Jane Clarke will step down as managing director at the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, and will be succeeded by Jon Watts, a longtime consultant who has specialized in data and tracking digital activity. He joins a group that strives to scrutinize media measurement just as that topic has become one of the hottest in the sector.
Clarke, who has led CIMM since its inception in 2009, will retire as its CEO and managing director. Watts will formally take the reins of the organization in the first quarter of 2022. The group was founded by many of the nation’s big TV-network owners in 2009, was acquired by the Advertising Research Foundation in 2018.
Watts is co-founder and executive director of The Project X Institute, a think tank and strategic advisory collective for the media and advertising industries. He also serves as project director for The TV Data Initiative, a consortium of data and technology companies, including DISH Media, Blockgraph, TVSquared, MadHive, VideoAmp, TransUnion, Eyeota and Magnite, focused on supporting the growth and development of the U.S. TV data ecosystem.
The media industry is scrutinizing how it tabulates viewership, with owners of TV networks squabbling with Nielsen, the company that has taken on that task for decades. Nielsen has, for now, lost industry backing for its national and local ratings products and NBCUniversal is examining potential alternatives.
“There is perhaps no one individual in the industry today more responsible for advancing cross-platform video measurement than Jane,” said Scott McDonald, president and CEO of ARF, in a statement. “Her ability to help buyers, sellers and vendors join together to identify a vision and act upon it, backed by her unique understanding of the technical and business challenges involved, has made it possible for the industry to be near attainment of its ultimate goal. She now leaves that mission in the very experienced and capable hands of Jon.”
During Clarke’s tenure, CIMM launched pilot tests of measurement solutions and conducted research to try to develop industry confidence for new measurement solutions. “CIMM is a special organization where all segments of the industry can come together to jointly evaluate and spur the development of new technologies and methodologies to ensure they work for the needs of all,” Clarke said. “I am honored to have helped guide CIMM and immensely proud of what we have achieved.”