It’s a not-so-secret cover story. Have you seen it? It’s a big deal – literally.
“TV is bigger and better than ever. On October 17, TV guide will be bigger and better than ever, too.”
So goes the pitch.
After 53 years of a nice pulp-fiction size format; something only Reader’s Digest (the biggest selling magazine in the world) shared, TV Guide has gone 8×10 glossy in a big way.
OK. OK,you got me – 8 x 10 1/2. For the past several weeks they have featured a prominent announcement on the front: COMING SOON! THE NEW FULL-SIZE, FULL-COLOR TV GUIDE Only 18.104.22.168.4.3.2. more weeks before you receive your first new issue. SEE PAGE 1 FOR DETAILS.
On page 1, facing a big ad for TV Guide’s “new customer service program – Yes I can watch TV and listen to you at the same time – is more “exciting” and “glamorous” information about the switch up.
We’ll have more:
• Inside scoop on all your favorite shows and stars
• Big, beautiful photos
• Behind-the-scenes exclusives
• Easier-to-use national listings format, with more highlights and reviews
So it appears, what they’re saying is, it will all be the same, except the big, beautiful photos. Never underestimate the power of big, beautiful photos, though big, ugly photos are very much under-rated.
There is no mention about how the multiple covers of X-Men, Star Trek, the Beatles and the annual Elvis pilgrimage may hae hurt the bottom line and increased the numer of editions. That wasn’t a part of their FAQs. (And really how frequent could some of those questions, have been?)
Now normally I would ask, Why? Why do you want to move from your uniqueness to something OK, People, US Weekly and literally a hundred other magazines do already?
But you know what? There is a unquenchable appetite for it. I succumb at the checkout counter to some of these magazines. Good bathroom reading material. And at least once a year I buy The National Enquirer for my ongoing “media research.” Yeah, that’s the ticket. Good bathroom tissue material.
This is all a great “big” cost-saving effort. More paper (not newsprint) and more cyan, magenta, yellow color ink (CMYK), is apparently cheaper than fighting the losing battle of upwards of 1,956,056 different regional editions. Add to that the competition from on-line and on-screen channel schedules such as, oh, TV Guide’s own which a lot of people in the West get through their cable provider.
They also have a new online store, where you can buy poor quality goods, overpriced with the nostalgia of television memories attached.
You’ll see the new issue next week.