Tuesday, November 07, 2006

TV Guide Pulls the Plug

I just picked up the Nov 4-10 edition of TV Guide Canada, and was semi-surprised to see a full page publisher's letter stating that TV Guide would be ceasing publication of the printed edition of TV Guide with the November 25, 2006 issue. I say semi-surprised as I guess it saw this coming some time ago.

Here is the actual letter:
"Dear Reader,
As you may have already heard, the Nov. 25, 2006 issue will be the last issue of TV Guide as a print publication. Instead, TV Guide will be produced as a web magazine starting Nov. 29. Allow me to explain...
TV Guide is a 53-year-old brand that has seen many changes in television though the decades. In TV Guide's early days, there were fewer than 10 channels on television and TV signals were adjustable with rabbit ears. Today, there are nearly 700 channels for our entertainment and we have invited HDTV, PVRs, and cable and satellite signals into out homes.
Times have changed. So, too, has your TV Guide. Now, TV Guide is evolving to take into account how we, as TV watchers, have changed how we choose what to watch on television.
Recent research has shown us that the demand for instant and more detailed TV listings continues to grow as technology permits. Today, on-screen TV listings though digital or satellite services and the Internet have changed people's habits when makings TV viewing choices.
On that note, I am pleased to announce that our investment in www.tvguide.ca will allow you to continue to enjoy all of TV Guide's articles. More importantly, you will be able to access the highest quality detailed TV listings, by community, FOR FREE. This new and exciting website will launch Nov. 29, 2006.
On behalf of all the hard-working staff at TV Guide, I would like to thank you for choosing to have TV Guide delivered to your home. We enjoy creating your magazine just for you.
We thank you for your readership, and we look forward to continuing to serve you at www.tvguide.ca.
Yours truly,
I had a subscription to TV Guide for years, but didn't bother to renew my subscription once I got digital cable and was able to get an onscreen TV Guide with days in advance listings, search function etc. I did purchase the 3 issues in September which were their annual Fall TV Preview issues (I actually looked forward to those every year!), but since then, I only purchased two issues, an issue with the full NHL TV schedule in it, and the current issue, because it had a cover story on the new show Heroes. I guess its impossible to compete with online TV listings which are free!
As someone who grew up with TV Guide, I will miss seeing it on the news stands each week, and I will certainly miss their Fall TV Preview issues. Its a shame to see yet another thing in my lifetime become outdated and fall by the wayside due to progress. I guess the next thing I will miss will be physical music CDs when they stop selling them altogether in favour of digital downloads only.
TV Guide says they are going to move their magazine online. Will I bother to check it out... probably not.

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