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TV Guide Drops MTV, CW Listings

Jan 12, 2009  •  Post A Comment

TV Guide has decided to dump listings for The CW and MTV, and at least one CW affiliate is fighting back.
Without any official explanation to its readers, the venerable listings magazine quietly dropped both networks from its listings grids a few weeks ago. Representatives for the channel have since said space considerations were behind the move, even though TV Guide still carries listings for the relatively low-rated Ion and MyNetwork TV.
The move has prompted at least one CW outlet, Tribune-owned KTLA in Los Angeles, to encourage its readers to directly contact the magazine to complain.
“TV Guide has dropped The CW and MTV from their listings,” KTLA says in a message on its Web site. “Their official response to why they have done this is that they are ‘testing listings’ with their readers. If you would like to share your opinion regarding this issue, please contact TV Guide directly.”
KTLA then provides the phone numbers and e-mail addresses for TV Guide executives Scott Crystal and Debra Birnbaum.
In a letter to a TV Guide subscriber obtained by the Web site Jossip.com, TV Guide said it was constantly tweaking the magazine and it apologized that “this sometimes results in the scaling back of channel listings that were of a particular interest to certain readers.”
TV Guide’s advice for those readers who want to know what’s happening this week on “Supernatural”? “We invite these individuals to visit a TV listings Web site of their choice for the most comprehensive and localized listings information available,” the letter said.
Interestingly, TV Guide didn’t invite its readers to visit listings site TVGuide.com. The latter site once was officially linked to the magazine, but the two entities are now owned by separate companies.
It’s also worth noting that TV Guide’s editorial staff continues to believe its readers care about The CW. The magazine frequently covers CW series such as “Gossip Girl” and “Smallville.”
However, it’s also notable that The CW has never been a frequent advertiser in TV Guide, since the print magazine’s demographics tend to skew far older than the network’s key viewership demographic. The CW has advertised on TVGuide.com.
Executives from The CW declined to comment on the matter Monday, but network insiders seemed baffled.
“It’s a mystery to us why they’ll put ‘90210’ on their cover and constantly write about our shows but not tell their readers when our shows are on,” one CW staffer said.

104 Comments

  1. I do not watch ION or MyNetworkTV, so those listings are completely useless to me!
    I do, however, watch SUPERNATURAL and a few other shows on the CW, and losing those listings in TV Guide has proven to be a problem for me.
    Hey, when my subscription comes up for renewal, I won’t renew. Nothing speaks louder to these publications than losing money, and the print version of TV Guide will no longer be receiving mine!
    Robin Vogel

  2. ROBIN,you don’t have to wait until your renewal comes due. As a longtime subscriber of TV Guide and fan of Supernatural(I do not fall into the the CW’s target demographic), I called to complain. I was told by the customer service representative that they were logging complaints and if they received enough it might influence their decision making in the future. She also informed me that I could cancel at anytime and that they would issue a refund for the remainder of the subscription. If they start having to issue refunds for canceled subscription NOW it might just get the CW back in their listings!

  3. Like the old saying goes… money talks. And my money will be telling TVG that it is fed up! For years the magazine has featured Heroes, Greys, CSI, and Lost constantly — especially for their covers. And now I can’t even refer to the program grid of this venerable ‘tv bible’ to see what’s coming up for Supernatural? It’s the one show I’m most interested in during the week. Consider my subscription cancelled! Even with different companies now owning the print and online versions, both have taken steps to show disdain for their supporters. The online version got rid of the Reader Blogs section in a move that is basically saying ‘we don’t want your opinion on an open forum where we aren’t in control’. The print version was already in trouble to begin with… nice way to drive subscribers away.

  4. Seriously! Why?! I don’t buy TV Guide anyway.. waste of money.. the audience-ship of some shows don’t rely on cheap mags advertising. Internet rules!

  5. TV Guide has been diminishing in value for years now, and this just goes to prove it.

  6. I’m with ‘tom’ – why buy a print version of TVGuide anyway??? I have the same issue with the Yellow Pages; when they show up on my door step, it’s straight to the recycle bin, don’t pass go, don’t collect 100.00!
    As a fan of only two shows on the CW: Supernatural and Legend of the Seeker, I could care less what happens with regard to the print version of TVGuide. Now, I do take exception with Entertainment Weekly and how they don’t EVER cover anything related to Supernatural with regard to articles featuring the actors and such.
    You know what? I get the distinct impression that it’s more to do with the CW leadership than anything else. All they want pushed is that youth-drama-crap: 90210 (that horse has been dead LONG time now) and that swanky piece of crap Gossip Girl.
    Soon as Supernatural finishes its 5 year run I’m done with the CW.

  7. I don’t understand any of your complaints. Don’t any of you have cable or DirecTV?
    The only guide you need is right on the system.
    TV Guide is a decent mag to read ABOUT TV, but not to actually see what’s on in your area. C’mon.

  8. I’ve subscribed to TV Guide my entire life and this is twice now I’ve cancelled because of their lack of support for Supernatural. One would think money would talk, but somehow I don’t think my measly subscription means anything to them. They seem to only pay attention to the big networks who not only buy advertising space, but apparently editorial content.
    I’ve told them countless times that I wanted a cover story on Supernatural or my subscription would not be renewed. Even a nice inside article that examined the show in depth would be acceptable, but no. We barely get a mention.
    Yep, I’m gone. Their actual TV listings are a joke anyway, but it is hard enough for fans to find the CW shows so deleting an entire network from their listings will only worsen the problem.
    What good is an entertainment magazine that can’t objectively report on the best TV has to offer?
    TV Guide hasn’t been worth anything for years, I won’t miss it.
    B.J.

  9. Believe it or not, KB, not everyone has, or wants, cable or satellite. Some of us consider it an unnecessary expense – especially in these financial times.
    As to TV Guide, I dropped my subscription years ago when they dropped the local channels. It has been going down hill for years, this is just one more step in that direction. If I wanted to read “People” or “Entertainment Weekly” I would buy them. I don’t want my TV listing cluttered with that junk.
    My answer, use the guide from your local newspaper.

  10. I have cable TV. But my cable guide will NOT tell me what’s coming up in a few days. It only gives me the episode title and description on the same day it’s airing. I relied on TVGuide to provide that info for any show on any day of the week on all the channels. I also like(d) TVG for the articles. But when they keep covering the same handful of shows only, then it’s like a broken record. Sure, I can get the listing info online, but I’m not always sitting in front of my computer (as shocking as that might sound!) I will feel a little melancholy to see this mag go bye-bye, but at this point it doesn’t matter anymore.

  11. I watch a few shows on the CW and i’m very unhappy that they no longer show listings for that channel. I’ll be cancelling. They’re trying to make it like a regular magazine instead of focusing on the tv listings.

  12. TV Guide is a sad image of its former self. But times have changed. Even printed newspapers are hurting because of newer technology. The Los Angeles Times dropped thier TV Times Sunday supplement a couple of years ago.
    Yes, they are trying to become a magazine about TV rather than TV listings. The only reason I believe they continue this at all is the history of why the magazine was originally created in 1953.
    TV Guide was sold to its current owners last year for only $1. They keep issuing double week issues to save the cost of issuing one every week. I buy it only for the articles. The listings are worthless.
    Enjoy what is left of TV Guide while you can. It is losing money and may be history in the near future. Today it costs as much as the local editions used to and offers less in return.
    The future is electronic media and not printed. Just like analog, TV Guide is heading for that media transition in the sky.

  13. i cancelled my subscription because it is a magazine .. a rag.. is what i call it.. i get my listings on line or in the newspaper tv guide as we knew it was gone a long tome ago!!! when it was 10 cents an issue it was worth more then than it is now !!! ill never buy it again!!!

  14. When we in our nation are trying to find comfort while all of these financial woes are amongst us, it’s comforting to be able to seek with ease, what is on the programming that folks enjoy viewing.
    By TV Guide moving forward and making these changes without any warnings, is a clear indication the true reflection on how it cares about its long time subcribers.
    There will be no renewals in this family moving forward, especially when they hoodwinked us into thinking that they care to give us great programming schedules throughout the country in their last upgrade of the format.
    Nice business decison on your part TV Guide..
    We hope that your sales decrease even more than they have with your chosen change of information.
    Do Make a great year happen!

  15. I HAVE SUBSRCIBED TO TV GUIDE FOR A FEW YEARS. I ALMOST ENDED MY SUBSCRIPTION LAST YEAR BECAUSE I DO NOT LIKE THE FACT THAT THERE WERE NO DAYTIME LISTINGS. I DECIDED TO KEEP IT GOING BECAUSE I DO USE IT REGULARLY. HOWEVER 2 OF THE NETWORKS I DO WATCH A LOT OF ARE THE CW AND MTV. MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE DECIDED THAT WE WILL PROBABLY NOT RENEW AGAIN. I CAN BUY MY SUNDAY PAPER AND GET A FULL DAY AND EVENING GUIDE.

  16. TV Guide should have learned it’s lesson when it went “BIG” a few years ago. WE BOUGHT TV GUIDE FOR THE LOCAL LISTINGS!!!!!!!!!!! TV Guide used to be my favorite magazine. I actually got upset if it arrived late. Now, nobody cares about this piece of crap ragazine anymore. I’m not going to renew once my subscription is up. Let the geniuses who changed it in the first place fight over the issue of whose fault it is when it goes out of business, and if this is any indication, that’s going to be sooner than later! Good riddance TV Guide!!!!

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