Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wausau | Readers to be charged for new TV guide

In a Page One note to readers this morning, the Wausau Daily Herald says it will start charging for its weekly printed television guide, TV This Week, now inserted in Sunday papers. The retitled TV Weekly will be sold through a separate subscription and delivered with Friday's paper. The change is effective Oct. 6.

The deal includes this carrot:

"Daily Herald subscribers will get a discounted rate on the 44-page section, which includes considerably more than the listings. TV Weekly will include puzzles, TV trivia, horoscopes, soap opera summaries, celebrity profiles, expanded movie and daily listings, and details on DVD releases."

A two-year subscription will cost 67 cents a week. Readers who don’t subscribe to the Daily Herald can buy a TV Weekly two-year subscription for 95 cents a week, according to the note. At 67 cents weekly for two years, that's about $70 total. At 95 cents, it would be $99.

My question: Does that other content -- puzzles, celebrity news, soap opera summaries -- also get dropped from the Sunday edition? In other words, is there any value added worth paying for?

Is your site messing around with TV coverage? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. Jim, Diiddo for all papers in Indiana coming this fall, what a joke, the papers are so small, no news, no adds and now this. Circ is falling and will continue after this happens...also look for Wed to Sunday daily publication very soon.


  2. I'm guessing all the Wisconsin papers are doing this now, since the Oshkosh Northwestern also announced this today. They say they're still going to run a TV grid in print seven days a week, so why anyone would subscribe to this is beyond me.

    I feel sorry for the carriers; now they have three options for delivery to subscribers. Those who get the new grid as a standalone, those who get it with the newspaper and those who don't get it. This won't end well.

  3. Give the carriers credit, they're not idiots. They're also delivering USAToday, WSJ, MJ-S, etc.

    At least we're not yellow pages publishers.

  4. I wasn't bashing carriers, just saying the TV guide situation will only add to their load. More work for likely the same amount of pay.

    And I can't imagine too many people in Wausau or Oshkosh subscribe to USA Today. I don't even read it anymore at the airport or the car dealer/repair shop.

  5. Jim -

    Would you please spend some time LEARNING the economics of the business along with the changes that have taken place over the last 20 years. The readership of the tv guides is in the very low double digits used only by folks in the very high double digits. TV Guide quit publishing because the content wasn't relevant. Consumers have so many more options to get the listings (and more accurate ones via online). And the majority of listings that are published are very limited in scope - just the basic channels in this 500+ channel age.

    I've been at non-Gannett metros where the listings were dropped and the resources allocated elsewhere. It just makes common sense.

    Same logic applies to the stock listings.

    Things have changed since your days at a local - you need to keep up with the changes.

  6. I'd agree that separating out the TV listings and charging a premium for it makes sense, given that so few people rely on printed TV guides anymore. Gannett's not the only publisher doing this. However, on top of all Gannett's other cost increases and content cuts, this is poorly timed.

  7. Jim, you're particularly dense on this one. I will regret asking this, but where are you getting this idea that the content like soap opera summaries is already in the Sunday edition? It sounds like you think content that isn't even in the regular paper should be dropped from the paper.


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