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Steve Sternberg

Member since September 2009Contact 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

  • What Trump TV Will Mean For Advertisers in TV Everywhere on 10/19/2016

    I remember when the upstart Fox News Channel started to challenge CNN in the ratings. It was the late 1990s, and I was in charge of television research at TN Media. Ironically, it was the Monica Lewinsky scandal and President Bill Clinton's impeachment that drew a lot of new viewers to Fox News in 1998/99. But it wasn't until January 2002 that Fox News surpassed CNN as the cable news network rated number one in total viewers - a position it has basically retained ever since.

  • Listen Up, Marketers: I'm Not My Father in TV Everywhere on 10/12/2016

    A few years ago, I turned 55. After aging out of the mythical 18-49 age group five years earlier, I was now moving out of the key 25-54 demo and into the dreaded and nebulous 55+ category (any demographic group with a "+" at the end is, by definition, nebulous). All of a sudden I was no longer in the target audience for products and services that I still used as much as ever, despite having more disposable income than ever. Too many media and marketing executives see me as though I'm part of my father's generation, with the media and buying habits he displayed when he was in his late 50s, early 60s. I am not. Ignore me and those like me at your own risk.

  • TV Might Be Everywhere -- But Viewers Aren't in TV Everywhere on 10/05/2016

    Throughout the history of television measurement, there was a certain level of cohesion when it came to media access and device ownership. From the inception of television itself, through the introduction of cable, through the development of VCRs and DVRs, almost everyone eventually got almost everything.This made measuring who was using each medium and device (although not necessarily how they were using them), relatively simple. But today's media world is much more splintered.

  • Cable News: The True Unreality in TV Everywhere on 09/28/2016

    The other day I saw an interesting story on MSNBC saying that since 1994, the percentage of Democrats who disapprove of the Republican party and the percentage of Republicans who disapprove of the Democratic party each rose from about 15% to over 50%. The MSNBC reporter struggled to come up with a reason, seemingly oblivious to the obvious: MSNBC and Fox News both started in 1996.

  • Fixing The Emmys in TV Everywhere on 09/21/2016

    This past Sunday's Emmy Awards broadcast was the lowest-rated ever. Before that, last year's broadcast was the lowest-rated ever. Next year's broadcast will probably lower the bar even further and again be the lowest-rated ever. That's what happens when most of the series nominated for the major awards are among the lowest-rated ever. Why should people watch a show that highlights shows they don't watch?

  • Cross-Promotion: Cable Does It, Why Can't Broadcast? in TV Everywhere on 09/14/2016

    I was watching the season finale of TNT's "The Last Ship," and saw a promo for CBS's new drama, "Bull." Made sense to me. They probably have very similar audiences. But we would never see "Bull" promoted on NBC's "Law & Order: SVU." That's because the broadcast networks still seem to see themselves as their main competition. Strangely, they will take advertising from ad-supported cable networks, but not from one another.

  • Happy Birthday MAGNA! in Television News Daily on 09/06/2016

    Fifteen years ago this week, a new little division within Interpublic called MAGNA Global launched. It is never easy to champion new ideas and new ways of doing things, and we did meet formidable resistance in and out of our own company.

  • The Best New Broadcast Pilots in Television News Daily on 06/14/2016

    I have now seen all the new fall and midseason broadcast network pilots that were made available for screening. Here is a brief analysis of top picks.

  • Most New Broadcast Series Will Flop - Here's Why in Television News Daily on 06/08/2016

    But as the broadcast networks tout themselves as the best advertising vehicles out there, they continue to stubbornly refuse to take their own advice. They won't advertise their programming on other broadcast networks.

  • Why Declining Ratings Don't Matter (To The Networks) in Television News Daily on 06/01/2016

    If you ask any broadcast network executive whether they would rather lose 10% of their audience next season but move into first place (because everyone else declined more) or gain 10% but slip into third or fourth place, they would all rather lose viewers and be in first place.

Comments by Steve All comments by Steve

  • What Trump TV Will Mean For Advertisers by Steve Sternberg (TV Everywhere on 10/19/2016)

    Somehow I don't think Trump wants to run just another right wing website.  If he can't do his own cable network, he's more likely to either get a Primetime hour on Fox News or get his own talk radio show. 

  • What Trump TV Will Mean For Advertisers by Steve Sternberg (TV Everywhere on 10/19/2016)

    Advertisers initially shied away from Fox News and Huffington Post because they didn't want to be associated with such biased reporting.  As for Trump TV, in addition to that, it will also likely have a median age well over 60, and a more downscale viewership (at least initially).  It will have trouble getting national well-known brands.

  • Listen Up, Marketers: I'm Not My Father by Steve Sternberg (TV Everywhere on 10/12/2016)

    Doug, I suspect we are not the outliers services like Nielsen would have us believe.

  • TV Might Be Everywhere -- But Viewers Aren't by Steve Sternberg (TV Everywhere on 10/05/2016)

    Not giving up on 55+ at all. These viewers are also not as cohesive as they once were - particularly 45-64. I've written about how these viewers are nothing like previous generations, are often in significantly different life stages, which impacts all levels of media usage, and are in many ways the most desirable.

  • TV Might Be Everywhere -- But Viewers Aren't by Steve Sternberg (TV Everywhere on 10/05/2016)

    I agree Ed.  But I think Advertisers, who should be more interested in sales than ad sales should be putting pressure on agencies to partner with ComScore, TiVo, etc. to do this research. Remember it was advertiser pressure because of fear of commercial avoidance, not agencies or networks, that really led to DVR measurement. 

  • Cable News: The True Unreality by Steve Sternberg (TV Everywhere on 09/28/2016)

    I think the moment real journalism started to die was when Anderson Cooper replaced Aaron Brown on CNN.

  • Cable News: The True Unreality by Steve Sternberg (TV Everywhere on 09/28/2016)

    We all have biases. Sometimes they seep through. 

  • Fixing The Emmys by Steve Sternberg (TV Everywhere on 09/21/2016)

    I agree with most of everyone's points.  My intent was not to comment on the purpose of the Emmy awards, but rather how to make the broadcast more appealing to viewers.  I think that oftentimes the most innovative and creative programs will be lower rated, because almost by definition they are not designed to initially appeal to a broad audience.  Breaking Bad is a good example.  For first few seasons it was very low rated, but by its final season it got a much broader and larger audience.  It's Emmy nominations and social media buzz (and AMC's marathons) no doubt contributed.  Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with adding some high-rated series into the nomination mix - it will take nothing away from the other shows, and might help provide a larger platform for viewers to discover them.

  • Happy Birthday MAGNA! by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 09/06/2016)

    Hey Brian. You've done me proud since the day you started working for me. glad to see your continuing the tradition of great research over there. 

  • Most New Broadcast Series Will Flop - Here's Why by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 06/08/2016)

    Mara - I think if Ford gave Chvy brochures to everyone and Chevy gave Ford brochures to everyone, it wouldn't hurt sales for either, but would likely improve sales for both.

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