Muszynski responds to negative meeting review


Chief Investment Officer for SMGx (former Starcom USA CEO) John Muszynski, as promised, has responded to a complaint from an industry source who attended a meeting set by SMGx 2/4 with broadcast groups to discuss the Live Only stream going away. The source had numerous complaints about the meeting, which basically circled around SMGx not being prepared and not being educated enough on local TV audience measurement.

Said Muszynski:
Thanks for the opportunity to address Monday’s article from RBR-TVBR. Our statement on the piece is as follows; for the sake of complete fairness to all parties participating in the private meeting, buyers and sellers alike, we’d hope and expect that the statement be run in its entirety [which it did].

“Monday, RBR-TVBR ran an article, attributed solely to a single, unnamed source, regarding a private meeting held on the topic of local ad metrics. The meeting was led not by Starcom, as the article stated, but by SMGx —  Starcom MediaVest Group’s consolidated, U.S.- based unit created to redefine the way our agencies steward market intelligence, digital acceleration and client adspend. The meeting was held for buyers and sellers to discuss the ramifications of potential changes in the availability of certain local data streams, to build common ground on this challenging issue between negotiating parties. Quite simply, the alleged perceptions of this unnamed source who dictated the article do not accurately reflect the events of the meeting, much less the progress made as a result of the gathering.

The most basic premises of the story are untrue. Not only was the hosting agency team from SMGx misrepresented, but there were no research presenters (contrary to what the story cited), and the data presented by SMGx buyers was the most accurate and up-to-date available Nielsen provided the industry. Other, more subjective claims from the unknown source regarding other aspects of the meeting don’t reflect its true nature. For example, the topic of set-top-box data was and has always been presented in the light of ‘progress versus perfection’ and we have always ceded that there are challenges we must overcome together. Further, several station groups in attendance have done set top box partnerships with us, and vocally expressed that they will continue to do so.

We really want to focus on the true nature of the meeting — to recognize that there’s more collaboration going on than was represented in the article. All interested parties should know that buyers and sellers are working together actively to reach consensus on this difficult issue.  As further support that our partners were respectfully engaged at the meeting…

        ‘The unnamed source mischaracterized the real preparedness and professionalism SMGx brought to the meeting and discussion. I really appreciated the time, attention and the approach that John and Kevin brought and the presentation.’ -Paul Trelstad, SVP, Gannett Broadcasting

This forum has held privately to transition this issue from ongoing public debate and to help ease the back-and-forth tension on this issue, and the truth is, we made headway toward that goal. We look forward to continuing dialogue among all involved parties to reach our shared goal of fair negotiation currency, that provides accountable value to marketers and represents the value of our media partners.”


John Muszynski, SMGX Chief Investment Officer
[email protected]