If rumors being reported by veteran Chicago media reporter Robert Feder are true, the Chicago radio market as defined by Nielsen Audio is about to say goodbye to a county in Wisconsin and hello to a county in Indiana.
Quoting unnamed sources, Feder says there is an effort “among local broadcasters” to eliminate Kenosha County, Wisc., from the Chicago market.
With the disappearance of the Wisconsin county would come the addition of Jasper County, Indiana.
This would bring the Nielsen Audio market definition for the nation’s third-biggest market in closer alignment to the Chicago DMA — something that may be integral to the rollout of Portable People Meter (PPM) data to Nielsen TV audience estimates.
If this shift were to occur, Feder says the station most-impacted by the change would be Hubbard Radio Classic Rocker WDRV-FM 97.1, which has used WWDV-FM 96.9 in Zion, Ill., to cover Kenosha and the northern points of the Chicago metro — including Waukegan — for several years.
Asked for comment by RBR + TVBR, a Nielsen spokesperson on Saturday provided the following statement: “Nielsen receives frequent requests from clients to evaluate markets for potential metro redefinition opportunities. We have established policies and guidelines to what constitutes a metro and which counties may be added or removed as part of redefining a local radio area. For any changes to survey area geography due to metro redefinition policy, 75 percent of clients must agree to the changes under formal evaluation. We continuously evaluate local metros for redefinition and clients are notified of any changes prior to implementation.”
The change requires the OK of nine out of 12 Nielsen Audio subscriber groups, Feder notes. Any changes would be implemented later this year.