Update: Beasley 'Disappointed' At Nielsen's Delisting WBRN/Tampa From October PPM Ratings
November 2, 2015 at 5:32 PM (PT)
NIELSEN AUDIO has announced that its OCTOBER 2015 monthly and OCTOBER Week 4 Weeklies PPM data for the TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG-CLEARWATER market will be made available to subscribers at 1p ET -- and WBRN's ratings will once again not be reported -- a move strongly criticized by station owner BEASLEY MEDIA GROUP.
As a result of Rating Distortion activities in the form of attempted panel tampering by syndicated personality BUBBA THE LOVE SPONGE at WBRN (NET NEWS, 10/5), NIELSEN did not report audience estimates for WBRN in the SEPTEMBER 2015 TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG-CLEARWATER PPM Radio Market Report.
Confronted with further evidence of additional panel tampering attempts by BLTS in context with the previously disclosed panel tampering efforts -- acknowledged by the air talent -- and pursuant to NIELSEN’s Rating Distortion guidelines, NIELSEN will not report audience estimates for WBRN in the OCTOBER 2015 TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG-CLEARWATER PPM Radio Market Report. FOX-TV 13 NEWS confirmed NIELSEN alleging new evidence of tampering.
CLEM's lawyer TODD FOSTER essentially told NIELSEN to put up for shut up -- and reveal what new evidence they have. "Let's see it," he told the TV station. "I'm trained to deal with facts and evidence, I'm not trained to deal with, 'There's more, we think."
NIELSEN would only say the following in its statement: "Users of this report are assured that every effort has been made to ensure the integrity of reported audience estimates. NIELSEN is committed to maintaining the highest standards of data integrity and will continue to act swiftly to ensure that those standards are upheld, including taking additional measures if circumstances warrant."
BEASLEY's reaction to the announcement was swift and strong. “Since the initial incident was reported to BEASLEY MEDIA, we have had a constructive dialog with NIELSEN as we were also victimized by Mr. CLEM’s actions," BEASLEY MEDIA GROUP Pres. BRUCE BEASLEY stated. "We instituted remedial actions against Mr. CLEM, which had been reviewed in advance by NIELSEN. As NIELSEN itself acknowledged, we cooperated fully with NIELSEN to ensure the accuracy of their past and forthcoming ratings. Therefore, we were blind-sided and disappointed to learn today that NIELSEN Audio will exclude WBRN from the OCTOBER 2015 ratings. NIELSEN has not shared with us, its longstanding client, any specific evidence of ratings distortion which could have had any impact on the OCTOBER 2015 Ratings Report, thus suggesting that this action is related solely to the ongoing litigation between NIELSEN and Mr. CLEM. The fallout from this dispute may inflict collateral damage on BEASLEY, which, indisputably, has done nothing wrong.”