Audience Tracker NRG Sold to Stagwell

   Nov. 16, 2015-Nielsen’s storied National Research Group film marketing firm has been sold to Stagwell Media, another company in movie consumer research.
   Stagwell looks to be a consolidator buying other entertainment research companies. “The Stagwell Group LLC is a registered investment adviser, formed in December 2014 by Mark Penn who serves as the Managing Partner and President of Stagwell Media LLC, a private equity fund,” says a press release announcing the sale. “The fund previously announced it has raised $250 million in capital and may leverage that to make up to $750 million in acquisitions.” It recently bought marketing outfit SKDKnickerbocker LLC.
   The seller, consumer research giant Nielsen, is backing away from pure entertainment. It sold its EDI box office tracking service to Rentrak in 2010.
   Says the third edition of Marketing To Moviegoers, “In 1978, National Research Group (NRG), founded by Joe Farrell, entered the market and became the most influential player in the modern era of film research. NRG became the research vendor to all Hollywood studios, which dramatically increased their spending and reliance on audience testing.”
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