You’ve probably read a couple of items already about the meltdown in the media world. It’s going on four days without ratings. Despite that news, the sun came up today and the stock market had a good day yesterday. Hospitals have reported a few births (and deaths) and it finally stopped raining in the NYC area. Maybe that will make media execs a little less cranky now that they can go out and enjoy the sunshine. But probably not.
One man who is probably pretty cranky about all of this is Mitchell Habib, the head Nielsen’s IT houncho for Global Business Services. Responding to issues getting with reissues in February 2008, Habib told national client’s at Nielsen’s annual customer meeting, “the bucks stops here” and if things don’t improve, I probably won’t be back in a year.
Meanwhile, it’s fun to read people’s reactions to the ratings holiday. Here are a few snippets from around the ‘net:
- It’s again May sweeps,
But where are the overnights…
How did Castle do?
— One of many Haiku’s posted to TVByTheNumbers, Wed May 6th
- The problems raised new questions about Nielsen’s outsourcing of work at its Oldsmar facility — did it hamper the company’s ability to recover from the breakdown? — TampaBay.com, Thu May 7
(Editor’s Note: Mr. Habib took credit for reducing costs and increasing responsiveness by outsourcing much of Nielsen’s IT operations to EDI and an India-based company at the 2008 client meeting)
- Nielsen Media Research was in full damage control mode Wednesday as the primetime network ratings were held hostage for a third day in a row. — Variety, Wed May 6
- NYT reported Brian Stelter started a conversation with NBC’s president of research Alan Wurtzel, saying “Let’s talk about Nielsen ratings.” Wutzel responded: “We don’t have any!” — New York Times, Wed May 6.
- The ThrFeed blog included a short ratings update followed by a YouTube video of a cat playing a keyboard.
- And finally, the last word, from Nielsen:
Nielsen will begin to release audience estimates [on 7/7/2009] for data of Monday, May 4, 2009 through Wednesday, May 6, 2009 for all Local Metered Market samples as well as the National People Meter sample.
Data has been validated and cleared by our Statistical Research team. All samples have passed our standard geography testing as well as DTV technology testing. Sample characteristic levels are in line with prior days and intab rates meet established reportability standards.
— Nielsen, Thu May 7