Former Arbitron CEO Shaker Dead at 83

Aug 18, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Former Arbitron CEO Ted Shaker died Wednesday in New Canaan, Conn. He was 83.

Mr. Shaker was president and CEO of the media and marketing research firm for 17 years, during which he introduced a number of methods to track television viewership. Under Mr. Shaker’s watch, Arbitron developed a system to ensure that minorities, an underrepresented segment of the media audience, would be fairly represented in Arbitron’s research. The company, which was called the American Research Bureau when Mr. Shaker came on board in 1971, increased its revenues from $10 million to $150 million during his tenure.

After serving as a Marine Air Corps combat pilot during World War II, Mr. Shaker accepted his first job in television in 1952 when he joined CBS-TV’s Chicago sales office. He was soon transferred to New York, and later became general sales manager of WXIX-TV in Milwaukee. In 1957 Mr. Shaker became an account executive at CBS in New York, where he was promoted to director of program sales in 1959.

In 1961 Mr. Shaker joined ABC, where he founded ABC Spot Sales and eventually became Group VP, helming the television stations, international, films and spot sales divisions.

Mr. Shaker served on the board of the International Radio and Television Society and was an active member of several organizations in Darien, Conn., and Vero Beach, Fla., where he split his time.

Mr. Shaker is survived by his wife of 60 years, a brother, three children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.