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Our Own John McMorrow Talks Shop with CRE

Published: Friday, April 15, 2016 @ 1:49 PM

Our Own John McMorrow Talks Shop with CRE

Tell us about your role at CoxReps a division of Cox Media Group.

In my current position as Vice President Director of Content and Consultative Services, I chart the direction of the content department in advising over 300 local broadcast television station clients from all the major broadcast groups. The department advises these broadcast groups in all aspects of content, program scheduling, audience research insights and promotion opportunities. Our recommendations are all based in thorough analysis of many different data sets. CoxReps’ core advertising sales are two billion dollars annually and can grow to three billion in a political year like 2016. I mention this because these sales are predicated on local market audience ratings. So ratings are at the heart of the company’s revenue and obviously very important to us.

What is the mission of the CRE’s Local Measurement Committee?

Be forward thinking with improvements for local media measurement to accurately capture and account for consumption habits with the rapidly changing and expanding availability of TV content across devices.

What projects are planned for the remainder of 2016?

The committee has been considering a longitudinal study of media consumption in cooperation with a number of universities. The goal will be to document media consumption of young people and follow them through several life changes – including college, graduation, jobs, marriage, kids – to see how their behavior changes over time. We have also started looking at some new forms of data, including Smart TV data, to determine if there could be value from a local perspective.

Finally, we are working with the Audio Committee on a recent project to see if combining radio and TV measurement in local markets could provide the economic scale to replace the old diary methods in the smaller markets.

What do you see as being the biggest challenges facing local measurement today?

The challenge at the forefront continues to be developing accurate measurement that captures the fluidness of viewing across all devices. Finding this “Holy Grail” that captures and reports all the viewing for local stations across all devices is a primary need. Staying ahead or at least in-step with progressive investigation of measurement systems that can offer insight into what and how things are being consumed gives great direction for planning the future of the local television model.

Are there any new areas of research you would like to see the committee explore?

We plan to undertake a longitudinal study on viewer media consumption, which I’m excited about. I believe there is a lot of value in exploring machine-based learning. Monitoring advancements that measurement companies are making with consumer usage of Smart TVs has a lot of value as they continue to permeate the television ecosystem. Lastly, undertaking a study to measure the effectiveness of driving viewers to local station websites might be a collaborative project to consider.