National Research Group has revamped and is moving forward under new ownership and new leadership by hiring two seasoned researchers — both well-known in their fields — to help lead the company’s efforts: Jason Pritchett, who was managing director of MarketCast and worked there for over a decade and Universal Pictures’ research exec Chuck Gaylord. This big news comes a little less than a year after The Stagwell Group purchased the well-known research company from Nielsen.
Pritchett, who is well-liked and well-respected around town, will work as head of creative testing, overseeing and managing the firm’s creative testing work. Gaylord, a solid research exec, joins as a senior VP, responsible for deepening the firm’s theatrical client relationships and strengthening NRG’s core research efforts. Both will report to Jon Penn, CEO of National Research Group.
The hirings are considered very strong, given that Pritchett has become a go-to source for testing and tracking numbers around town. His work ethic is well-known.
Pritchett will lead and direct NRG’s creative testing business. Previously, at MarketCast, Pritchett was a member of the management team and served as co-lead on all major studio accounts. Prior to that, he worked for eight years in film development, including a 3-year stint as head of development for Intertainment, a German-based film financing and distribution company.
Gaylord previously served as EVP of research and strategy for Universal Pictures where he ran research at the studio for two decades and served under four different studio heads and five different marketing chiefs. Most recently, Gaylord was the general manager of theatrical entertainment research at Lieberman Research Worldwide.
NRG provides data-driven advisory services to the film, video gaming, TV, streaming and media industries. The company, under previous owner Nielsen, had been misdirected and, some say, mismanaged which resulted in the firing of one of the town’s most beloved researchers/executives, Nielsen/NRG’s president Derek McLay. After McLay left, the company suffered one setback after another with layoffs and questions about its future.
That was all settled when The Stagwell Group came in and bought the company and gave the ship its rudder back with Jon Penn. The research company has been in business (in one form or another) for many decades.