Tribune Weighs In on Nielsen ‘LPMs’


Tribune Broadcasting, owner of Superstation WGN and WPIX-TV in New York, came out in opposition to Thursday’s rollout of Nielsen Media Research’s “Local People Meter” service in the Big Apple.

In a prepared statement, Tribune Broadcasting president Patrick Mullen charged that Nielsen’s decision to move forward with the implementation of LPMs “without first securing the approval of the Media Research Council is unwise and unsound.” Tribune urged Nielsen to reverse its decision.

Last week, the MRC declined to accredit Nielsen LPMs, but the ratings provider still opted to go ahead and launch the service. Nielsen is also continuing to run its old Meter/Diary system, simultaneously with LPMs, for three months, with its clients free to use whichever set of data they want to commercially.

That move by Nielsen also drew Tribune’s criticism.

“Nielsen’s decision to utilize two distinctly different ratings systems simultaneously in New York City will serve to only confuse viewers, advertisers and station operators alike,” Mullen said. “This decision also seems like a tacit admission by Nielsen that it, too, remains unsure of the accuracy of data generated by the Local People Meter service.”

Tribune joined News Corp., CBS, Univision Communications Inc. and the National Association of Broadcasters in opposing the LPMs at this juncture.

In addition to owning WGN and 26 TV stations, Tribune Broadcasting has investments in The WB Television Network and Food Network.