An employee at an L.A. radio station owned by Univision has been fired for manipulating Nielsen’s ratings system by posing as a member of their sample audience.
The revelation is a blow to both the KSCA-FM (101.9) and Nielsen Holdings, which last week said problems in its audience pool was isolated to a single household. The executive in question, who was not named, had access to measurement devices, according to published reports.
But after finding problems in the May and April sample, Nielsen was forced to postpone the release of ratings for the second largest media market, Los Angeles.
At the same time, the news is an embarrassment to Univision station KSCA-FM (101.9), which had recently been embroiled in a high-profile scandal after it fired top-rated morning drive time host Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo over allegations of sexual harassment.
In April, the replacement show, "El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo," shot to number one for morning drive time audiences leapfrogging four other shows that were top rated in March.
Univision Radio President Jose Valle issued a statement on Monday to explain that Nielsen alerted them to a KSCA exec who was cheating the system.
“We commenced an investigation and took immediate action by terminating the employee based on our findings,” Valle confirmed in a statement. “We are cooperating fully with Nielsen and the MRC to ensure the industry has quality data.”
In his statement, Valle emphasized that the household in question was different from another household, which Nielsen recently identified as a problem in connection to Los Angeles ratings.