The historic system TV uses to sell advertising is in flux in search of accuracy and precision – but it can’t come soon enough for Emily Barr.

The industry is embarking on a shift, from the historic method of measuring and selling TV eyeballs using rough “gross rating points” (GRPs) to selling on real viewership, by digital-style impression.

Barr, the CEO of local TV owner Graham Media Group, says the transition will not be complicated and will finally give advertisers something they have been demanding.

“I think it’s actually very easy to do because we actually are an impression-based business now – we just have been translating it back to GRPs,” she tells Beet.TV in this video interview.

“It’s actually easier, I, think for most people to understand that, say, 30,000 people are watching you than to say 0.5% of the population is watching you.

“For whatever reason, we started out in this rating-share kind of world and I think now that we are going to impressions, I’m a big supporter of it because it levels the playing field across all these platforms. Now I can look at digital and OTT and TV in the same way. And I can say there’s 30,000 here and there’s 250,000 here and I can potentially put them together or I can create a package for an advertiser.”

Detroit-based Graham Media Group operates in six states:

It also has its own Atlanta-based Social News Desk, a dashboard allowing 2,500+ worldwide newsroom customers to publish, measure, curate and monetize local news content on social platforms.

Barr says the “demise” of local newspapers has left local TV functioning as the “north star” for consumers.

This interview was conducted by Janus Insights & Strategy president Howard Shimmel.

The interview took place at the at the TVB Forward conference in New York.  The series is sponsored by WideOrbit.