Charley Hurts Nielsen, Cable
Tampa—Many Florida stations that
covered Hurricane Charley will never know who saw them. Nielsen suspended local
ratings reports in Tampa, Orlando and Fort Myers because so many homes stopped
reporting data. They were either without power, without phone service or
destroyed. In the Fort Myers market, for example, Nielsen says its needs a
minimum of 340 meters calling home. "We have 220," says a Nielsen executive.
Nielsen had Tampa back online last Wednesday. But the company wasn't
sure if Orlando and Fort Myers could be restored even this week. The good news
is that Nielsen's crucial Florida operations that tabulate ratings nationwide
The hurricane also slammed cable. At press time, 67,000 Comcast
subscribers in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte were without service, about half
because they lost electricity. Half of the 85,000 Time Warner Cable subscribers
also suffered power loss. Bright House Cable estimates that 500,000 of its 1.9
million customers lost service.
But the storm also blew out thousands of "drops" to homes and miles of
optical fiber trunk that runs on now-destroyed utility poles. Comcast Regional
Vice President Steve Dvoskin says, "There are so many poles down, snapped off
either at the base or halfway up the poles, that we have to wait until the
utility companies put up replacements."
New Good Day Co-Anchors
Los Angeles—Debbie Matenopolous and
Arthel Neville will join Steve Edwards as co-hosts of Good Day
Live, Twentieth Television's syndicated morning show, starting Aug.
30. Both have subbed before. They replace Dorothy Lucey, who remains doing a
local version of the show, and Jillian Barberie, who wanted out of the national
show but also stays doing the local version.