Fascinating watching as TV Guide finally concedes the inevitable, that a paper-based weekly guide to television programs is verging on irrelevant, like newspaper-based stock listings:
TV Guide, in a major shift to win over readers and advertisers, will be overhauled as a full-sized magazine with more celebrity features and fewer program listings, its publisher said on Tuesday.
Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. will launch the new TV Guide Oct. 17, abandoning its familiar digest-size in favor of a full-sized layout with about 100 color pages. Plans call for the current 140 editions to be cut to one, with simply an Eastern or a Pacific time zone designation.
… About 75 percent of the content will consist of feature stories, with the remaining 25 percent made up of listings — opposite of the current emphasis.
TV Guide is also cutting the circulation it promises advertisers by getting rid of 3 million sponsored sales, which is circulation paid for by third parties. The magazine will debut with a minimum paid circulation of approximately 4.5 million, although the advertiser rate base will be set at 3.2 million.
And then there’s this, from a Wall Street Journal Story on the same subject:
The magazine currently guarantees nine million readers to advertisers, according to its most recent filing with the Audit Bureau of Circulations. But the new guarantee will be set at just 3.2 million, which partly reflects the elimination of three million in “sponsored” sales or circulation paid for by third parties.