More Turnover at Comscore as Livek Becomes CEO

Troubled measurement company Comscore announced that Bill Livek has been named CEO as the company reported a loss for the third quarter and a decline in revenue.

Comscore has been in turmoil since accounting issues cropped up in its financial statements three years ago. Since then has gone through a number of executive changes, undergone a painstaking re-audit of its financials, its share price has plunged and new product development stalled.

In September, the company settled fraud charges from the SEC alleging that it and former CEO Serge Matta overstated revenue by $50 million.

The company began a strategic review and said it was still open to options, including the sale of the business.

Livek was with Rentrak when it was acquired by Comscore and had been acting as vice chairman. He succeeds Dale Fuller, who had been interim CEO.

In the third quarter, Comscore reported a net loss of $10.6 million, or 16 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $24.6 million or 42 cents, a year ago.

Revenue fell 8% to $94.3 million.

Ratings and planning revenue dropped to $65.3 million from $70.5 million in the year-ago quarter. The decrease was the result of a decline in syndicated digital products, the company said.

TV and cross-platform products were flat.  Local TV revenue and delivery of cross-platform products increased, offset by lower national TV revenue.

In the last quarter, the company cut about 8% of its staff, reducing compensation costs by $40 million. 

On the company's earnings call with analysts, Livek said that the company would be able to take some of those saving and invest in what it saw as promising business areas.

Comscore will be focusing on cross-platform measurement of premium content, addressable advertising, activation and movies.

In cross-platform, he pointed to work the company has been doing with Nexstar in tagging its content and de-duplicating viewership so that Nexstar can sell advertising on streaming platforms.

They're doing quite well with it, Livek said. "But stay tuned. That's where were going to be putting a lot of energy."

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.