Holy crap! Seen the new TV Guide?

A while back there was a thread titled “Does TV Guide have a future as a print publication?” which I have not been able to find.

If there was ever any doubt, the new issue will certainly settle it.


The most recent changes made it very difficult to find out what was on at any given time. Sure, organize the columns alphabetically by channel name, and include plenty of channels from other regions. Whatever. If you were very patient, you could find what you’re looking for – it just took longer, and you were much more likely to miss things.

This change, though… this change makes TV Guide utterly useless as, well, a guide to what’s on television. There simply isn’t any way to determine what’s on television at a particular time.

They’ve squeezed two weeks into an issue, and organized the listings by… genre for each day. There are no references to channels.

Let’s look at the listings for Sunday the 25th: Here’s the listing for the entire day for one genre:

That’s it. Repeat for Comedy, Life, Reality, News & Docs, Homes & Food, and Movies.

How the hell is this supposed to work with the way people actually use TV listings, which usually starts with the question, “Hey, what’s on now?” This is clearly not a full listing. (I think they’re only listing new episodes? Nothing is designated “NEW,” and the listings are awfully thin, so that must be the case.)

I totally get that more and more people are relying on channel guides from digital providers and PVR subscriptions, and they must be feeling it as far as circulation is concerned (I haven’t bought a TV Guide myself in ages… but that’s mainly because there’s only a few shows that I watch, and I make sure they’re set to record in advance. Most people are still grazers when it comes to TV though, right?)

This just screams of “We give up!” I can’t believe they’re really trying to shift focus away from listings to articles. Come on – when it comes to “Percentage of people who read it for the articles,” TV Guide has Playboy beat.

One thing’s for sure: This will probably drive more people to digital television or Tivo than anything ever has. Yeesh.

People… get… TV listings… from a paper document? What is this, the 1400s?


Oh wait! I’ve heard of this. They used to make webpages out paper. Linking must’ve been a bitch.

It was like navigating a filesystem by hand. There was a central file allocation table, and you had to write down (or memorize) inode numbers.

(If you laugh, you’re a geek. ;))