Nielsen Fight Continues

Posted April 16, 2004 at 5:55pm

Nielsen Fight Continues.  Despite the decision by Nielsen Media Research to postpone imposing a new ratings system for New York City, News Corp. and a coalition of minority organizations have no plans to let up the pressure on the television ratings organization.

[IMGCAP(1)]The group plans another round of advertising in New York and Washington news outlets pressuring Nielsen to change the proposed ratings system so that it does not hurt ratings for television shows popular with black and Hispanic viewers.

News Corp., the owner of Fox, fears that the system will cost it millions of dollars because Nielsen’s ratings are used to determine advertising rates for the network.

Earlier this month, News Corp. partnered with lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to persuade Nielsen to delay the rollout of the new ratings system for a few months.

Although News Corp. — mainly due to its Fox News broadcast subsidiary —

is viewed as a politically conservative corporation on Capitol Hill, it has reached out to minority groups on Capitol Hill and elsewhere in part by hiring a team of well-known Democratic consultants.

Among the Democrats on its team are former White House spokesman Mike McCurry, former Vice President Al Gore aide Mike Feldman and former Democratic National Committee official Minyon Moore.

Greenberg Traurig Lands/Loses Biz.  Despite the recent Senate investigation into their business, Greenberg Traurig continues to recruit new clients.

Earlier this month, the firm registered to lobby on behalf of Cincinnatus LLC, a developer of homeland security technology and products.

The firm also inked a deal with Wordsworth Academy and Drayton, Drayton and Lamar.

However, one of the firm’s biggest clients, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, has suspended its contract with Greenberg Traurig until Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) finishes his investigation into the firm’s dealings with several American Indian tribes.

The move comes after Michigan’s Saginaw Chippewa tribe severed its ties to the firm.

Greenberg Traurig and former top lobbyist Jack Abramoff are the focus of a Senate investigation into more than $30 million in payments that Abramoff and his associate Michael Scanlon received for legislative and political work for several Indian tribes during the past few years.

Abramoff has since left the firm and joined Cassidy & Associates.

Barbour Signs Up New Clients. Despite losing their top rainmaker, the partners at Barbour Griffith & Rogers have signed up a few new clients.

According to lobbying disclosure forms on PoliticalMoneyLine.com, the firm has registered to lobby for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, the Coalition of Community Bankers and Gray Insurance Co.

Haley Barbour (R), one of the firm’s founding partners, left the firm earlier this year after being elected governor of Mississippi.

Arnold & Porter Nabs Clients. The Washington law firm Arnold & Porter has registered to lobby for a trio of groups on health care legislation.

According to lobbying disclosure forms, the firm will represent the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Eyeonics Inc. and the University of California at San Francisco Preventative Medicine Research Institute.

Wooly Mammoth Wants Money. Wooly Mammoth, the offbeat Washington, D.C., theater company, has hired Larry Chernikoff of Chernikoff & Co. to help represent it on Capitol Hill.

According to a lobbying disclosure form filed on PoliticalMoneyLine.com, the theater is seeking an earmark in this year’s Interior Department appropriations legislation.