As early as 1929, the question of listenership was of interest to broadcasters and advertisers alike. That year, Cooperative Analysis of Broadcasting (CAB), headed by Archibald M. Crossley, undertook a study to determine how many people were tuned to certain network radio programs. Information was gathered by phoning a preselected sample of homes. On the local station level, researchers employed various methods to collect audience data, including telephone interviews and mail-out questionnaires.

In 1938, C.E. Hooper Inc. began the most formidable attempt up to that time to provide radio broadcasters with audience information. Like Crossley’s service, Hooper also used the telephone to accumulate listener ...

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