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Nielsen Picks 'People Meter' Panel

Nielsen Media Research has picked the members of the industry task force that will advise the ratings company on ways to ensure that the household samples it creates for "Local People Meter" service in the top 10 markets accurately reflect the audiences being measured.

It has been under heavy criticism as it begins to roll out new Local People Meters in those markets.
Of particular concern, in light of problems encountered in New York, is that the samples fully represent the ethnic and racial composition of each market. Former Illinois Congresswoman Cardiss Collins will serve as the chairperson of the new task force.

The members are

  1. Bob Barocci, President/CEO of The Advertising Research Foundation
  2. Melody Spann-Cooper, President and General Manager of WVON-AM Chicago
  3. Rev. James L. Deemus III, Executive Director of the NAACP Chicago (Southside)
  4. Ray Durazo, Chair of the Latin Business Association in Los Angeles
  5. Mary Gonzales Koenig, President of the Spanish Coalition for Jobs, Inc.
  6. Scott McDonald, Senior Vice President for Market Research at Condé Nast Publications and the former top research executive at Time Warner
  7. Byron E. Lewis, Chair and CEO of UniWorld Group
  8. Guillermo Linares, former member of the New York City Council
  9. Manuel Mirabal, President of the National Puerto-Rican Coalition,Inc.
  10. Elinor Tatum, Publisher of The Amsterdam News.
  1. In addition, the Task Force will add several experts in demographic research to review its methodology and data.
    "It is important to determine the best possible method to accurately reflect the choices being made by media audiences, and particularly by black and Latino viewers who have been historically undercounted, because of the enormous social, cultural and financial implications arising from the measured popularity of media programming," said New York Congressman Charles Rangel, who helped put the task force together.  Former congresswoman Collins said: "It is critical that the ideas and perspectives of all citizens are fairly reflected in what they see on television."
    Susan D. Whiting, CEO and President of Nielsen Media Research, said: "Congressman Rangel has chosen a team of eminently qualified individuals from throughout the country to serve on the independent Task Force on Television Measurement. We look forward to working closely with Cardiss Collins again as well as with the other esteemed members of the Task Force, to provide the most accurate and most representative estimates of the nation's television viewing behavior."