Tribune Co. became the fourth large media company to blast TV ratings firm Nielsen Media Research's effort to modernize its measurement system in the nation's largest markets.
Tribune Broadcasting President Patrick Mullen urged Nielsen to reverse its decision to switch Thursday to "people meters" in New York. Nielsen is trying to convert to the electronic measurement method to glean viewership information to replace 1950s-era paper diaries.
Nielsen, owned by Dutch publishing company VNU, plans to roll out the system in Los Angeles next month. News Corp., Univision Communications Inc. and Viacom Inc.'s CBS network have also protested, saying Nielsen should not adopt the system until it wins the accreditation of a TV industry group. Preliminary "people meter" data have shown a drop in viewers tuned in to some of the companies' TV stations.
Chicago-based Tribune owns 26 stations, including WPIX-TV Channel 11 in New York and KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles. It also publishes the Los Angeles Times.
-- Meg James