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1 Roof for Nielsen's Operations

Media measurement firm will consolidate scattered L.A. units at a Hollywood address.

June 21, 2003|Elizabeth Kelly and Meg James | Times Staff Writers

With Los Angeles offering $300,000 in incentives, Nielsen Entertainment said Friday that it plans to consolidate its scattered L.A. operations into a Sunset Boulevard address later this year.

The Community Redevelopment Agency on Thursday voted to offer Nielsen Entertainment -- a unit of the Dutch media company VNU -- a package that includes a $250,000 loan as well as a $50,000 grant for facade improvements to the building at 6255 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

The Los Angeles City Council still must approve the funds. In addition, Nielsen must finalize a 10-year lease with Madison Partners, owner of the tower. But company officials said Friday that they plan to make the building their new home, locating nearly 500 employees on four floors totaling more than 68,000 square feet.

In recent years, the Dutch company has acquired a number of media measurement firms. It now dominates the business of tracking and measuring consumers' movie preferences and television tastes as well as their purchases of records, compact discs, videocassettes, DVDs and books.

The units scheduled to move into the Sunset Boulevard building include Nielsen Media Research, Nielsen Soundscan, Nielsen Videoscan and Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems. They will join two others -- Nielsen EDI and Nielsen ReelResearch -- that already are located in the building.

The move is part of the company's plan to integrate the units to achieve efficiencies.

The agency wants to keep entertainment businesses in Hollywood, and Hollywood was a logical locale for Nielsen.

"These are preexisting companies that have played critical roles in supporting the entertainment industry," said Andy Wing, president and chief executive of Nielsen Entertainment. "We service every motion picture studio, every music label, every video distributor and virtually every movie exhibitor."

The incentives offered to Nielsen include a $250,000 loan, but the CRA said it will forgive the payments if the company remains in the area for 10 years with the same number of employees, said Donald Spivack, deputy administrator of the CRA.

The package is one of several the agency has used to retain entertainment companies and lure new ones to Hollywood, said Bud Ovrom, the CRA's chief executive. "We are ... aggressively bringing the entertainment industry back into Hollywood," he said. "This is an effort aimed at jobs."

The 500 jobs Nielsen plans to consolidate in the Sunset Boulevard building come from other locations in Los Angeles, including space it has outgrown at 5900 Wilshire Blvd.

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