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Steve Sohmer (born Savannah, GA June 27, 1946) is a Shakespearean scholar, author of scholarly books and fiction, television writer and producer, and former network television and motion picture studio senior executive.
In 1966, his first novel, "The Way It Was" was published by Robert Gottlieb of Simon&Schuster. The book received rave notices, and was chosen by The New York Times as one of the twenty best novels of the year. In 1967 Steve was named Creative Director of the Bureau of Advertising of the American Newspaper Publishers Association.
In 1972, Steve left the Bureau to establish his own media promotion firm in partnership with The Minneapolis Star and Tribune Company. For the next five years the New York-based company created elaborate slide and film sales presentations for media clients including CBS Television, Newsweek, Vogue, Penthouse, Conde Nast Magazines, The Washington Post, The Dallas Times Herald, The Detroit Free Press, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, The Houston Post, ABC Radio, the Radio Bureau of Advertising and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 1977, Steve was named Vice President, Marketing and Promotion, of the CBS Television Network. He followed the great Lou Dorfsman in this capacity. Steve supervised the marketing of CBS Entertainment, CBS News and CBS Sports. By imposing professional advertising practices on his department, Steve led a renaissance in television marketing among the major networks. Steve's promotion launched Dallas, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Incredible Hulk, Alice, and other long-running hits. His movie marketing skills brought viewers to Skokie, Playing for Time, and Fallen Angel. In his five years at CBS Steve helped lead that network from second place to a dominant number one in the ratings.
In 1982, Steve moved to NBC Television as Executive Vice President in charge of marketing and promotion, Saturday morning programming, specials and daytime television. That was the year the turnaround of NBC began, from a perennial third place network eventually to a dominant number one in primetime. Steve launched hit series including Cheers,Family Ties,The A-Team, and Remington Steele. His launch campaign forThe A-Team is recognized as a classic of the form, is his Fall campaign Be There. In the late 1990s executives trained by Steve were heads of promotion of all the major networks CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.
Steve went on to serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of Columbia Pictures and Executive Vice President at PAX TV and ABC Television. He created and served as writer-producer for the NBC miniseries Favorite Son and the award-winning NBC drama series Mancuso FBI starring Robert Loggia both based on his novel of the same title. Steve wrote and produced the NBC miniseries Tom Clancy's OP Center (1995) and created the drama series Twice in a Lifetime for PAX TV (1999).
In 1995 Steve earned the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University. His area of concentration was Shakespeare. Since graduation, Steve has published many scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as three scholarly books: Shakespeare's Mystery Play, Shakespeare for the Wiser Sort, and Luther's Lives all from Manchester University Press.
Steve was married to soap opera star Deidre Hall for 10 years, after which they separated and later divorced.