Show Business: Ratings Berated

Networks may trumpet the latest figures in full-page ads; Madison Avenue may study them in a grey flannel funk. But for the average televiewer, ratings remain a mathematical mystery. Do they really tell whether one show is better than another? Or more popular? Or both? The answer, said Oklahoma's Democratic Senator Mike Monroney last week, is that the ratings add up to a statistical tyranny that fleeces the public of quality shows.

Beating the drums for a full-scale inquiry by his Senate Commerce Committee, scheduled to start in Manhattan next month, Monroney told Chicago Newscaster Len O'Connor: "Five hundred people polled out...

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