Pay No Attention to the Man Hidden in The Black Box Connected to Your TV.

15 Nov

Have you ever woken up from the middle of a restless sleep and suddenly remembered that you have a blog out there to support?

Oh yeah. that’s right. I had nearly forgotten that I wanted to delve into blogging about all things in my life as they pertain to media- but I was so busy with my head stuck up my ass with trying to assimulate back into the real world working some meaningless crappy nine to fiver and getting immersed in three hour traffic jams. (seriously, try leaving West LA and head back to the San Fernanado Valley at the first sound of the five o’clock whistle and see how far you get trying to make it through Brentwood and Sunset Boulevard). Tried it for three months. Snapped on the job. Got fired. Vowed to not take on any job in the West LA area (with the exception of Westwood) until Caltrans gets their shit in order.

So the idea of this Purple Pinup Guru revival thing sort of left my focus. During my time of temporary employment incarceration, a few milestones happened in the news as it concerns media things here and there. Editior Sparky Santos and I had a little heated exchange over whose shifting off the mortal coils was more historically benefitting: the passing of Apple en masse product guru Steve Jobs or the man who invented the television rating system which expands en masse to include new methods of measuring the ratings of how we view DVRs, VOD, and digital meida content, AC Nielsen Jr., founder of Nielsen Media Research. Both equally important in their own right, both equally bought the farm on the exact same day.

Whose contributions will resonate more for the future?

If I were a betting man, and many say I’m not so good at it, my bet would be on good ol’ AC fresh out of the start gate.

While Editor Sparky holds all tickets for win, place, or show. I invite Editor Sparky to pay homage to his personal hero in a later blog.

So, while I’m strapped for time (am going to try to make a dash for a lecture given by Harlan Ellision on his take of television viewing) I’m going to ‘phish’ some Wiki facts for your edification and enjoyment. My follow up to this subject will touch on the matters of how advanced rating demographics has vastly improved since the introduction of DVRs and digital media hit the scene.

Later, gators.

ACNielsen is a global marketing research firm, with worldwide headquarters in New York City. Regional headquarters for North America are located in Schaumburg, Illinois. As of May 2010, it is part of The Nielsen Company.

This company was founded in 1923 in Chicago, by Arthur C. Nielsen, Sr., in order to give marketers reliable and objective information on the impact of marketing and sales programs. ACNielsen began expanding internationally in 1939, and now operates in more than 100 countries.

One of ACNielsen’s best known creations is the Nielsen ratings, an Audience measurement system that measures television, radio and newspaper audiences in their respective media markets. In 1950 they began attaching recording devices to a statistical sample of about 1200 consumer television sets in the U.S. These devices used photographic film in mail-in cartridges to record the channels viewed by the consumer and thus determine audience size. Later they developed electronic methods of data collection and transmission. In 1996, ACNielsen split off this part of its operations into a separate company called Nielsen Media Research (NMR), which operated as an independent company until it was acquired by Dutch conglomerate VNU in 1999.

ACNielsen is also sister company to Nielsen//NetRatings, which measures Internet and digital media audiences, and Nielsen BuzzMetrics, which measures Consumer-Generated Media.

Nielsen Media Research (NMR) is an American firm that measures media audiences, including television, radio, theatre films (via the AMC Theatres MAP program) and newspapers. NMR, headquartered in New York City, is best known for the Nielsen ratings, an audience measurement system of television viewership that for years has been the deciding factor in canceling or renewing television shows by television networks.

Nielsen Media Research, one of the largest media research companies in the world, began as a division of ACNielsen, a marketing research firm. In 1996, Nielsen Media Research was split off into an independent company and in 1999, was purchased by the Dutch conglomerate VNU. In 2001, VNU also purchased ACNielsen, thereby bringing both companies under the same corporate umbrella. VNU was reorganized and renamed the Nielsen Company in 2007.

The Nielsen TV Ratings have been produced in the USA since the 1950s and statistically measure which programs are watched by different segments of the population. The most well-known portion is the “diary”. During the 4 sweeps months of February, May, July and November, Nielsen interviewers in Dunedin, Florida and Radcliff, Kentucky ask homes to participate in filling out a diary of the programs watched in their home for a one week period.

By 1983, Nielsen was dissatisfied with the diary method as national measurement tool. Stations complaining that the system was inaccurate lead to the cable study known as CAMS (Cable Audience Methodological Study), which proved claims to be true. Though they hadn’t agreed on a replacement, they were convinced that it was no longer adequate to measure new television environments due to dramatic media changes. Finally in 1986, Nielson developed an electronic meter, People Meter, to solve the problem. They were convinced their new method was efficient but still weren’t sure whether they would fully depend on the people meter measurement alone or use the people meter sample in a fashion similar to their previous diary method as an addition to the household meter sample to produce viewers per household. Ultimately, CONTAM validation studies helped Nielsen decided they would fully incorporate the full people meter service and leave the diary behind.

The Nielsen sample included roughly 1,700 audimeter homes and rotating board of nearly 850 diary respondents, by the early 1980s. Nielsen launched its Nielsen Homevideo Index (NHI) in 1980 to measure cable, pay cable, and VCRs, and the NHI began offering daily cable ratings in 1982. Nielsen’s continued to advance with steady changes into the mid 2000s. Along with changing their counting methods, Nielsen also started emphasizing their sample in 2003 in reaction to census shifts and requests from some industry sectors. Nielsen’s automated Local People Meter (LPM) technology was introduced in New York and Los Angeles. The LPM improved the method of measurement from active and diary-based to passive and meter-monitored. More importantly, the LPM provides accurate measurements to particular local markets, verse a nation wide sample from the People meter. While diary-based surveys concentrated on quarterly “sweeps” periods, the industry has been pushed towards year-round measurement, due to the automated LPM system.

Recently, Nielsen announced the launch of its A2M2 project that would measure television viewing in and out of the home.

Nielsen Media Research is a sister company to Nielsen NetRatings, which measures Internet and digital media audiences through a telephone and internet survey, and Nielsen BuzzMetrics, which measures Consumer-Generated Media.

Nielsen also conducts market research for the film industry through National Research Group (NRG).

In 2005, ACNielsen initiated their MVP (Media Voice Panel) program. Panel members carry an electronic monitor that detects the digital station and program identification codes hidden within the TV and radio broadcasts they are exposed to. At night, members place the monitor in a cradle that sends the collected data through the home’s electrical wiring to a relay device that transmits it by phone, making it one of the first practical uses of electrical wiring as a home network. With an approximately one week notice to members, the MVP program ended on March 17, 2008.

In 2007, the owner VNU changed its name to “The Nielsen Company”.

Nielsen has its headquarters in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

The company maintains an office in Oldsmar, Florida. Most of the employees of Nielsen Media Research work in Oldsmar, and the company’s media measurement work originates from the office. The Associated Press said that the Oldsmar building, with a cost figure of $80 million, was “its so-called nerve center.” In 2003 the company moved into the Oldsmar complex, designed by architect Alberto Alfonso, and consolidated its employees there, with workers from Dunedin and other areas in Pinellas County moving into the Oldsmar building.

Arthur Charles Nielsen, Jr. (born April 8, 1919) the man who acquired the company from his father, died at the age of 92 on October 3, 2011.

Perhaps The Website Gods Have Been Kind…

7 Oct

Still navigating my way around the new office- lots of boxes to unpack while trying to get employees keys to the restroom and all that happy jazz. Originally wanted to go off on a tangent about the validity of awards shows and why we should gut the fucking fat out of them (do you have any ideas of how many of these frivilous award shows we can cut to save the Hollywood economy?) – but I didn’t the time to properly vent – and there are going to be times a plenty- when I say I’m going to do something and not get around to do them. That’s just the nature of living in a fast paced town where anything unexpected could turn up to deviate away your time (such as a film festival that’s overdue to be researched) Maybe I’ll wait around for the braindead on arrival People’s Choice Awards for then spew my venom.

In the meanwhile, I’d like to take a few parasecs and list a few of my favorite websites where I like to spool in my resources of all things considered geek friendly.

I use a variety of sources to get my news from specialized websites.

For my comic book news and updates. I visit Heidi MacDonald’s newly minted award winning site (2011 Shel Dorf award) www.comicsbeat.com – of which you’ll see me comment from time to time.

For box office reports and television ratings, nothing’s more reliable and frequently updated than www.deadline.com .

For around the clock coverage in the world of animation and Saturday morning cartoons ( and believe me, whenever a major convention is in full swing – it’s www.toonzone.net for me.

For dvd releases – www.amazon.com or www.tvshowsondvd are usually the ones that satisfies my retina hunger pangs on what I should be saving my hard earned sheckels for.

And for my prog rock CD buying choices – I trust no other website than www.dprp.net ( that’s dutch progressive rock page for the intialism challenged ).

I admit, I’m not widely versed in the language of electronic games or any small handheld media devices (although I apply www.hulu.com for all my retro 60’s television fetish needs that can downloaded to a small app) that supply books online such as a i-phone or a kindle, but I’d appreciate any contributions from those who are versed in that fields. I don’t want to discriminate although, you’ll hear rumblings between Editor Sparky Santos and I from time to time about the overabundance of technology). Just e-mail me depositman@yahoo.com or Sparky stsparky@gmail.com and we’ll get you set up with a password to enlighten us with your wisdom.

Coming up: tributes to both A.C. Neilsen Jr and Steve Jobs hopefully over the weekend.

Sore Loser in a Game of Chance at the Checkpoint of Autoerotic Asphyxiation Avenue

25 Sep

My mother once told me that I must have been born with a copy of TV Guide in my mouth.

She confided in me that it has always been on the tippy top list of the many enigmatic episodes that has fleshed out my life character. As a toddler of two, one the first things that I’d reach for in the brown paper bag fresh from a neighboring Foodtown without failure of hesitation was the digest-formatted copy of TV Guide that was buried amidst the glass rumble of Gerber’s baby food and the tumble of giant cans of Similac breast milk formula. I had this uncanny knack for looking at channel listings. Remember back in the old days, (circa 1966) the listings used to be shaded in little black and white squares – the black squares were the local stations that you were most definitely guaranteed to recieve on those old bulky behemoths of television sets, the white ones signified the ones that you were mainly shit out of luck and had to most likely climb up on top of your grandfather’s roof in order to jiggle around the antenna. Before I could ever walk, I was flipping through pages and pages of tv guide magazines and comic books before I could ever learn to walk and before anyone in my immediate family knew – I was suddenly a walking encyclopedia of  tv listing knowledge. My mom and my grandfather were always astonished that, as a three or four year old, I knew exactly what day and what time I could tune in shows such as Batman, Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Tunnel, old Lone Ranger and Fantastic Four cartoons, and having practically a photographic memory of lost shows in my noggin such as Rat Patrol, Garrison’s Gorillas, and some funky Phillys Diller sitcom that ran on the same (Bat) time and same (Bat) Channel immediately right after Batman finished his time period.

There could be only one explanation on those perigenetic events – I must have been the lovechild of Marshall McLuhan. Nothing else would make sense

There’s no other plausible explanation.  All I give a shit about in this world is everything as it applies to media theory, both artistic and aesthetic – although most of my working career has been spent on the business and behind in the shadows. As far as I have gotten on the artistic is the self publishing of comic books, of which I have written and financed publishing myself, contributing blogs, articles, and essays, and going way back to my last days as a high school senior, getting poetry published professionally at the ripe old age of seventeen. Most of my nine to fivers have been academically disciplined with odd bouts throughout my life of working as a office lackey in the advertising, television, and film industries. My pinnacles in life haven’t gotten past the boundary stage of a accounts receiveable clerk, tallying up box receipts, or of me spearheading my own office in the Sony Pictures Television offices making sure that syndicated episodes of Seinfeld were airing on time for two years straight or of the time many moons ago of spending a year being responsible for the small press area of Comic Con International .

But yet – I still seek enlightment in the absolute simpliest of terms. And it’s a calling I’ve been ignoring for a good number of years. In past blogs of yore, I’ve been experimenting with writing in diary form, the mundanes of everyday life, some that dealt with working within the comic book, movie, or television industry- but even that got boring after a while. Nobody was really interested in hearing about me punching in a time clock and hearing about what movie set I used to sneak on and watch was being filmed – and then post about it anonymously on some jacked up movie gossip website . Nobody was really interested in hearing what celebrity you catch throwing a tantrum in public or getting pulled over by the police for reckless drunken driving and endangerment. Nobody really likes a namedropper and nobody really likes to see you write in third person posting under a pseudonym of some hormone raging monk running around flashing his unmentionables under a loosely fitting tunic or even as a flowerpot making reference to old “Genesis” lyrics as it pertained to modern everyday paparazzi care free life. When I got bored of that, I handed the reins over to my comic book editor and he in turn revamped the format to a political mish mash of liberal and independent rallying cries and ad hominem attacks against the bible thumping Republican theologians who hypocritically operate under the thin-coated veneer of “family value” politics. Going off on my own, I started another blog experiment on the social media network of myspace, writing without fail, a weekly (and sometimes twice a week blog) blog concerning my everyday existence – of who or what I was dating, what financial clap trap I’ve fallen under, and personal family stuff. For the first three years of the five year length of that blog – it was the tumultous up and down (mostly down) relationship I had with a porn actress that scored the most acolades and won me fans the whole world over as I exposed this criminal I was romantically entangled with and was successful in thwarting her nefarious unlawful abiding schemes through a navigation of hand to hand combat, issuing arrest warrants, and dodging assassination attempts by her family members and criminal induced cohorts. And even as those numbers spiked me into “must read blog tv” martyrdom (some entries passing the over 1000 mark or logging in readership – I grew weary of that too. After she was totally vanquished and out of my life forever, I didn’t have the energy or the knack to contribute worthwhile entries on a weekly basis – plus the technology of the myspace hardware was going piss up and annoying me to even continue posting.

So the third time’s got to be the charm, right?

Another relaunch was called for. If the entire DC Universe can do away with Superman’s red velvetly smooth panties – I, with the aid of Sparky Santos can  relocate to another web address and begin anew and gain more readership and adoration.

My blogs, this time around, is aiming for the equivalent of when you step off a bus stop in Los Angeles or New York and taking a complete panoramatic view of what is surrounding you. So begin breathing: Why are there neon lights flashing all around you provoking you to enter that gentlemen’s club knowing full well, deep in your gut, you’re nursing that ‘bad dog feeling” once the missus finds out?  Why is that monster billboard above advertising that talking ape franchise that no one really cares about all of a sudden matters the world to you ? Why are there still comic book shops on the corner, but no Borders to speak of?  Why are there buses and bus shelters advertising that stupid high school sing a long hour long show for your emmy consideration (seriously, why?) Why are people so oblivious to the world around them when their immediate focus of attention is whatever they’re texting on their smartphones or glued to a Harry Potter movie digitally downloaded to their atom-sized ipods fitted to the parameters of their palms? What movie studio or highly touted entertainment artist’s office are standing directly under? And why aren’t you jealous??

Why?

I’ll tell you why.

Because the message is in the media. The media that’s all around you.

It’s all I give a shit about. AND if I had my way, you wouldn’t walk out of here alive without you knowing the difference between a Live+SD and a Live+7 rating average before I throttled your throat with a cornucopia of all the things I CARE about.

Why am I so passionate about what is critically acceptable and not critically not acceptable in terms of regular television and pay per view television? Why do I hate anime with such a fucking passion? Why do I consider my progressive rock music to be vastly superior over your bubblegum pop and simplistic nursery-rhyme rap that you blast out your car woofers with tone deaf precision? Why have I become so dependant upon Nikki Finke’s deadline.com or Heidi MacDonald’s comicsbeat.com for my everyday entertainment news? Why do I still give a shit about comic books and cartoons- what’s the reasoning or logic of me smoking a pack of Parlies or a whiskey shot to accompany them?  So many whys and not finding the proper time to explore the answers. From now on, I’m going to rectify all that.

You can expect the same fun tooting rhetortic from Editor Sparky Santos though. Political discourse and Japanese pin-up dolls never become a moot subject.

Prepare for the onslaught – unless you’re severly lacking a nose for news and opinion or a stomach for whiskey, then I wouldn’t blame you for not sticking around – but your company is mandatory just the same.

~

Cary Coatney

 

September 5, 2011

 

In the next installment – suppose you’re pounding the beat in some run down graffitti scrawled area of Compton (not that I would – but suppose I was ) and some media billboard company such as Clear Channel or CBS Outmedia erects a giant sign that reads: Jane Lynch – For Your Emmy Consideration in big giant neon letters.

 

Why should you give a fuck?

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