Nielsen Shutters Facility as Hurricane Approaches

Aug 12, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen Media Research began notifying clients Thursday that its Dunedin, Fla., operations center will be closed for normal business Friday, due to massive mandatory evacuation orders from public safety officials preparing for Hurricane Charley expected to sock the Tampa Bay area with perhaps 120 m.p.h. winds.

Nielsen began battening down its hatches in Dunedin, which is just north of St. Petersburg in the southern Gulf Coast county of Pinellas, where a state of emergency was to take effect as of 6 p.m. Thursday.

Nearly 700,000 people were ordered to leave coastal and low-lying areas in Pinellas and neighboring Hillsborough County, where many Nielsen employees reside.

A Nielsen spokeswoman said there would be a skeleton volunteer crew monitoring critical operations at the Dunedin campus, which includes a hurricane-protected building that opened in October 2003. However, pending completion of the second phase of construction, some Nielsen employees still work in older structures.

National ratings for Wednesday night and fringe dayparts for last week were delivered on time Thursday afternoon. However, Nielsen began notifying some clients that it would produce data as best it could but could make no promises covering the next few days.