Madison’s WBUW Drops Nielsen

By Andrew Gauthier 

Broadcasting & Cable

While many stations are content to simply knock Nielsen, but not actually sever ties with the ratings service, ACME’s CW outlet WBUW Madison has officially pulled the plug. WBUW is in its first Nielsen-free month, and VP/General Manager Tom Keeler says the savings has kept a pair of lower-level staffers on the payroll.

“We weighed the cost of Nielsen versus the accuracy of the reporting,” he says, “and [cancelling] it has saved us two jobs. When you’re looking to cut costs, it didn’t make sense to continue investing in something that’s categorically wrong.”

General managers in the #85 DMA, a diary market, say it’s a tough market to measure, with about half the population in rural areas. WISC EVP/General Manager David Sanks says ratings swing dramatically for the CBS affiliate with each book: May was poor, for instance, while July was terrific. More…