Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nielsen Cuts More

"Cost cutting at The Nielsen Co. has started to affect areas beyond its core Oldsmar TV ratings research center.

Nielsen also has started cutting back employment at its 1,100-person Dunedin call center, where company staff call U.S. residents, trying to recruit them as participants in Nielsen's ratings system.

In Dunedin, Nielsen cut 19 full-time workers in March, 15 part-time workers and 41 temporary workers. Temporary worker ranks normally fluctuate seasonally, said company spokesman Gary Holmes. Nielsen still tracks many TV stations seasonally, meaning the workload rises and falls several times a year."

"In less than a week it's May, and that means networks will be pulling out all the stops to attract viewers' eyeballs.
It's a month when advertisers' rates are calculated, also known as a "sweeps" month. But I would hardly call next month's programming "pulling out all the stops."
CBS has come up with the most boneheaded, ill-conceived idea for May sweeps, and the network thinks it's the best thing it has going all month.
In an "unprecedented" writers crossover, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" writers have penned the May 5 episode of "Two and a Half Men," and the sitcom's co-creator and writer have scripted the May 8 episode of "CSI."

Friday, April 25, 2008

CW: Confounding Nielsen

"At first glance, Gossip Girl is just another tawdry teen dramadey, but take a look at the show's viewership -- or more precisely, how it's viewed -- and you'll see that the CW's underdog is a shape of things to come.

While its ratings are mediocre at best, the show has cultivated a huge following online. Now, in a misguided effort to pump up traditional viewership numbers, the network has decided to stop streaming Gossip Girl.

New episodes routinely arrived at the No. 1 most-downloaded spot on iTunes, and then there were the hundreds of thousands who were downloading free week-old episodes on the CW's site. Even executives at Nielsen threw up their hands and admitted that Gossip Girl appeared to be speaking to an audience so young and tech-savvy they hadn't really figured it out just yet."

This is for a friend of mine who adores Jensen Ackles of Supernatural.
I can see what there is to adore. Look at that face.

Check him out here.

"The Society for New Communications Research has released initial findings from its new study, “Exploring the Link Between Customer Care and Brand Reputation in the Age of Social Media”.

The findings suggest that many (59.1%) influential and savvy online consumers are using blogs, social networks and other social media to “vent” about bad customer care experiences."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Jericho Effect: A Twist

Here's a new twist for copying the Nuts campaign. Kind of cute.

"But letters aren't enough. We need a gimmick to go with the campaign. When fans of the TV show Jericho wanted it to return they sent CBS peanuts. Lots of peanuts. Tons of peanuts. Literally. So if Stadium Club is about photography, let's let Topps know about who we are - with photographs. With my letter to Topps campaigning for Stadium Club's return to baseball, I'm going to include a photograph. I don't know what it will be but a picture will be part of my package and so should yours."

Here's where to send your letters:

The Topps Company Inc.
One Whitehall Street, New York
New York 10004-2109

Ranger Central

Great links and information.

"Jericho season 3 could still rise from the ashes! CBS may have cancelled Jericho for the second time at the end of the 7 episode long season 2, but that doesn’t mean to say that no other networks or distribution deals can be done!

There are various potential Jericho season 3 deals to be made as IGN recently reported, let’s hope that one of these actually works out!"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

CBS: Moonves Out ?

"Favored sons and daughters float into Viacom/CBS mogul Sumner Redstone's life like sunshine after rain. Unfortunately, after a pleasant year or two, they usually get thrown right out again (including his actual sons and daughters).

A couple of quarters ago, Sumner was positively over the moon about CBS (CBS) CEO Les Moonves. But that was before CBS's stock sucked wind for another six months, Moonves gave himself a $37 million raise, and Viacom (VIAB) CEO Philippe Dauman gradually eclipsed his rival to become the apple of Sumner's eye.

The key sign Moonves's days are numbered? Yesterday, Sumner killed Viacom's deal with CBS's Showtime, announcing that it would form its own pay channel."

"The bad news for CBS News began last week with several days of speculation about the future of its anchor, Katie Couric. Then came word on Monday that the network would not get the opportunity to present a Democratic primary debate in North Carolina. On Tuesday CBS received ratings results that put an exclamation point on its troubles: the “CBS Evening News” recorded the worst five-night run in its history last week."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Measuring Nielsen

"From the moment I stumbled onto the television audience measurement industry in 1999, what I have found utterly unexplainable is not how Nielsen maintains its stranglehold on the industry — with that I am well acquainted. No, what has perplexed me is how Nielsen executives manage never to talk about how they do what they do.

Here’s my list of eleven questions (when possible, I try to give my clients more than they pay for) aimed at uncovering some of what is assumed, ignored or swept under the rug related to local television ratings. Any Nielsen customers should feel free to forward this list to their representative. As a bonus, I will pay $100 to the first person, Nielsen employees not excluded, who sends me an answer in writing. Just tell me who gave you the answers. I will either cite the source or withhold the identity (responder’s choice) and post the reply on this blog. As always, please feel free to contact me with better questions, any comments or criticisms."

"Today’s Wall Street Journal has good coverage of the long-simmering debate between Comscore and Nielsen with regard to ranking large Web sites’ popularity and total unique visitors.

According to the article, Comscore shows ~20% higher unique visitor counts for many sites, apparently do to differences in panel composition. For example, Comscore shows 11.977 million visitors in March for AOL Body. Nielsen shows 9.962 for the same site and date range.

It’s a puzzlement that is almost as old as the Web itself. Jupiter/Media Metrix data used to conflict with other services, and today’s WSJ article didn’t even touch on data from Compete, Hitwise, and other services that today purport to actually be more accurate than Comscore/Nielsen due to their methodology."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Networks:and Programming

"Networks will announce their fall schedules next month, but some shows can be considered dead already.

"Cane," the magnificently produced South Florida soap opera on CBS about a clan of sugar barons, will get the machete. Steamy and cinematically beautiful as it was, it just didn't get the ratings it needed to survive."

"CBS CEO Leslie Moonves told investors and analysts at a media conference last month that the network would be doing "a CBS Corporation upfront" where it presents its new season to advertisers at New York's Carnegie Hall, May 14: "We're going to sell outdoor. We're going to sell radio in all its forms. We're going to sell television stations. We're going to sell syndication. We're going to sell network. It's going to be a very different look than we've ever had before."

"CBS fared better on an ad revenue per person basis for its NCAA basketball tournament delivery online than on TV. So why is Gossip Girl being dragged offline for viewing only on the CW Network, partly owned by CBS?

Gossip Girl's demographic focus goes straight to the 18-34 audience, the only one that exists as far as the networks are concerned. It's an online savvy audience as well. We wonder if CW has failed to make money with it online, or simply not made the enormous pots of money studio heads feel entitled to in their minds."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Nielsen Monster

Here is some interesting reading. It's Nielsen's SEC filing. Pay particular attention to the section titled Executive Compensation.

"Over the past seven years, the Nielsen Company has received at least $3.1-million in state and local subsidies to consolidate its Pinellas operations in a showcase facility in Oldsmar.

Much of that money was for creating high-wage local jobs.

Yet last year, Nielsen let go 240 Tampa-area employees, including many in Oldsmar. Now the company — formerly known as Nielsen Media Research — says the Oldsmar location is losing another 110 positions."

"OLDSMAR — City Council members expressed outrage Tuesday over the Nielsen Co.'s plans to eliminate 110 positions at their Oldsmar operation after accepting government money to create jobs.

"To think they have the gall to take taxpayers' money and then lay people off!" said council member Suzanne Vale. "I am so upset."

"It's just incomprehensible to me," agreed council member Janice Miller."