Nielsen has taken the unusual step of delisting a station from its radio ratings reports after discovering that a household of a station staff member obtained and returned ratings diaries. The station is Sun Broadcasting rhythmic CHR “Fly 98.5” WFFY in the Ft. Myers-Naples market and Nielsen says the infraction involved multiple diaries during the May survey report.
“Nielsen expressly prohibits participation in its ratings surveys by any household affiliated with a radio station,” the company reminded clients in a Client Product Notification on Monday. The company plans to reissue both the May and June 2020 market reports on Tuesday Aug 4, since both include May data. Monthly ratings in continuously measured diary markets are based on a three-month average.
No ratings for WFFY will be included in those reissued reports. The station took a big jump in the May monthly, climbing 3.0-5.1, a 70% increase. That tapered off a bit in June, when the station dipped to a 4.3.
While AQH persons, cume persons and AQH rating for other stations won’t be affected, rank and share may change, Nielsen says.
Among those that could see their AQH share rise as a result of the reissued ratings are Beasley Media Group CHR “B-103.9” WXKB and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR “The Beat” WBTT.
Consistent with its policy to withhold ratings for the reports in which data from a media-affiliated household would have been included, Nielsen says it will also delist WFFY in the July report, since it also includes data from the May survey. That report will be released as scheduled on Wednesday Aug. 12.
Delisting a station is one of the most serious actions Nielsen can take against a subscribing client. In fall 2015, it delisted Beasley Media Group rocker “Bubba 98.7” WBRN-FM for two monthlies citing “further evidence of panel tampering attempts” by syndicated morning man Bubba The Love Sponge Clem.