BARB Boss McDevitt to Quit at Year End

21 July 2003

In the aftermath of a turbulent birth, the new TV audience measurement system operated by Britain’s BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board) is “established and running well”.

Despite this, however, the organization’s chief executive Caroline McDevitt last week announced her resignation, effective at the year end.

Says McDevitt: “It has been a rewarding and challenging five years overseeing the contractual arrangements and implementation of an entirely new TV audience measurement service and panel for the UK. I am leaving Barb in better shape than ever to face the future, and therefore it is time for me to move on and pursue other interests.”

Following the turmoil surrounding the introduction of BARB’s new methodology in January 2002 – a newly installed (and for months below-strength) audience panel resulted in suspect data and the apparent ‘loss’ by commercial channels of around 25% of their audience.

The debacle has already caused one head to roll – that of ousted BARB chairman Nick Phillips, a respected former director general of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, and widely regarded as a scapegoat [WAMN: 09-Aug-02] . He was eventually replaced by quondam Royal Mail wunderkind, later boss of Capital Radio and Carlton Communications, Nigel Walmsley.

Walmsley, who has stayed out of the news for much of his term, delivered the usual eulogy for the those-about-to-depart: “Caroline is … leaving Barb in good shape for her successor, and will be working with the board towards a smooth handover in the autumn. We wish Caroline well in her new plans.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff