My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Monday, July 11, 2016

My Nielsen Loggings

Last summer, we became a Nielsen family.

In exchange for some crisp new $1 bills, my wife and I kept diaries of our television viewing for a week. My diary was easy: Law & Order binge-watching with an occasional switch to see how badly my Scarlet Hose were losing.

My wife's diary was more complicated. She switches channels all day long and I think she spent more time filling in the diary than viewing the shows she was logging.

After the week was up, we sealed the diaries and mailed them back to Nielsen.

I thought that would be the last we would hear from Nielsen, but lo and behold, in April, Nielsen asked us to do it again. But instead of keeping TV diaries, they wanted us to keep radio diaries. We agreed and a few weeks later, an envelope arrived with some crisp new $1 bills and blank diaries.

My wife's diary was easy. She seldom listens to the radio, so she did not have much to log. And I played it straight and did not log any ham radio stations, nor any broadcast stations that I heard while tuning between 530 and 1710 kHz.

In addition to my "normal" radio fare (WCBS, WINS and WTIC on AM; WLNG and WAQY on FM), I could have included the flamethrowers out of the Midwest and South like WBT, WGN, WJR, WLW, WSM and WSB, as well as a variety of peanut whistles from all over the Northeast. I could have even included Cuba's Radio Rebelde a couple of times. But I want to keep receiving those crisp new $1 bills, so I only logged the stations I actually listened to for information and/or entertainment.

And after a week, we sent our diaries back to Nielsen. I wonder if we will be hearing from them again next year.

(Thank you, Art, W1AWX for suggesting that I write this story.)

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