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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

We're A Nielsen Family?

People have questioned for years the validity and methods behind the Nielsen TV ratings, and this certainly make one wonder: I just received a postcard here at work downtown, addressed to "TV Research Home, 312 Elm St." saying:

"It is my pleasure to tell you that your household has been chosen to be a 'Nielsen Family' for a one-week TV survery. In a few days you will recieve a long-distance phone call from us to explain this exciting opportunity. Please be assured that we are not attempting to sell anything to you. Our only purpose is to learn which TV programs you and your household watch during the week of the survey. We will telephone you soon. Thank you." It was from Susan Whiting, President, Nielsen Media Research Inc.

So Nielsen doesn't know that 312 Elm Street is a 25-story office building downtown, and not a TV home. (We may spend long hours here, but I don't think anyone in the building calls this home.) And there are other businesses in this building, not just The Enqurier. I wonder what number they'll call for their follow-up call? If they end up with me, I'll let you know.


at 3/27/2007 11:03 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

and to think tv stations put so much faith in those ratings...

at 3/27/2007 11:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The TV stations will be even NICER to you!

at 3/27/2007 12:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, you'll have to decline participation since you are affiliated with the media...:>(

at 3/27/2007 1:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

skew the results.. tell them you watch David Rose on WCPO every day.

at 3/27/2007 10:23 PM Blogger Scott Evans said...

I have had a diary twice, once when I was working in radio in Evansville, which I didn't fill out. And once last fall...though not sure my vote counted as I was late turning it in and forgot a couple of demographic info. If WWE and Smallville on KWGN had a showing in the market then it was probably counted LOL.

at 3/28/2007 2:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've got digital cable, and since it's "interactive" (I can watch movies, shows and videos on demand), I'm assuming Time Warner is feeding everything from a computer server. And I'm assuming they can track which shows are ordered.

Is it possible they can track what I watch? Can they look in their computer and see that 500 households are watching "Scrubs" on Comedy Central at 7pm, but only 390 are watching it at 7:30?

Just curious, and maybe a little paranoid.

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