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Steve Sternberg

Member since September 2009 Contact Steve

Steve Sternberg currently works as a freelance media consultant. He has more then 30 years of television and video analysis experience, having held top research posts at Bozell, TN Media, Magna Global, and ION Media Networks. He also authors The Sternberg Report (

Articles by Steve All articles by Steve

  • Why Most New Broadcast Series Will Flop in MediaDailyNews on 09/22/2015

    What has the greatest impact on whether a new series gets that all-important viewer sampling? Before a new series debuts, on-air promotion is still the most effective way to get potential viewers.

  • Pumped Trump Stumps Chumps in MediaDailyNews on 09/17/2015

    News anchors are so used to talking to themselves, and not challenging politicians who are practiced at providing non-answers, that they have completely lost touch with how real people think and feel.

  • The Donald Trumps Cable News in MediaDailyNews on 07/29/2015

    You can almost see cable news reporters starting to panic. They simply don't understand how more than 20% of Republicans could favor Donald Trump.

  • Why Nielsen Is Forced To Model Even Though It Is Bad Research in MediaDailyNews on 07/14/2015

    The problem with TV modeling is that it's not good research for measuring viewing behavior, no matter how good the modelers. And even though Nielsen does have some of the very best researchers, calling them "scientists" doesn't make them better.

  • Why Netflix Is The Best Thing Ever in MediaDailyNews on 06/24/2015

    The main reason Netflix continues to grow and thrive is that it does not have the same constraints as ad-supported networks, most importantly, needing to worry about average minute ratings.

  • Evaluating The New Fall TV Series in MediaDailyNews on 06/09/2015

    After examining the fall schedules and watching most of the pilots, here are a few takeaways - keeping in mind that hits are almost always a surprise. For example, I didn't expect much from a comedy starring Rob Lowe and Fred Savage, but Fox's 'The Grinder' looks good.

  • Can 'Supergirl' Soar In A Male-Dominated Genre? in MediaDailyNews on 05/28/2015

    The trailer for CBS' upcoming "Supergirl" reportedly got more than 10 million views in one week. "Supergirl" is trying to be a combination of the breeziness, humor and tone of "The Flash" and the more serious "let's protect the world from enhanced powered people and aliens" tone of "S.H.I.E.L.D." It will also be interesting to see if men and boys will watch a superhero show where virtually all the main characters are women, including the main villain.

  • Will All TV Median Ages Soon Be Over 50? in MediaDailyNews on 04/30/2015

    In 2015, broadcast median ages continue to rise, with CBS at 59, ABC and NBC at 54, Fox at 49, and CW at 44. Roughly 45% of all ad-supported cable networks measured by Nielsen have median ages of 50 or higher.

  • Traditional Television Viewing Continues To Grow in MediaDailyNews on 04/20/2015

    When it comes to determining whether TV viewing is shifting, I much prefer to rely on Nielsen data and its Total Audience Report than studies done by companies that benefit from people thinking TV viewing is declining, while alternate sources are growing unabated.

  • A Young Media Person's Guide to Analyzing Pilots in MediaDailyNews on 04/15/2015

    Comedies should be funny because of the characters, not the plot. Is it a one-joke show or can it be maintained as a weekly series? Also, stars don't make shows; shows make stars.

Comments by Steve All comments by Steve

  • Why Most New Broadcast Series Will Flop by Steve Sternberg (MediaDailyNews on 09/22/2015)

    Hi Ed- That was back when FOX News couldn't get on in NY and most agencies woudn't buy it for that reason.  And I also don't recall the reverse being true. And any, today's video world is quite different. There is no doubt that cable shows like The Last Ship, would never have gotten decent sampling without ads on other nets.  Also, many of the viewers watching a broeadcast net in the summer, when promos begin, ar not the same folks watching that network in the fall (except CBS and CW).

  • The Donald Trumps Cable News by Steve Sternberg (MediaDailyNews on 07/29/2015)

    Hi Nick- In a MediaPost article limited to 6-700 words there is not enough space to cover all the issues you bring up, so I decided to focus on the absurdness of the cable news response to Trump.  There will be a more in-depth column on the subject at in a few days.We are, however, fortunate to live in a country where anyone can run for office, and the process tends to winnow out the extremists in the end (at least for national office).  I would not want to live in a country where either you or I, even though we are convinced we are intelligent and correct, can simply impose our will or beliefs on others.  It would be interesting to see what might happen if 70% or more of potential voters actually voted.

  • The Donald Trumps Cable News by Steve Sternberg (MediaDailyNews on 07/29/2015)

    Hi Rob - I think people are making the mistake of equating Donald Trump with marginal extremist candidates like <ichel Backman, Herman Cain, and Rick Santorum.  It's easy to dismiss him on that basis, but he is nothing like them and his popularity (however brief it might be) is not related to support from the Tea Party or their ilk.  But the debate will be a tipping point one way or the other.

  • Why Nielsen Is Forced To Model Even Though It Is Bad Research by Steve Sternberg (MediaDailyNews on 07/14/2015)

    Nick, buddy, lighten up. There are space restrictions here. Obscene? Lol. 

  • Why Nielsen Is Forced To Model Even Though It Is Bad Research by Steve Sternberg (MediaDailyNews on 07/14/2015)

    The Visigoths are on the hill.

  • Why Nielsen Is Forced To Model Even Though It Is Bad Research by Steve Sternberg (MediaDailyNews on 07/14/2015)

    Excuse the typos please.

  • Why Nielsen Is Forced To Model Even Though It Is Bad Research by Steve Sternberg (MediaDailyNews on 07/14/2015)

    Unfortunately, I agree with you abot the CRE to a degree.  At one time it was a great organization that truly cared mostly about producing good research and requiring the same of Nielsen (as a goal at least).  We shuld keep in mind that the CRE was formed primarily to pre-empt government intervention in Nielsen's measurment processes.  This seems like the perfect opportinity for the CRE to re-assert itself and live up to its original independent mission.

  • Why Nielsen Is Forced To Model Even Though It Is Bad Research by Steve Sternberg (MediaDailyNews on 07/14/2015)

    I agree Ed.  When I was at Magna, it was usually the agency researchers who had the most influence on what research mthodology was used.  10 years ago, Nielsen would have been laughed out of the room for proposing modeling demos (of course, 10 years ago they never would have considered it).  I recall six or seven years ago at a national Nielsen client meeting, someone from Nielsen got up on stage and actually said that validating research was no longer its number one priority, rather getting products to market was.  That said, if I was at a cable network now, I'd be in favor of anything that increases sample sizes (I'd probably be against it if I worked at a broadcast network).   

  • NBC Remains Top Network Among 18-49 Viewers by Wayne Friedman (MediaDailyNews on 05/19/2015)

    So, 1 share point separates 1sy and 3rd place.  Basically a three-way tie.  And only 2 share points separates 1st and 4th place.  And the order will ve slightly different on the equally important A25-54 demo.  Talking about average network standings seems irrelevant in today's video world.

  • Juvenile Seat-Saving Must Cease, And Other Upfront Observations by Adam Buckman (TVBlog on 05/15/2015)

    Couldn't agree more.  I was near the fron of the line tp get in at Radio City and got a good seat, but rght behind me three people saved three entire rows.  It is almost always a few junior people who save large chunks of seats for entire buying groups and clients (clients I understand and agree that someone should be able to save two or three for clients).Of course, at the start of my career and for many years after, I did the same thing.

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