Wednesday, October 1, 2014
TV Guide magazine living on borrowed time
This year, I had to buy a copy of the issue on eBay. The magazine is not available in grocery stores and drug stores like it used to be. In the recent past, I’ve found it at Barnes & Noble bookstores, but those are getting scarce too.
The Sept. 15-21 issue of TV Guide is 94 pages and the coverage of the fall TV season seems light. By contrast, the Sept. 19-26 issue of Entertainment Weekly on the fall TV season is 140 pages and feels much more comprehensive.
Entertainment Weekly has long since taken the torch from TV Guide for fall preview issues.
I have every TV Guide fall preview issue since 1974 (41 issues in all). I wonder how long TV Guide has got left, especially as TV viewers continue to shift away from the broadcast networks, first to cable TV and now to over-the-top TV services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
As of June 30, TV Guide magazine, owned by private equity firm OpenGate Capital, had a circulation of 1.91 million. That’s down from 2.68 million in 2009. It still has a lot of readers, most of whom are home subscribers, but it’s been on a steady decline.