Birmingham’s Nielsen Woes Continue

By Andrew Gauthier 

Broadcasting & Cable

Station executives in Birmingham, Ala., hoped theyd never again experience the ratings misery they went through last year, when it was discovered that Nielsen dramatically undercounted viewing on Allbrittons WBMA+ from May 2008 to March 2009. Alas, the Nielsen weirdness has continued, as it was learned that WBMA+s ratings were alternately undercounted and overcounted at times between February 2008 and November 2009, while its primetime was vastly shortchanged in January 2010. Other Birmingham stations have been, to a lesser degree, incorrectly measured as well.

The confusion in DMA No. 40, a metered market, was signifi cant enough that several Nielsen executives, including Senior VP for Business Initiatives Tom Hicks, held a meeting March 10 in Hoover, Ala., for Birmingham’s local TV community.More…