Methodology to 100 Leading Media Cos., 2010 edition

Ad Age's 30th annual ranking

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100 Leading Media Companies is an annual ranking based on net U.S. media revenue. Media Family Trees is a database that shows revenue, major properties, key facts, website links and article links related to the top 100 media firms.

Advertising Age publishes 100 Leading Media Companies in its print edition and on

Ad Age produces Media Family Trees as an online database and, in summary form, as a print poster showing facts about the top 15 companies.

Ad Age released its last 100 Leading Media Companies report, Media Trees database and Media Trees poster on Sept. 27, 2010.

Ad Age will release the next report in fall 2011.

To order copies of Ad Age's Sept. 27, 2010 print edition, including the Leading Media Companies report and the Media Trees poster, please e-mail

The database and expanded online report are part of premium content available to Ad Age DataCenter subscribers. Please visit or e-mail for subscription information.

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Companies are ranked on net revenue from U.S. media. Net U.S. media revenue figures are Ad Age DataCenter estimates based on data from financial filings, company disclosures and Ad Age analysis.

Media is defined as information and entertainment content distribution systems in which advertising (including branded entertainment) is a key element. Revenue includes what media companies collect from marketers (advertising); from consumers (subscriptions, fees, movie tickets, DVD sales, video-game software/online services); and from other media companies (TV production/licensing/syndication, fees paid by multichannel video programming distributors to cable networks and TV broadcasters).

Revenue for 2009 and 2008 are from figures compiled and analyzed in 2010. Figures for 2008 may be restated from 2008 figures in last year's report. Figures for some companies are based on fiscal years.

Net media revenue is shown pro forma for 2009 and/or 2008 if acquisitions or divestitures completed in 2010, 2009 or 2008 had significant effect on revenue.

Lists of company properties are not all-inclusive; not all properties are shown.

Net U.S. cable/video providers, broadband revenue includes multichannel video programming distributors (cable, satellite, telecom companies), broadband internet services and dial-up internet service providers.

Net U.S. broadcast TV revenue includes TV networks and stations.

Gross revenue figures for newspaper properties, TV stations and radio stations are from BIA/Kelsey and exclude properties' digital (for example, internet or mobile) revenue.

Net U.S. movies, TV production, video games revenue includes film, home entertainment (DVDs), video-game software/online subscriptions and TV production/licensing/syndication.

Net U.S. digital revenue shown in this report is not all-inclusive; other media sectors broken out in this report may include significant digital revenue related to those sectors.

Ad Age DataCenter has produced the 100 Leading Media Companies report since 1981 (covering 1980 revenue).

Key sources:
Box Office Mojo
Kantar Media
National Cable & Telecommunications Association
Publishers Information Bureau
SNL Kagan

DataCenter staff: Bradley Johnson, Kevin Brown, Maureen Morrison, Katy Gallagher, Keri Lynch, Catherine Wolf.

This document (published Sept. 27, 2010), and information contained therein, is the copyrighted property of Crain Communications Inc. and The Ad Age Group (Copyright 2010) and is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, display on a website, distribute, sell or republish this document, or the information contained therein, without the prior written consent of The Ad Age Group.

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