In the New York Times, the new editors of TV Guide—which looks like it will be up for sale again already—explain why they believe the magazine still matters. It may, but the magazine itself recognized some time ago that if TV Guide matters, it’s not as a guide to TV, as least not as far as the listings are concerned. Probably smartly, the magazine has been de-emphasizing its TV listings for some time, more recently adopting a bigger magazine format and a greater emphasis on features. (The brand has also diversified with, among other things, a TV channel, a nod to the alternative technologies that are supplanting the mag’s original function.)
All well and good. But people do still need to find out what’s on TV. Anecdotally, I know that TV listings have been cut back in local newspapers, but what with the number of channels and the scheduling shell games, listings are theoretically more useful than ever. To me, TV Guide Channel or similar scrolling cable-listings channels are useless—I don’t want to sit around and feel myself grow old waiting for channel 145 to roll around again. I haven’t looked at a print listing in ages, but then I have TiVo, and also, I’m kinda paid to follow TV for a living.
What about you Tuned Inlanders? Do any of you still use an old fashioned print guide? Is your cable box’s listings interface good enough? Do you have a favorite online source? Or do you just go wherever the remote takes you?