What Will Former Nielsen Exec Be Doing For Cumulus?


Cohen was with the ratings firm for 19 years where he led Nielsen’s connected car streaming audio research initiative as Vice President, Measurement Innovation. He was also Vice President, Measurement Innovation for Arbitron, following five years as Vice President, Research Policy and Communication and eight years as Vice President, Domestic Radio Research for Arbitron.

According to Cumulus SVP of Content & Programming Mike McVay, Cohen will be responsible for ratings analysis, ratings maximization, and ratings and research consultation for programming and sales with a focus on stations having the largest potential ROI. Cohen will develop reports and “early warning” systems to anticipate problems. He’ll act as the “point of contact” with Nielsen and advise in strategic study design and execution including choice of methodologies, questionnaire design, and selection of vendors (where applicable) including rollouts and strategic planning.

McVay says Cohen will also advise him on audience targeting with a focus on “Code Red” situations. You may recall when Cumulus bought Citadel a few years back, several major market stations were designate “code red” by the company because ratings and revenue were in very bad shape. McVay says Cohen will also train management and programmers on understanding the best and most efficient use of rating and research information. He’ll also represent the “research voice” at Cumulus and investigate new measurement services with respect to increasing audiences and improving ROI for Cumulus stations and digital properties.


  1. In other words: Mr. Cohen has been brought in as an “insider” who may be in a better position to manipulate the ratings system for Cumulus’ benefit. Key word is “manipulate”.
    This, in lieu of taking responsibility for any improvements in on-air products and services.
    Having Mr. Cohen on board is probably a good decision – but a cynical one, as well.
    I can, however, appreciate that as the Programming cupboard is bare.
    (Turning loose former, frustrated “PD’s-in-chains” is to invite staff angst and regional and local disasters – the opposite of the desired state.)
    I’m still thinkin”…. deck chairs.


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