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BARB announces new chief executive

31 May 2012

The Board of BARB has appointed Justin Sampson as the new Chief Executive of BARB. He will succeed Bjarne Thelin, who announced in February that he would be leaving BARB at the end of the year after nine years at the helm. Justin will take up his post on 1 November to allow a handover period prior to Bjarne’s departure.

Announcing the appointment, BARB Chairman Nigel Walmsley said, ‘The Board is delighted that Justin is to join us. His wide experience in senior roles in broadcasting, research, marketing and television audience measurement will be invaluable. He will bring to the job both hands-on understanding of the core BARB gold standard service and an active engagement in digital media developments.’

Justin’s most recent position was Chairman of the ICM Group. Prior to that, he was UK Managing Director of AGB Nielsen, which specialises in TV audience measurement. His previous positions included ITV’s Director of Customer Relations, in which he was instrumental in the establishment of ThinkBox, and Managing Director of the Radio Advertising Bureau.

Prior to taking up his CEO rule, Justin will be joining BARB in mid August on a project basis to work with Bjarne some of BARB’s strategic projects to deploy new technology and data sources to measure changing audience behaviour.

Justin Sampson said, ‘Viewers have a wide array of choices for how and when they watch their favourite programmes thanks to digital developments, while businesses have more and more data on patterns of behaviour. The challenge for BARB is to maintain its gold standard television audience measurement regardless of the platforms and devices used by viewers. Leading BARB’s strategy through this changing environment is an exciting prospect.’

Notes for Editors

Bjarne Thelin announced in February that he would be leaving BARB at the end of 2012, after nine years in post, in order to give more attention to ideas inspired by his Christian faith as well as to explore other new creative or entrepreneurial initiatives.

For press enquires please telephone BARB on 020 7024 8100 or email

BARB ( started reporting UK television audiences in 1981, providing the industry-standard audience measurement service for television broadcasters and the advertising industry. It is a not-for-profit limited company owned by BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BSkyB and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

BARB provides in-home TV viewing measurement for the UK. This is obtained from a panel of 5100 homes. These homes return data from around 11,500 viewers. Viewing figures are available to subscribers the morning after transmission and include VCR, PVT and VOD playback where it matches to an originating transmission within 7 days (Consolidated Viewing).