Tuesday, January 8, 2008

TVPlus -- can you see the change?

TVPlus, our weekly television guide distributed with every Sunday newspaper, has a new look. We went back to a larger format -- what the industry refers to as a “tab.” It’s now the same size as our Weekend entertainment section, for example.

I, along with Copy Editor Mary K. Means and Managing Editor Jim Smith, spent much of Monday on the phone with readers, returning their calls about the change. Our readers are observant and loyal. But change can be tough -– especially when it involves something as habitual as our television guide.

We’re being upfront about the key reason we have made this change: It’s more economical to produce. We can print this format on our own press, and we couldn’t do that with the small book. So we have no plans to return to a smaller format without an enormous change in our press's ability.

But we want TVPlus to include the information you need. The new format has allowed some positive changes, including having each day’s morning and evening grids grouped together.

And we are going to make other changes to this book, starting on Jan. 20. (It takes the outside company that sets up the grids that long to change!)

• The channel grids will be grouped better – they won’t break in the middle of prime time anymore. Instead, they will run from 4 p.m.-midnight, midnight- 8 a.m., and 8 a.m.-4 p.m each day.

• All the schedules will appear as full pages, without any squeeze. Instead of some of the pages being shortened for movie capsules, the movies will be moved to make room for the listings.

• You will find more movie summaries, and they will appear together – about five pages’ worth.

We set up a special phone line for Sunday's publication, 745-7034, to give readers a place to give us feedback. Several dozen of you had called by close of Monday. We are glad you care enough. Thanks, and we hope your feedback continues.


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