Gazette editor-in-chief Andrew Phillips explains the paper’s decision to cut the size of its weekly TV Times insert almost in half, from 36 to 20 pages, on his blog. (This, by the way, is a perfect example of what editors should be doing on their blogs: explaining situations that affect readers honestly and opening a dialogue with them.)
The post is long, with plenty of points about how people on digital cable or satellite use on-screen guides instead of paper ones (this also led to the demise of the paper TV Guide), and the increasing price of paper forced management to make a decision. The newer format eliminates listings between midnight and 9am and cuts most of its “editorial” content (which I’m pretty sure nobody read anyway).
The post even includes the necessary dig at the competition, which doesn’t have nearly as comprehensive TV listings (both weekly and daily schedules).
As the number of channels grows, and the number of people using basic cable or over-the-air reception shrinks, it’s inevitable that some day these TV listings will be eliminated entirely, and demand for a searchable online version grows (much like TV Guide’s online offering, which has unfortunately been assimilated into the Sympatico empire).