Programmers were torn about the benefits of the portable people meter (PPM), during the "Radio Days" panel held April 21 at the Eden Roc Resort as part of the Billboard Latin Music Conference.

Al Fuentes, PD/host for Spanish BRaodcasting Network (SBS), first described PPM as "disastrous," but later pointed out that PPM lets stations know, in real time, what works and what doesn't.

Host Leticia del Monte had an alternative measurement to go by. "None of these systems is exact," she said. "What is exact is the Internet and we can't deny that. You need to duplicate the Internet, making programming available on Facebook, MySpace."

Later, when asked about strategies to keep an audience listening, Marilyn Santiago, president of Sunshine Integrated Solutions, said it was necessary to go back to "good 'ol radio. Talk only what's necessary, no clutter," she said.

Fuentes talked about the importance of promoting upcoming programming and making that enticing for the listener to ensure he or she remains listening.

Morning shows, whose racy content often galls artists and labels, were also a topic of conversation, and one which programmers spoke about bluntly.

While artists go to shows wanting to talk about their music, they said, audiences want to hear something quite different.

"What people want to know about the artist is, how much money they make and who they're sleeping with," said Santiago.

"People want to know where you were born, what you like to eat," added Fuentes. "No one is interested in what your album sounds like. That you speak about at the very end."