Top Leaders of Media-Measurement Firm Comscore Leave Abruptly

Neilsons Measurment Problems TV Digital
The Voorhes for Variety

Comscore, one of the media industry’s best-known sources of audience measurement, is recalibrating itself yet again after the departure of two of its top executives.

The company, which for several years has vied with Nielsen in the business of chronicling audiences for video across several different platforms, said Sunday night that both Bryan Wiener and Sarah Hofstetter, two well-known executives from the advertising industry, had stepped down from their roles as CEO and president of the company, respectively.

Dale Fuller, a member of the company’s board of directors, was named interim CEO, and the company said it had initiated a search for a new executive to fill the role. Hofstetter’s position is not being replaced at present.

Wiener was named CEO of the company last April. He and Hofstetter had worked together for years at the digital-ad agency 360i, where he was executive chairman of the Dentsu-owned agency and she was CEO.

The executive shuffle marks the second change of command at Comscore in less than a year. The company, which has tried to use its purchase of Rentrak in 2016 to compete more directly with Nielsen, hired Wiener to move the company forward after suffering years of accounting irregularities. The previous CEO, Gian Fulgoni, retired from the company in November of 2017.

Comscore has built a business in measuring viewership of local TV stations, and does business with CBS and Nexstar Media. among other media companies. Comscore also tracks movie box-office results.

In a statement released Sunday night, Wiener cited “irreconcilable differences” between himself and the company’s board of directors.

“This afternoon, I resigned as CEO and Board Member of Comscore. I have been very fortunate to lead Comscore during a period of significant change and to be part of such a talented team turning around the company strategically, financially and reputationally. I ultimately chose to leave as the Board and I had irreconcilable differences over how to execute the company’s strategy,” Wiener said. “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished in such a short period of time, and believe the company is strategically positioned to continue to take advantage of the rapidly evolving media marketplace with a core focus on advanced TV, and I wish its loyal employees, clients and investors well.”

Hofstetter said she would leave given that she agreed with the course of business Comscore had been following. “Given Bryan had differences with the Board over how to execute the company’s strategy, and the two of us were aligned on the plan, I have made the decision to resign,” she said in a statement. “It has been a privilege to be part of Comscore and to work with so many talented professionals who have been the driving force behind the company’s transformation.”

Comscore on Sunday named three new executives to the board: Irwin Gotlieb,  the former Chairman of WPP’s GroupM media-investment arm; Joanne Bradford, a technology and media veteran who is currently chief marketing officer at Social Finance; and Kathi Love, CEO of the management consulting firm Motherwell Reources and the former CEO of measurement firm GfK MRI.