Reading through the Trib this morning, a note on the TV Book caught my attention. It said “TV Book Has Been Replaced” in big bold red letters. Reading it further I discovered that what is happening is that the TV Book will no longer be part of the Sunday paper as of October 4th UNLESS you pay for it separately. The note says it’s 67 cents a week but if you actually read the details inside the book, it’s $1.20 a week for a 6 month subscription and 67 cents if you subscribe for 2 years. There was no mention that the price of the Sunday paper would be dropping because of this cost savings measure.
Not having the TV Book in the paper is no loss for me. I don’t think I’ve read a TV listings book or a TV Guide in the last 10 years. But, I thought this was always one of the reasons why newspapers justified the higher price for the Sunday paper. That and the old Parade magazine.
The Sunday paper has one of the lightest amount of local news in it (next to Monday). Lots of “wire” stories and tidbits that I rarely read. And yes, it has the ads which are paid for by…the advertisers. Seems kinda silly to try to justify a higher price for the subscribers based on how many ads are in it.
I don’t think that continuing to remove things from the paper is going to help it survive. I can’t remember the last new thing that they added to it. I know that when some of the movie theaters quit paying to have the movie showtimes printed was the time I switched over to using Fandango.com exclusively when I wanted to find out when a movie was playing.
It’s a tough time for local newspapers and it sure seems like they need to evolve into something different before it’s too late for them to react and recover.