Archive for August 14th, 2009

New group to challenge Nielsen

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Some of the nation’s biggest advertisers, media agencies, and broadcast and cable TV networks are joining to compete against the Nielsen ratings service, Financial Times reports. Nielsen Media Research controls the measurement of U.S. TV audiences through the polling of some 18,000 homes and, based on those measurements, influences billions of dollars of advertising revenue.

The group  includes networks owned by NBC Universal, Time Warner, News Corp, Viacom, CBS, Discovery and Disney, advertisers Procter & Gamble, AT&T and Unilever, and media agencies such as Group M and the Starcom MediaVest Group.

“The involvement of such big names highlights how urgently advertisers feel the need for better information to justify their returns on investments from ads that run across multiple media platforms,” Financial Times says.

The consortium appears to be focused on getting single-source data that measures cross-platform TV and digital viewing, says TV Week. It is expected to be up and running next month and commissioning data by the fourth quarter.

Would-be competitors to Nielsen in the 1980s and 1990s ultimately failed because they didn’t get enough financial support from the media community, TV Week says.

WRAL drops N&O from show

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Raleigh TV Station WRAL has kicked The News & Observer and its executive editor, John Drescher, off of its “Headline Saturday” public affairs show, Drescher reports in The Editor’s Blog on the N&O site.

“This week, Steve Hammel, WRAL’s general manager, called to say he was changing the format of the show. (WRAL anchor  David) Crabtree will host alone and the show won’t be affiliated with The N&O, although N&O reporters could be invited to appear from time to time,” Drescher writes. The move is to speed the pace of the show; since Drescher and other N&O staffers who appear are not paid, it’s not about cost, he adds.

The 30-minute show has been on the air since 2002, originally on Sunday and hosted by Crabtree and Melanie Sill, then The N&O’s executive editor. Drescher took over in 2007.

Drescher got a two-week notice – his last show will air August 22.