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Screen Wars Thought Leader Interviews

Axios’ Sara Fischer On The Opportunities For Marketers In Convergent TV

By September 21, 2020May 26th, 2022No Comments

Sara Fischer, Media Reporter at Axios, joins Cross Screen Media to share her thoughts on trends, challenges, and opportunities across the Convergent TV Space in our latest Screen Wars Thought Leader Interview.

Michael Beach: What was your first job and what lessons did you take from it that you have applied in your career?

Sara Fischer: I was a camp counselor. Working with kids is helpful in building empathy and simplifying your communication skills.   

MB: What is the biggest change you have seen in the video ad marketplace in recent years? ­­­

SF: The creative is finally being built for mobile and customized by platform. Measurement and attribution have improved.

MB: Which developments are you most excited about within the Convergent TV space?

SF: It will democratize TV advertising, making it more affordable and accessible to more marketers.

MB: Digital video ad spending is poised to surpass linear TV ad spending. Within linear TV, targeted ads (beyond age+gender) are rapidly gaining share. How should the different players in the industry capitalize on these shifts?

SF: Buying should be bought and optimized in real-time, even on television. The concept of buying advertising “upfront” in a world that shifts from linear to digital doesn’t make as much sense. Marketers should start experimenting with more direct response types of messaging on television.

MB: With ongoing cord-cutting, what strategies should linear TV ad buyers and networks employ to drive business?

Create new opportunities

SF: Create new opportunities around your top programming, whether that be live news and sports or prime time hits. I like what NBCU did with prime pods, where they sell ad pods that are a bit longer (60 seconds) that run either in the first or last break of a prime-time show, for the biggest impact. That’s a good example.

MB: Many organizations have split their digital video and linear TV ad planning into two separate teams. In recent years, some organizations have moved to a more centralized model. Where do you think organizations should be headed in structuring their media planning/buying teams?

Everything should be consolidated

SF: Everything should be consolidated. The buying silos act as barriers to creating strong cross-platform campaigns.

See the rest of the Screen Wars Thought Leader Interview series here!

Sara Fischer is a media reporter for Axios. She joined the company in 2016 as a founding staff member. Fischer is considered one of the top reporters on her beat. Revue cited her weekly newsletter, Axios Media Trends, as the second-most popular media newsletter in the market and deemed it a “must-read” by media industry leaders. She was also recently named to Forbes “30 Under 30” Media list and to the 2019 Folio 100 in their “Creator” category. Beyond her weekly newsletter, Fischer oversees Axios’ media coverage for the newsroom, and steers the company’s products and events around that topic. Her coverage spans corporate media, technology, social media, deals, entertainment, media regulation, policy and consumer habits. Sign up for the Axios Media Trends newsletter here.

Cross Screen Media is a marketing analytics and software company empowering marketers to plan, activate, and measure Connected TV and audience-driven Linear TV advertising at the local level. Our closed-loop solutions help brands, agencies, and networks succeed in the Convergent TV space. For more information, visit

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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