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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004


    July 20, 2006
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part VIII

    NAME

    Row, Row, Row Your Back...

    Today, for the first time, TVNewser has hinted, however cryptically, at his newfound reliance on Live Plus ratings data. The "scoreboard" post for July 18 includes the notation "(L+SD)". Yet, nowhere does TVN explain to readers what "L + SD" means, why has elected to use Live Plus Same Day ratings (according to an email he sent to Olbermann Watch, it is because Live Plus Same Day is what MSNBC uses to evaluate Keith Olbermann's "success"), when he first began to use Live Plus ratings and why he has chosen to use "L+SD" instead of the more common "L + SW" (Live Plus Same Week).

    There is no right or wrong answer as to which ratings are better. Our concern at Olbermann Watch has never been whether Live or Live Plus ratings more accurately gauge audience size. We are far more interested in TVN's well-documented habit of playing fast and loose with information published on the Media Bistro site, his lack of credibility among those who pay close attention to his shenanigans and his absence of journalistic standards. The Live/Live Plus switcheroo is just the latest in a long line of such hijinks at TVN including back-dating of posts, manipulating time-stamps, sereptious editing and wholesale deletion of posts that his "handlers" find offensive.

    Today's bit of journalistic trickery is known as a "rowback". Former New York Times Public Editor Dan Okrent explained "Rowback" this way:

    The one definition I could find for this ancient technique, from journalism educator Melvin Mencher, describes a rowback as ''a story that attempts to correct a previous story without indicating that the prior story had been in error or without taking responsibility for the error.'' A less charitable definition might read, ''a way that a newspaper can cover its butt without admitting it was ever exposed.''

    In the case of TVN's most recent "scoreboard" post, he has quietly added the "L + SD" notation in response to recent criticism here on Olbermann Watch without explaining why it is there or what it means. He has not taken responsibility for his previous failure to disclose his switch from Live to Live Plus nor he has gone back and edited his previous posts in which he published Live Plus data. In other words, the "L + SD" notation is not for the benefit of TVN readers but a ploy to silently respond to valid criticism while setting the stage for later being able to rebut future criticism by pointing out that he does disclose his use of Live Plus without acknowledging that for some undefined period he was not and that there may be many posts that present Live Plus data as if it is Live data.

    There IS a simple, forthright way out of this mess but for some reason Brian refuses to run a "mea culpa" post, specify where and for how long he has been passing off Live Plus data as Live data and taking his lumps.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (28) | | View blog reactions
    user-pic

    28 Comments

    Okay, so I came late to this but, is this the bottom line?

    Foxnews which is the leader in cable news uses Live same day who's watching at that time numbers, correct?

    MSLSD Which is in a fight to stay out of the ratings basement. And tvsnoozer use Live Plus which, counts live, tvo,vhs,beta,short wave,people who made eye contact with the screen in the entertainment section of K-Mart. Correct?

    I don't know, I'm just a simple puck but, it sure sounds like padding the count to me!

    Let me clarify,

    "Live Plus" is shorthand for TWO new sets of data being published by Nielsen since last December: "Live Plus Same Day" and "Live Plus Same Week".

    Live Plus Same Day may also be called "Live Plus One" or "Live + 1", on TVN, he began (today) calling it "L + S".

    Live Plus Same Week may also be called "Live Plus Seven" or Live + 7".

    At this point, I'd like to set aside TVN's possible motives for using Live Plus Same Day and focus on the more clear cut issue of his posting Live Plus Same Day ratings data without explaining that he was no longer using the Live ratings data and now attempting a "rowback" to "correct" the problem without actually telling his readers what he is doing and why.

    Here is what Brian is using for the ratings now:

    (L+SD)

    Now, we all know that (L+SD) = LSD, so it all makes sense.

    Looks like he's given you a mea culpa:

    A few vocal site visitors have questioned the set of ratings data used by TVNewser. I should have explained this in January: Since December 30, 2005, virtually all of the Scoreboards have been based on "LS," or live plus same day data. (The only exception is when the ratings are "via" another site.) Nielsen started publishing this data in December. The data set includes same day DVR playback, for a more accurate assessment of total viewership. The difference between L and LS data is usually within a few thousand viewers. I apologize for any confusion in the past. Future Scoreboards will include a label to indicate the type of data being displayed.

    Look, this TV Newser is a fraud. He got caught with his hand in the intern, I mean cookie jar, (thought I was talking about Olby) and now he has to admit it.

    In the Clinton Administration, speaking of things in interns, it was a non-denial, denial.

    Is it possible that when Keith started his program (2003, 2004 or whatever), there was no such thing as "same day" data. But now that that data can be collected, it shows a marked improvement from his initial 2004 or whatever programs (i.e., that's why their claiming his ratings have grown so much)?

    Got interrupted again. "their" should be "they're".

    Missy,

    Nielsen first began offering "Live Plus" data in December 2005. Countdown first aired in early 2003.

    The difference between Live and Live Plus Same Day is relatively small in general but more so for news programming for obvious reasons - so the impact on KO's ratings is relatively small.

    Ratings for cable news is event driven. In the case of MSNBC they got a big ratings boost when NBC broadcast some Olympic events on MSNBC and they served as a lead in to some of their regular programs. All news channels got a boost during and after Katrina, likewise now with the fighting in Israel and Lebanon.

    Measuring growth then is a game where you can make the numbers do what you want - to some degree - by picking a convenient starting and ending point. If you pick a low point like Nov. 2004 and measure to a high point like Feb-March 2006 KO shows ratings growth. If you measure from the Winter Olympics until before the recent fighting, KO has experienced a ratings decline.

    I don't have all the numbers but the best way to evaluate the show is probably by using an appropriately formulated moving average. My sense is that KO has only recently gotten back the audience that MSNBC gave up when they canned Phil Donahue and that the general long-term trend is that he is adding about 7,000 viewers per month which is growth but relatively modest growth.

    The real problem for Olbermann is that he is on a last place cable news network and the problems he has had there are the same that every other show has had there.

    RE: Brian's mea culpa.

    It's good that he has come clean but I am surprised to find that he has actually been doing this since the beginning of the year. No wonder he doesn't want to go back and correct all those posts.

    His readers can decide whether his assertion that Live Plus is "a more accurate assessment of total viewership" is true. I have already noted that Nielsen admitted that the were strange anamolies in their Live Plus data in February and I have never heard them say that the problems with that data have been fixed (too few DVR users in their sample set to get accurate extrapolations from their data).

    One thing he has not addressed his comments on this site that my claim that he was inflating numbers was "false". He is now admitting that through omission he represented those numbers to be the Live ratings. That the cause was his own sloppiness and not some nefarious plot to boost Keith Olbermann does not lessen his responsibility for causing the confusion in the first place.

    The real problem for Olbermann is that he is on a last place cable news network and the problems he has had there are the same that every other show has had there.

    yes, and since he's been in last place in the ratings for something like three years now, that means there's probably only another three years or so left for you to predict his imminent demise.

    One thing he has not addressed [is] his comments on this site that my claim that he was inflating numbers was "false". He is now admitting that through omission he represented those numbers to be the Live ratings. That the cause was his own sloppiness and not some nefarious plot to boost Keith Olbermann does not lessen his responsibility for causing the confusion in the first place.

    yes, it's a hot raging controversy, alright ... which undoubtedly resulted in dozens of people being confused as to why TVNewser numbers differed by 5 percent (if not 10!) from other ratings sources. and this transparent "mea culpa" below only furthers to support the idea that his irresponsibility was an intentional, if not conspiratorial, attempt to dishonestly boost Countdown's ratings (as part of the regular MSM capaign of mis- and dis-information).

    A few vocal site visitors have questioned the set of ratings data used by TVNewser. I should have explained this in January: Since December 30, 2005, virtually all of the Scoreboards have been based on "LS," or live plus same day data. (The only exception is when the ratings are "via" another site.) Nielsen started publishing this data in December. The data set includes same day DVR playback, for a more accurate assessment of total viewership. The difference between L and LS data is usually within a few thousand viewers. I apologize for any confusion in the past. Future Scoreboards will include a label to indicate the type of data being displayed.

    I have never called it a "hot raging controversy" or anything like that. What I have said is that those attempting to promote TVNewser as some kind of font of journalistic integrity are engaged in a perpetrating a fraud. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel for me to spend time pointing out the myriad ways that TVNewser LACKS any sort of integrity. And just so I am clear, TVN lacks integrity as a blog because Brian himself lacks integrity.

    That you OlbyLoons are crying over this only serves to highlight that TVN is an MSNBC-boosting, Olby-boosting shill site which makes TVN's hypocrisy fair game for this site.

    I have never called it a "hot raging controversy" or anything like that.

    no, you just harp on and on about it with sound and fury for days and days.

    That you OlbyLoons are crying over this

    no boo-hoos here. just amazed at the extent of your obsessions.

    only serves to highlight that TVN is an MSNBC-boosting, Olby-boosting shill site

    good windmill for you to battle.

    which makes TVN's hypocrisy fair game for this site.

    yeah, if you've got nothing better to do with your life.

    Cox: which makes TVN's hypocrisy fair game for this site.

    Anon: "yeah, if you've got nothing better to do with your life."

    Um, anon, you do realize that you've "got nothing better to do with your life" than come to a website you hate and make annoying comments? You are in no position to tell anyone else to "get a life."

    more clear thinking from the right ... logic is not their strong point ... a big problem among the twisted dysfunctional few who are drawn to authoritarianism ...

    Um, anon, you do realize that you've "got nothing better to do with your life" than come to a website you hate and make annoying comments? You are in no position to tell anyone else to "get a life."

    a quick visit among the resident morons is not the same as the quixotic creation of, and undying devotion to, such an atrosity as this, tiny mind.

    Ahhhh! I see! So you are superior because you just come by now and then between your scientific experiments and professional tennis matches?

    No, he's superior because he knows how to spell "atrosity". Hahahaha!

    Hahahahahahahah! Bwahahahahahahahaha!

    that's sure tellin' 'em J$! stoopid spellerer.

    When people start insulting spelling you know they've got nothing else to say. I consider it a win, as should you, anon.

    The really funny part ,is watching how far KFk's nose is up Johnny's ass. Doesen't that get a little uncomfortable John?

    Keith's ratings are really blowing up in the quixotic coconut-on-hollow-log-relayed Morse code community. Those numbers are figured via the Live Plus Same Month Nielsen diaries.

    The most important thing you can do with your life is read this site several times each day and agree with everything I say. The second most important is to read the site every say and disagree with everything I say.

    Thank you for devoting part of your time to exposing MSNBC hack Brian Stelter. His responses (or lack thereof, in most cases) is very humorous, because when he truly tries to debate people it makes him appear like the deer in headlights he is. Sure, he's just a kid, but it's so obvious he's a junior varsity player, which is probably why he wants to work at MSNBC.

    Is it just me or does Anon sound like TVSNOOZER"S LITTLE BROTHER!

    TVNewser is at it again. Over the weekend, Keith Olbermann did a NAZI SALUTE while wearing a mask mocking Bill O'Reilly. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6355563.html

    There is NOTHING, zero, nada about this on TVNewser, just a silly caption contest about Olbermann wearing the O'Reilly mask. The Olbermann-promoting TVNewser coward also will not mention the fact that he accused Fox News of hacking into his e-mail.

    Make sure that the TVNewser child does not get away with this nonsense.

    I was just over there. Non did you see it? Do you care to say something?

    Please! somebody had to be there with a camera or video-cam.

    I'd also like to know what the crowd reaction was.

    The article is now over at Drudge.

    UPDATE: OlbyWatch Radio - I will be live on the Pat Campbell radio show at 8:05 to 8:20AM ET to discuss KO, his Nazi salute and all things Olby. Pat's blog is here. There is a live stream here (you have to register but it's free)