Arthur C. Nielsen Jr., ratings entrepreneur, dies

TV ratings pioneer Arthur C. Nielsen Jr., chairman of the A.C. Nielsen Company, died Monday from Alzheimer’s-related complications. He was 92. Nielsen’s father may have invented the system still used by the ratings metrics company, but Nielsen was the force that innovated its uses and, indeed, made “Nielsen” a household name. He joined the company in 1945 after serving in World War II.

Seeing the importance of computer technology during his service, he convinced his father to make the company an early investor in the building the first general-purpose computer, the Univac. This enterprising spirit helped Nielsen grow the his company’s income from less than $4 million a year when he was named president in 1957 to more than $680 million. Nielsen retired in 1983, and his company his since been purchased by Dutch publishing company VNU, but his name — and his legacy — are indelible.

Comments (16 total) Add your comment
  • David


    • QWERTY

      LMAO, and he can take his outdated rating system with him, but RIP and everything :(

    • Cary

      excuse my insensitivity but LoL

  • Bethany

    Can we change the ratings system now?

  • llevinso

    I know this whole family. He had been sick for a very long time. He truly was a remarkable man.

  • F

    RIP. Now, at the risk of sounding insensitive, when can we get rid of the Nielsen ratings system?

    • llevinso

      I mean, as the article states, the Nielsen family sold the company so his death really has nothing to do with whether or not we still use the ratings system.

  • iHeart

    no I think the system should get an upgrade, they shouldn’t just measure ratings as the program goes on they should also measureTivo and DVR recordings to give more of an emphasis on ratings


      They do you idiot. Read things before you post.

  • jane

    Only the 18- 49 age demographic care that he is dead. And his funeral only pulled in a 6 share.

    • Shannon


  • Shannon

    $4-$680 Million is no chump change. I haven’t read anything about the Univac in years. He was a pretty accomplished man. Now that system is flawed in today’s world of cultural diversity. Can we move on now?

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