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February 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Oprah Winfrey, whose OWN cable network remains ratings-challenged, apologized on Monday for posting a message on Twitter asking so-called Nielsen families — those sampled by the ratings service for its daily reports — to tune in to her channel. Sent out just minutes before her latest episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter went on the air, the message read: “Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Nielsen box.” Such a message is clearly verboten under Nielsen rules, and on Monday Winfrey sent a statement to the New York Times acknowledging that she “removed the tweet at the request of Nielsen.” She added, “I intended no harm and apologize for the reference.” For its part, Nielsen told the Times that it plans to insert an asterisk in OWN’s ratings for the Winfrey program noting a “possible biasing effect” from her statement.