New TV Guide format

TV Guide, the venerable magazine, has changed its format. The new mag is larger and is bound differently so that it will lay flat. Fine. But there are also some major changes in the way it’s organized that are driving me nuts!

The weekdays are no longer listed chronologically. They are now stuck in a separate “weekdays” section, and are much harder to browse.

The “wee hours” between 3:00 am and 5:00 am have just disappeared. I “time shift” (record shows and watch them at a more convenient time) and I really miss knowing what’s on during those hours. I wrote them and asked why, and they said “Not many people watch TV then, so we stopped listing those hours”. So when should we expect PBS to be de-listed…? :confused:

The movie listings used to include a small capsule right in the daily timetable. Now they only list the title, and you have to go to the special “movies” section to see the capsule.

I could go on, but the whole point of putting this thread in was not so much to vent as to see what others think, and get suggestions for alternatives to the (now less than useful) TV Guide magazine.

Anyone else disappointed with the new format?

Yes. Especially in December. The family channel, the disney channel and several other channels show christmas specials during the day, but none of them were listed for the 2003 season given this new format. Yes, I could find them on-line, but why should the thing we’re paying for be less inclusive than the one that’s no-charge on the internet? :confused:

Actually, I used to use the Internet listings, but the last time I went to the TV Guide website, they said that service had been discontinued. Maybe they asked themselves the same question…?

I hate the new TV Guide. I think they’re ripe for picking by some cheaper, better competition that just tells people what’s on friggin’ TV.

Moving this to Cafe Society.

I think TV Guide is feeling the pinch of digital cable and satellite services, most of which have an extremely easy-to-use program guide on a dedicated channel. I know that once my mother got digital cable, she never looked at a TV Guide again. And supervenusfreak (the TV addict in the house) is ready to let his subscription to TVG run out because he never uses it either.

They haven’t been discontinued. Have you gone since they asked for a e-mail address? If not, that might be the problem. Some time in the late fall or early winter they stated asking for people’s e-mail addresses so you only have to give them the addy to get your local listings (since they have your info on a server now), instead of telling them your zip code, type of cable and provider whenever the cookie is lost. I like this system better.

I’m sure it’s much more economical to print in that format – less pages, cheaper binding.

And I sure hope they pay less for that ink. It smells like it’s made from recycled fishheads. Bleargh.

Once again, I have been caught by the international nature of the SDMB.

I live in Canada. There is a separate website for TV Guide, - and it doesn’t allow online lookups any more. Yes, the American website allows lookups, but it doesn’t carry the Canadian networks (I tried).

Also, as I said before, I am a “time shifter” – big time! We almost never watch “live” TV, we tape shows and watch them at our convenience. I use two VCRs to record shows, and another one to play them back. So I’m a sort of TV addict, and I’m looking for advance listings - at least a week before the shows come on the air. That’s why I don’t like the newspaper lists - ours comes out on Saturday, and the listings start on the same day.

The old TV Guide was just fine for my purposes: it came out a week before the listings became effective, it covered a 24-hour day, and it was easy to use - start anywhere and just keep looking, no jumping around between “daytime” and “Prime time” lists.

So far, the best substitute I have been able to track down is Guide Remote at - but I’m still hoping.

TV Guide became completely redundant after I discovered

I let my subscription lapse after realizing that I hadn’t bothered to even open the magazine for six straight months and it had become a glorified coaster. They kept sending me issues anyway for several months so I got to see the new format. Man, what crapola. Plus my cable company has its own on-screen guide, which is sufficient when I’m too lazy to check online.

And for some odd reason, my channel lineup isn’t even listed at!! is, once again, of no use to those of us who live outside the continental US. Too bad., however, seems to hold promise - and it gives me more details than the printed version of TV Guide (such as which airing of a 2-part movie is Part 1 versus Part 2, while TVG just lists the damn thing multiple times :mad: )

The thing is, I was happy enough to pay their newsstand price, so long as the magazine gave me useful information. But the “new format” is so much more difficult to use and has so many “holes” in it that it’s just not worth trying to cope any longer.

Thanks for the tips, Cardinal and KGS!

Gave up on TV Guide a few years ago, but got stuck with a new subscription thanks to a relative’s kid’s school fundraiser scam.* That has finally lapsed but we’re still getting issues.

It’s useless and getting worse. It used to be the biggest selling weekly magazine in the world. Made a fortune for Annenberg. Now it’s a loser for Murdoch’s empire.**

  • Just ask for money. Forget the candy, magazines, gift wrap, etc.

** Both well known liberal media moguls who donated to liberal causes… right.