WJLA in Storm of Nielsen Protest

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Nielsen Media Research and WJLA-TV Washington, D.C., got into a dust-up last week over a promo touting the
station's Hurricane Isabel coverage.

Nielsen vice president of communications Jack Loftus told Broadcasting
& Cable
the promo was based on bogus information and the company had
asked the station to stop running it.

WJLA-TV president and general manager Chris Pike said he was not planning to pull the
spot.

Pike said that after Nielsen initially called to question the spot, he told
them that if there was a ratings reference in the promo, "we would take it out.
There was no ratings reference in it, and we're going to continue to run it for
some time."

Washington was one of the markets that saw its Sept. 18 ratings, and some days
after, excluded due to an insufficient sample as the result of power outages.

Loftus wasn't speculating on how the information got out, but he said, "Whoever
gave that data to the news media, by characterizing it as Nielsen ratings,
really released bogus data designed to mislead the market." He added that Nielsen
would investigate.

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