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Nielsen plans to close former Arbitron call center in Columbia

Media ratings firm Nielsen Holdings will shutter its Columbia call center at the end of August, one of three the company will close as it absorbs Arbitron Inc.

A Nielsen spokesman declined to say how many people in Maryland will be affected by the call center's closing. A spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said the agency has not received word about layoffs since November, when Nielsen announced it would shed 330 jobs or about a third of its Columbia work force.

Nielsen acquired Columbia-based Arbitron for $1.3 billion last September to improve its ability to measure media consumption on multiple platforms. When the merger was announced in 2012, Arbitron employed nearly 1,000 full-time workers nationwide, including 640 full-time employees and 220 part-time workers in Columbia.

The cuts affect at least 450 workers nationwide, including 220 people in Sarasota, Fla., and 237 in Radcliff, Ky., according to notices filed May 6 with employment offices in those states. Prior to the cuts, Nielsen operated six call centers.

"As part of the integration of Nielsen Audio, Nielsen has implemented changes across the company to enhance growth and to align our resources to meet and exceed client needs," the company said in a statement. "These changes will improve productivity and innovation for the benefit of our clients and our organization."

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