Roger Brown and his wife Mary

Roger Brown and his wife Mary (seated, at right) celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary at Pisces Rising, in Mount Dora. They are joined by neighbors Noreen and Joe McCall.

Upset your favorite TV has or is going to go off the air? Especially when you and everyone you know — meaning the whole wide world — watches it? Why not ask Roger Brown. 

Brown, a northeast transplant who currently lives in Groveland, has a resume filled with interesting positions at some of the nation’s largest corporations. 

Originally from Danville, Pennsylvania, Brown spent his professional career climbing the corporate ladder, taking on executive roles in human resources, financial services and organizational development for financial institutions, consulting firms and brands like Xerox and Nielsen — especially Nielsen. 

But before getting to that, Brown worked 20 years for Dun & Bradstreet, a data and analytics firm that has a storied history. For example, it employed people who later went on to become President of the United States, such as Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Simpson Grant, Grover Cleveland and William McKinley. 

Dun & Bradstreet is also the parent company of AC Nielsen (known today as The Nielsen Corporation), which provides market research and analyzes TV rating data. Brown served as Nielsen’s Vice President of Human Resources and Administration for six years.            

For those of certain age ranges, Nielsen is synonymous with analyzing TV viewing habits, especially before the advent of cable, satellite, streaming and other modern technological approaches and advancements.        

Brown says that during his time there “The Beverly Hillbillies” was the highest-rated show of all time. These ratings helped Nielsen’ customers consult with broadcasters to decide where and when their commercials should air. 

“In essence, the ratings reflect the show’s popularity, not program quality,” Brown said.  

     Ratings were calculated using U.S. Census data to create a cross-section demographic in particular neighborhoods. Homeowners were randomly selected and volunteered to have a rating meter installed on their TV or kept a paper diary to record their TV viewing habits. The meter and paper results were tabulated at a computer center in Dunedin. 

From there head honchos of television, advertising agencies and certain companies that manufactured goods or performed services, determined which television programs would be renewed and which would be cancelled; as well as determine what day of the week and what time slot a particular show ran. Now you know.

 

PERHAPS HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN SHOW BIZ!     

Brown’s career allowed his family, including his wife, Mary, and three children, to travel the country.  Over 40 years, the couple lived in 15 different homes in seven states. Brown says he enjoyed living in different parts of the country. 

“Each place had something different to offer,” he said.     

So, what brought Brown to central Florida? 

     “A Buick,” he said.

     The Browns moved into a home in Trilogy Orlando, in the same neighborhood as his in-laws. A small pond and island separate their houses. 

“I tell them that once the pond freezes over in the winter, we can walk across it to them,” said Brown.

  

RETIRED, BUT … 

Brown’s last full-time job was helping turnaround a failing YMCA in Pennsylvania. Since then, Brown has spent time in and out of retirement.       

He is involved with events and activities in his neighborhood. He is a part of the Trilogy Orlando Veterans Association, which organizes events to benefit the local community, such as blood and school supply drives.

 The Browns love exploring the local area as a couple. They spend a lot of time in Mount Dora, dining with friends, and catching a show at the Garden Theatre in downtown Winter Garden. They’ve also enjoyed taking airboat rides along the Kissimmee River. 

   In the future, the Browns plan to travel more and take advantage of what central Florida has to offer.  

“We always say this is our last house. Fourteen houses later, we say the same thing. In an hour and a half, we can stay at a hotel on the ocean or visit NASA. We totally enjoy it here.” 

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