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December 8, 2017

Meet Maddy Mako

As a Manager, Audience and Market Research, in the Marketing and Engagement Department, Maddy Mako gathers, analyzes, and disseminates local and national viewership data, generally in the form of Nielsen ratings data. “I report and analyze this data as it relates to marketing, product and customer behavior to assist colleagues with informed Programming and Underwriting decisions,” Maddy says. Read on to learn about the findings from Maddy’s Broadcast Year in Review Report, the public media shows on her must-watch list, and more.

What is your background, and how did you land at WNET?

I started working in media and advertising research for advertising agency planners about 15 years ago after studying Telecommunications (Broadcast/Cable) at Penn State. I took a four-year break from research to work as a running coach, personal trainer, and manage a triathlon store on the Upper West Side, but decided to return to the media industry after a nagging injury made it less fun. I found a research position supporting the sales team at a new cable network that was focused on socially conscious programming. Some great foresight and lucky timing landed me here just as the network was folding in the summer of 2016.

You recently presented the Audience & Market Research Department’s Year in Review recap for the 2016-2017 broadcast season. What are your top three takeaways from the presentation?

People are watching television less, but they aren’t consuming less content. WNET’s stations are experiencing the same ratings downturn as every other broadcast station and most cable networks, except for cable news. Current national events have benefitted the ratings on the 24-hour cable news nets. The most positive point from the recap is that our local programs saw overall growth year-over-year, so it shows that these programs are resonating with the audience.

For our Media with Impact campaign, we’ve been asking viewers to share stories describing how THIRTEEN has influenced their life. How has THIRTEEN (or the PBS station of your childhood) inspired you?

My childhood was filled with THIRTEEN and NJN. I can remember as a kid watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Sesame Street, The Electric Company, 3-2-1 Contact, Square One (especially Mathnet!) My mother likes to tell the story of me watching a ballet on THIRTEEN when I was a toddler. I was transfixed and my parents finally had an inkling of what they could do with this kid with too much energy. As soon as she could, she signed me up for dance class. I was the youngest little tumbler in class at just three years old. I took ballet, jazz, and tap classes until I was 17. And Masterpiece is still appointment viewing at my parents’ house. If you took away all television but one station, I would choose THIRTEEN.

Which three shows airing on our stations this month are you most likely to watch, stream, or record?

I’ve already streamed all of Scott & Bailey, so I’m trying to get through Whitechapel before it’s gone. I’m also looking forward to Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and The Great British Baking Show.

Where do you live, and what are some of your favorite places in your neighborhood?

I live in Fort George, which, if you’ve never heard of it — and you probably haven’t — is at the northern end of Washington Heights, just south of Inwood. I am very lucky to live across the street from Fort Tryon Park and just a few blocks from Inwood Hill Park. They are amazing oases in the city. I go to the park every day with my dog and see beautiful views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, and walk around a medieval castle.

Do you have a special interest or hobby outside of work? If so, tell us about it!

There are two things that my life outside of work are totally consumed by: salsa dancing and my dog Biscuit. Biscuit is a rescue pup from Miami. I was fostering her and fell hard about eight hours in. She is a feisty Chihuahua mix who has her own Instagram (@Biscuitrules). When I’m not here or in salsa class, I am with Biscuit. She comes with me to as many places as I can take her. In addition to always being a hit on the subway, Biscuit has watched the Boston Marathon, traveled to Providence on Amtrak, gone on vacation to Maine, and comes to New Jersey on the bus. (Don’t tell NJ Transit! I’m not sure it’s legit, but she never causes trouble.) Biscuit has a handful of adorable tricks, and I’m working on getting her to learn some salsa moves. Maybe they’ll let her into the Copa one day!

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