baltimore in December 2010.   It provides practical, straight-forward advice to programmers who are adapting to the new PPM audience measurement service that now covers over 50 of the largest radio markets in the United States and Canada.

“While there are no immediate plans to expand PPM measurement of radio beyond the current list of markets, there are programmers moving from diary-measured markets to PPM-measured markets who we feel can benefit from this advice, which is based on our company’s extensive research and experience with this measurement system ,” said Jon Coleman.  “The list should also provide a good refresher for PDs who have been competing in PPM-measured markets for a few years.”

“This very simple yet comprehensive to-do list will be helpful to PDs in both diary and PPM markets,” added Arbitron, Inc. vice president of programming services and development Gary Marince.  “The reaction to Jon’s presentation at our client conference was very positive. Now these insights are available to an even broader audience.”

Portable People Meter™ and PPM™ are marks of Arbitron, Inc.


Results of CRS 2011 Country Radio P1 Research Study Now Available Online

NASHVILLE, TN & RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, March 9, 2011 – The complete results of the Country radio P1 research study presented at CRS 2011 are now available online at and

Sponsored by Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. and the Country Music Association, the in-depth study polled 5,000 12-to 64-year-old P1 Country radio listeners about their music consumption habits, new media usage and the overall state of Country Music. A parallel study, which polled music and radio executives, was also conducted to gauge industry perceptions versus those of the consumer.

North Carolina-based media research firm Coleman Insights conducted the research. Results were trended against the last CRB-commissioned Country radio P1 study, presented at CRS in 2007.

The 2011 study suggests that consumers perceive the overall health and appeal of Country Music as significantly more positive than industry professionals do. Eighty-three percent of Country P1s perceive that they are “listening more” to Country radio today than one year ago, with 51 percent suggesting the reason why is because “Country Music is better” now.

New media usage among Country radio consumers appears to be growing at a comparable rate to the rest of the population. Seventy-five percent of Country radio P1s own an Internet-connected PC or Mac computer, two-thirds own a game console, half own an iPod or mp3 player and nearly 50 percent own a smartphone device.

Additionally, radio is still the medium that makes consumers feel “most connected” to Country Music and remains the most consistent means of new music discovery for them. However, more than one-third of P1s have used new music discovery service, Pandora, and indicate that they are “likely” to use it in an automobile if available.

“We are pleased to present the complete findings of our 2011 Country radio listener P1 study to the public,” says Coleman Insights President/Chief Operating Officer Warren Kurtzman. “We hope that the data collected from more than 5,000 core listeners helps the Country radio industry continue in its growth and encourages it to explore new opportunities, particularly in the new media marketplace. Country radio remains healthy today, and its future looks bright.”

Adds CRB Executive Director Bill Mayne, “The results of this year’s study marks a positive step in our understanding of the Country radio consumer. It also provides a wealth of information that we can use going forward to strengthen our relationships between Country radio and our listeners.”

Participants in the CRB 2011 Country radio listener P1 study were polled via email and online questionnaires between Feb. 7-18, 2011.

To view the complete findings of the 2011 CRB Country Radio P1 listener research study, visit or


Coleman Insights Releases Online Presentation of “Successful Streaming Audio Strategies”

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, December 9, 2010 –  Coleman Insights announced today that an online presentation of “Successful Audio Streaming Strategies,” the study the company debuted at the RAIN Summer East in September, is now available on its website. Visitors to can access a multimedia presentation of the study’s findings, as well as the original study report.

“We have received a lot of requests for the presentation from those who could not attend the RAIN Summit East,” said Coleman Insights Vice President Sam Milkman, who delivered the debut presentation of the study. “Now anyone who would like to see the insights about the streaming audio consumers we presented in Washington can easily do so.”

Among key findings of the study are the low awareness levels and relatively shallow perceptions consumers who use streaming audio have of the options available to them. The study also includes comparison of consumers’ perceptions and usage of Internet-only streaming audio services such as Pandora with the offerings of terrestrial AM/FM radio stations.


Coleman Insights Finds that Nearly Half of Audio Streaming Listeners Do not Use “Over the Air” Broadcasts

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, December 9, 2010 – Nearly half—48%—of Americans who listen to streaming audio do not use the “over the air” broadcasts of AM and FM radio stations.  This is the latest finding from the “Successful Audio Streaming Strategies” study from Coleman Insights, which was conducted during the second and third quarters of 2010.  Coleman Insights released previous findings from the study in September.

“On the surface these numbers should be of some concern to radio broadcasters,” said Coleman Insights Vice President Sam Milkman, who authored the study.  “However, our findings suggest that they are not the result of many streaming audio users disengaging from radio brands, but simply changing the distribution platform they use to consume radio content.”

Additional findings from the “Successful Audio Streaming Strategies” study released today include the fact that younger streaming audio users—particularly young males—are even less likely to use “over the air” signals than older streamers, minority streaming audio users are less likely to listen to broadcast signals than non-minority users and that the mostly positive perceptions of AM and FM radio that streaming audio listeners have are shared by those streamers who do not listen to “over the air” signals.

A supplement to the original “Successful Audio Streaming Strategies” report is available for free download at  In addition, visitors to Coleman Insights’ website can download the report and view an online presentation from the original release of the study, which debuted at the RAIN Summit East in Washington on September 28, 2010.