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New TV Guide Debuts, Check Out The Centerfold

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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 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.

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About temple

Always been a writer, always maintained an interest in politics, how people communicate and fantasy worlds within photography and books. Previously wrote for Blogcritics back in 2005 and interested in exploring the issues and topics I'm interested - the changing landscape of entertainment. all from the POV of a creator first, consumer, second.
  • Bigger pages for much more crap…

  • Will this make the crossword puzzle larger than 3×3?

  • From the website: “TV Guide is more fun, useful, and glamourous.”

    Ever see that Simpsons episode when they go to Itchy & Scratchy Land? There’s a part where Homer asks a ticket clerk about I&S Money, and she responds, “It’s just like regular money, but… more fun!”

    That’s the new TV Guide.

  • You know this crossword is one of the toughest I do. Ya see – some freak made most of the questions about TV and TV actors.

  • This was chosen as an Editor’s Pick this week by your humble Video / TV Editor Joan Hunt. Go HERE to find out why.

  • Scott Butki


  • Jewels


  • mike burns

    well…. say goodbye to local

    listings. cancelled because of this.

  • John Fern

    I remember an episode of Married with Children where Al Bundy was looking for his precious copy of TV Guide, and one of his kids said “Use the one from the paper.”
    “Does the one from the paper cheer and jeer at you? Does the one from the paper fit snugly in your hand?” he asked, before heading off to the bathroom.
    The new TV Guide still cheers and jeers, but by changing the format from the unique booklet form, and going with the grid listings like all the countless others, most of which are free, they have earned my jeers…Big Time! Right after we made our payment for two years. One we hope to recoup after cancelling.

  • Louis

    No Listings, no channels (just network ID) no vcr +codes . . . a cheap, thin, slippery, whimpy, spineless thing to hold instead of our beloved little book. It sucks big time. I hope everyone boycotes. Maybe we can bring it back.

  • May Ward

    New TV Guide SUX!! I’ve already cancelled my subscription…would you believe they tried to offer me more issues if I kept my subscription?!?! TV Guide has been circling the drain for some time now, but the “Local Programming” statement instead of listing the individual programs was the last straw. I can get that from the local “throwaway paper”. If I wanted “Entertainment Weekly” I would have bought it!! Somebody out there please take up the slack & start up a REAL TV Guide again! I will be the first in line to buy it!!

  • Ron Mayer

    I want my old TV Guide back! I subscribe to TV Guide for the SCHEDULE, not all this other garbage. I live in the CENTRAL time zone and new TV Guide lists everything as EASTERN so what little schedule is left isn’t even right. I give it two or three more issues and that isn’t fixed I’m demanding my money back for the remainder of my subscription.

  • Wanda Perez

    My husband and I will not be buying the TV Guide again.The new format is terrible.We will go back to using the one that comes in the newspaper.
    The layout is terrible and hard to find what you really want.Also really miss the daytime listings so I can record programs to watch when I get home from work. Terrible job folks!

  • What I have mostly got out of this thread – and thanks to all who have commented – is that TV Guide is/was a relatively significant part of people’s lives.

    Myself, I bought it occasionally for the Elvis covers and pretty much no other reason.

    – Temple

  • John Fern

    I tried to call the number to cancel, and I kept getting a busy signal. I’m guessing that thier phone lines were blown out by all the other cancellations.
    When it finally worked, I cancelled to an automated system. It tried to offer more of what I didn’t want in the first place. There was also no option to give feedback on their horrible blunder. The first time I tried the automated system, it hung up on me when I tried to read my number into the recording, so I called again, and was successful by entering the number. The worst thing was listening to their idiot editor’s voice recording telling us how wonderful the new TV Guide is.
    I was thinking, even if the new magazine was a big improvement (which it is NOT) there would still be a trememdous backlash when you just pull something away from long time customers and then tell them, “Here, try this instead, it’s much better. Just take our word for it.”
    The B.S. about customers actually wanting the new changes is just a spin they put on it, cause they see the popularity of s–t like People magazine and all the other gossip junk out there selling so well, they wanted a piece of that pie…at our expense!

  • Valerie in New Jersey

    I’m extremely disappointed by the new improved TV Guide with no listings or channel numbers. I had to save a page from my old guide for channel nbrs in order to set up my vcr’s each day. TV Guide directs people to the internet for listings & channels, what do folks without the internet do? The new format is awful, I’ll be buying my local Sunday paper and will not be renewing my subscription.

  • H. Hansen

    Luckily my subscription ended on the the week this garbage appeared in my mail box! I’m on central time so the eastern time zone start times are a pain and an insult. I guess us hicks don’t count-well you can count on not getting any more of my money. No VCR+ numbers, Saturday doesn’t start until
    8 PM Eastern, no local listing. Local newspapers will be happy that you raised the circulation numbers for their weekend papers so we can get a half decent TV guide with local listings. What group of idiots with MBA’s thought up this abomination?

  • A Canuck Comments

    It’s definitely the end of an era. The Canadian version of TV Guide, which went full size a few years ago, is atrocious.

    So I spent the big bucks to subscribe to my old favorite sent from the States. It cost a lot, but it was worth it.

    I stress the “was”.

    A few months before the format change was announced, I received a rather formalized and somewhat uncaring note telling me that changes were coming to TV Guide and one of them would be that no foreign subscriptions would be allowed.

    Hmm, so much for the vaunted freedom of the press. They can print anything they like, but because of geography, I can’t read it. And they treated me like dirt, after more than two decades as a loyal subscriber.

    Apparently it cost too much to mail it here, even if I was willing to pay for the extra postage. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of a company that actually turns away customers armed with good old Yankee dollars.

    Reps and supervisors from the mag weren’t able to give me a good explanation other than the lame and completely unacceptable “because it’s our new policy.”

    In any event, after seeing the so-called ‘new and improved’ version, I’m just as happy to save my money. I always bought TV Guide for the articles AND for the listings.

    As a collector, looking back over the old 15 cent issues, I can see the huge difference between the better then and the sad now. But it was still the only major non-trade magazine dedicated to broadcast TV and I looked forward to its arrival in my mailbox each week.

    They always had the best precis of shows around. Now those are reduced to the kind I can get with the free throwaway dailies they give out at bus stops.

    TV Guide was around for more than half a century. I know times have changed and their circluation has taken a beating. But there may be a reason why it lasted as long as it did – even when greedy cable concerns took it over.

    A word to the soon to be much less wealthy publishers – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Farewell TV Guide. Even George Costanza’s father won’t want to collect you now.

  • The New T.V. Guide stinks!!! After being a subscriber my whole adult life this rag has sunk to new levels.
    If I wanted to look at pictures and read articles about movie stars, I’d buy people mag.
    The new T.V. Guide doesnt list any day time programs (weekly) until noon. Bad for people who like to use their VCR’s. The cable companies are forever changing stations and adding new ones, replacing old ones etc. So to not be able to find which station is which is sad. Its blatant to see that the new TV NON Guide is in it for the money. To call and try to get in touch with a live person, good luck, you get some bean telling you “thank you and how excited they are’ about the new guide. LOL I bet their answering service is burnt out with cancelled subscriptions.
    And the nerve to tell people for local listings to log onto the web. Well NOT everyone has internet access. How low is that?? I have tried to cancel and all they do is offer me more subscriptions. I don’t even want the ones I have let alone more of the crap. The only good thing about it, is it is good for starting the fire on cool NewEngland mornings. I buy the local sunday paper now for half the price and get the full weekly line up. Thanks for nothing TV Non Guide. Does anyone know if in fact they will refund your money if you can get through and cancel?? I didn’t subscribe to this garbage when I took out my 2 yr subscription.

  • John Fern

    Dean, as I mentioned above, I finally did get through and was able to cancel through the automated service. When it asks you to either speak or punch in the number, make sure to punch in the number or it hangs up on you, (at least, that’s what it did to me.)
    A couple of weeks later, we did recieve our refund check. They also threw in (you guessed it) a coupon to order TV Guide at a discount.
    I was expecting some sort of apology for screwing up the magazine that we had been faithfully ordering for so many years, but along with poor decision making, they are also totally insensitive about thier folly.

  • kdw

    I LOVE the new TV Guide! It has NO channel numbers, just station names, and then refers me to either the guide on the TV (which is sorted by channel number, and doesn’t even show the station name, just the ID) or the online guide (which is wrong anyway). Now, how ideal is that?

    I wanted to watch The Longest Day on Friday, 11/11/05, purportedly on Fox Movie Channel. I don’t know what the call letters are for Fox Movie Channel (apparently not FMC, but since the Cablevision guide is sorted by channel number, it’d take me forever to find it anyway), so I looked it up on the online guide. It said channel 190. Guess what? Not there.

    Well, folks, I guess if TV Guide can’t point us to the right channel for the show we want to watch, and tells us to go to someplace else which just gives us wrong information, we should be glad that those folks aren’t responsible for our space, defense, and information policies.

    Aren’t we?

  • kdw

    I LOVE the new TV Guide! It has NO channel numbers, just station names, and then refers me to either the guide on the TV (which is sorted by channel number, and doesn’t even show the station name, just the ID) or the online guide (which is wrong anyway). Now, how ideal is that?

    I wanted to watch The Longest Day on Friday, 11/11/05, purportedly on Fox Movie Channel. I don’t know what the call letters are for Fox Movie Channel (apparently not FMC, but since the Cablevision guide is sorted by channel number, it’d take me forever to find it anyway), so I looked it up on the online guide. It said channel 190. Guess what? Not there.

    Well, I’m thrilled.

  • So it seems that your statement is a bit ironic, kdw?

    I can’t remember the last time I picked up a TV Guide, but I’m pretty sure the year began with ‘1’.

  • jet

    Add me to the list (ever-growing, I suspect) of people who’ve cancelled their subscriptions despite the best efforts of the automated phoneline to keep you sucked in. I actually yelled “NO!” into the phone when it got to the blabber about “We’re so sure you’ll grow to love the new format that we’ll extend your subscription.” Translation – we want more time to brainwash you. No, thanks. TV Guide has become a clone of People or “Inside TV.” They’re not getting any more money from me.



  • Buddy

    You can tell TV Guide was going down hill when they charged the format a couple of years ago. Less listing and more grids. Sadly, the daytime grid was a generic version with words such as “various programs.” Late night listings were just certain stations. I started to hate TV Guide then, and now the new version is now even TV Guide: no listings at all. What a major…disappointment. Current Employees at TV Guide magazine will be looking for new jobs within six months. The TV Guide we remembered is gone…forever.

  • Rod Walker

    Apparently TV Guide is the victim of a really, really hostile takeover. At this point it’s usefulness is statistically indistinguishable from 0. For 3 nours a day, it offers “detailed” listings that aren’t even better than those in the “TV Week” insert in my local Sunday paper (which is what I’m now using, since it also does pretty well for the other 21 hours per day). And of course that great color coding … yellow and not-yellow.

    Hardly more useful is their user unfriendly web site. Thank the gods there are others (which can’t avoide being better). I recommend Zap2It.

    The coup here is the much ballyhooed new size. What a disaster. Time was I could instantly pick it out of the welter of mail we get because of its unique size. Now it looks like just another catalogue. Sorting through the mail to find it would be a pain if I bothered, which I don’t. My sub expires next month. Hallelujah!

  • GDM

    I’m cancelling my gift subscriptions! No one likes the new Guide. We can get the same type of publication in our Sunday paper for free.

  • It’s The Enquirer with TV listings. TV Guide has been a household staple since the early 60’s and this revamp is a total mess. Fare thee well, TV Guide. You’re delegated to the trash bin.

  • Craig

    I now view TV Guide as junk mail.

    Interestingly enough, there use to be link to cancel your subscription on their website.

    Funny, that’s gone now.

    For a short time, they also had a “Send us your comments on the new Big TV Guide!” form on their website.

    Funny, that’s gone now too (though I did fill it out twice). I would like to have read the comments from subscribers.

    No channel numbers, no day time listings, no late night listings ???

    Who thought this up?

    What manner of idiot looked at this idea and said “Gee, that’s great, just what we need – let’s do it!” ???

    For you folks at TV Guide if you’re listening –

    As it is now, TV Guide is utterly worthless to us. Cut your losses and revamp back to 24×7 listings.


  • Craig

    Ref the feedback form, it’s back.

    Here, all of you – go fill this out

  • Jamie

    Bigger Mistake Than The New Coke !!! I HATE The New TV Guide. If I Wanted A Gossip Rag I Would Buy One. Thank God my Sunday Paper Has A Decent Tv Book, I Pray They Won’t Change It Anytime Soon.

  • Dah

    If the TV guide magazine is as horrible as the website’s new version is, I feel sorry for you all. I can’t find ANYTHING on the website anymore. It ticks me off.