TV Guide Offers Something New To Watch: Its Bold New Look

In an effort to woo over readers and advertisers, TV Guide will unveil a dramatic redesign on October 17, with the historically pocket-sized television weekly metamorphosing into a full-sized color layout edition of over 100 pages in length. The magazine will also jettison its current listings-heavy format in favor of devoting 75 percent of its space to celebrity and television-related news and interviews.

As part of the overhaul, the magazine is also cutting its circulation from 9 million to 3.2 million, and will be slashing jobs, although the company declined to say exactly how many.

The redesign is the brainchild of TV Guide's parent company, Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc., which will also oversee a reduction of TV Guide's current 140 localized editions for a single national edition, opting for either the Eastern or Pacific time zone for program listings. The Australian mogul Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate News Corp. owns roughly 40 percent of Gemstar.



In the first quarter of this year, Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. posted a loss of some $3.7 million, and watched its revenue fall 9.2 percent. In the publishing arena, the downward trajectory of the group's revenue was even more pronounced, falling 16.3 percent to $82.3 million. The TV Guide magazine itself is expected to lose anywhere from $90 million to $110 million this year and next.

The company is trying to recover from the scandal surrounding former CEO Henry Yuen and former Chief Financial Officer Elsie Leung. Both have been charged with falsely ballooning the company's revenues before their departure in 2002. Yuen and Leung have since agreed to pay $10 million in penalties to the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve charges of revenue fraud.

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