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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Television and Radio

A wealth of information is available on TV and radio media. Following are some information sources that I've found useful.

Broadcasters: Information about television and radio stations is available through the FCC's CDBS Public Access database. In particular, companies that own broadcasters must disclose ownership on Form 323 every two years, and that ownership information is available through the Ownership Search in the Public Access database.

Broadcasting Schedules: Yahoo! posts current TV schedules. For older schedules, call the station in question or check back issues of newspapers or TV Guide. For listings from back issues of newspapers not available in a local library, call NYPL Premium Services and ask if they can get copies of what you need, either in their own collection or from another library.

Monitoring Services: Services that monitor radio and TV news shows for a company name, person, product, etc. include Vocus, Critical Mention, ShadowTV and TVEyes. LatinClips monitors Internet, TV and radio sources focusing on the U.S. Hispanic, Latin American and Caribbean markets.

Ratings: The main rating agency for TV shows is Nielson. A list of the top-rated shows is posted on Zap2It. Weekly ratings for the major networks are published in Variety and the Washington Post (Style section) on Wednesdays -- and probably other papers too. If that doesn't get you what you need, you can send a written request to the Law Department at Nielsen Media Research, Inc., 770 Broadway, New York NY 10003-9595.

The main rating agencies for radio are Arbitron (212-887-1300) and AccuTrack, which provide rankings for ratio stations in various markets.

Note: A reference to an "under 100" market means it is in one of the 99 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the U.S.; a reference to a "100+" market means it's one of the other MSAs. For radio, these "rankings" are done by Arbitron based on U.S. Census data and are posted on the R&R Web site.

For song and album charts based on sales, see "Music."

Stations: The Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook (Bowker) lists all radio and TV stations, plus some cable stations from the U.S. and Canada. TVRadio World links to station Web sites.

For more, see the Ratings section, above.

Transcripts: BurellesLuce (800-631-1160) and Aegis RapidText sell transcripts of TV shows. For TV and radio news, see "News - Television & Radio - Transcripts and Recordings."

See Also
Federal Communications Commission
Metropolitan Areas
News - Television & Radio - Transcripts and Recordings

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman