Thursday, October 19, 2006

Transcon kills print version of TV Guide magazine and moves it to the web.

Transcontinental Media has given up the struggle and, after 30 years of publishing TV Guide in Canada, the print edition is ending effective with its November 25 issue.

TV Guide will "transition to a web publication", according to a memorandum to staff from Francine Tremblay, Senior Vice President of Consumer Publishing. The new site will be

The irony is that, three years ago, Transcon killed a web version of TV Guide and laid off its staff. Now it will essentially be recreating it.

TV Guide in the U.S. has also gone through enormous changes, including a format change and a cut in its rate base. The Canadian TV Guide is a licensed version, originally owned by Telemedia, which in turn was bought by Transcontinental. Paid TV listings have had a hard time both because of the proliferation of newspaper supplement TV magazines and latterly because so much information was available online. What had been almost a weekly habit for many food shoppers became dispensable.

"After thorough research into brand development for TV Guide," said Tremblay," we have determined that the long-term market potential for the print magazine is limited. Ubiquitous on-screen program guides through digital or satellite services and the Internet have changed the way people choose what to watch on TV."

Several employees will move into jobs supporting the new web site: Jaimie Hubbard will become Web Editor in chief, Stephanie Earp is the new Content Specialist and Greg David and Melissa Hank will be Web Editors. Pamela Master, will continue on as Publisher,TV Guide, managing the web site, client services and the development of

Pamela MacKinnon, National Sales Manager accepted the position of National Sales Manager for Elle Canada, and will be joined by Account Manager, Marc Pascoe. No changes are planned to the TV Guide listings staff,although several other people will probably be terminated, if other opportunities in the company do not open up in the next few weeks.

Putting the best face on it, Tremblay said: "This important move marks the evolution of the brand and we recognize this change is difficult for many of our staff and readers. However, we are excited about the potential to deliver new and exciting content to our readers on the web."

TV Guide subscribers are being asked to wait for a letter from Transcon managment -- "no phone calls or e-mails, please" -- that will tell them what will happen next. Presumably Transcon will not give the money back, but will give credit towards subscriptions for others of its many consumer titles.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked at TV Guide for two-and-a-half-years from 2001 to 2003 and was let go a short while after all the Web staff was terminated.

It was going downhill then and it's surpising that the print version lasted a full three more years.

1:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if we just want our money back?

10:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my daughter had an 89 yr old man come in today looking for the tv guide. bad move, not everyone is connected to the internet! you know if you would of just hung on~the newspapers are cutting theirs from the papers, so your distribution would of went up! bad move.

11:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The letter sent to TV Guide subscribers stated that refunds on remaining issues would be delivered within 3-4 weeks after subscribers returned the original letter. I have now been waiting 2 months and have not received any refund, so obviously the company is not acting in good faith. Looks like it may take a class action suit to get our money back!

11:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad idea! I have been practicly thinking about this and nothing else since the day it left. Bring it back, we all want it!

6:05 pm  

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