Yet Another Journal

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» Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Today's "Duh!" Moment
From Associated Press:
TV Guide is slashing the circulation it guarantees advertisers by about two-thirds and relaunching itself as a large format magazine with far fewer TV listings and more emphasis on lifestyle and entertainment, the magazine announced Tuesday.

The radical changes to TV Guide come as it struggles to remain relevant in an age where many TV viewers get their listings from on-screen guides provided by their cable companies or online.

The new TV Guide, which will launch with the Oct. 17 issue, will contain just 25 percent listings and 75 percent stories, versus the 75 percent listings and 25 percent stories it has now, the company said early Tuesday.
I thought the whole point of purchasing TV Guide was the listings. And that the biggest complaint against TV Guide and why people use online listings is because the magazine has defaulted to grids which tell you nothing about the episodes. So instead of listening to what readers want, they're going to turn it into another Entertainment Weekly, People, or any other trash entertainment rag out there. ::snort:: That figures.

Of course I remember when TV Guide actually wrote informative articles about not only television's stars, but other people in the business, about the business side of television, and other subjects having to do with that medium. It was a magazine for adults, and didn't cover movies that had nothing to do with television, NASCAR, and rock stars, and didn't resort to collectors' covers to sell issues. Kids could read it, too, but it was written for adults.

Granted, cable has made the job of reporting "what's on" more difficult, and it's no longer fun to collect TV Guides from other parts of the country, as I used to do as a child when we went on vacations. It was interesting seeing the local programs and personalities, and notice the farm reports in the midwest, the surf reports on the coast, and the ski programs in the mountains, and what other interests the local folks had.

But if TV Guide isn't there to give us the listings, what the heck's the use of it?

Somewhere Walter Annenberg (TVG's founder and first editor, who hoped TV Guide might have something significant to say) is spinning in his grave—and the RPM will darn near run the power in the city of Philadelphia.