Inside TV Is Gone: Magazine Wasn't Inside Enough

Gemstar-TV Guide International has turned Inside TV--out.

Just eight months on the job, and the nice tabloid that focused on the easy-to-digest stories of TV stars has lost its luster. The company says the magazine is not profitable, and had lost over $24 million dollars since its inception.

Instead Gemstar will put all its efforts into its revamped, big-format TV Guide--all without its TV listings.

At $1.99 a copy--a fraction of the cost of most magazines--Inside TV told you it was a "don't take me seriously" magazine. My wife said she'd rather chew bubble gum. Bubble gum is a good metaphor for this book, considering that most articles were lightweight fare about TV talent--and eschewed the more hard-core racy, take-no-prisoners tabloid stories, those that talk about scandal, drug use, divorce, and Botox. It was supposed to be an alternative to People and US Weekly.



Inside TV was intended to be shopping aisle fodder, at a cheap price, offering young teen females, mostly, a quick, breezier fix.

Not that Gemstar really gave the publication much of a chance. Some magazines can take years, if not a decade or more to make money (see Sports Illustrated). At eight months, new magazines are still in diapers.

Now Gemstar will put all its eggs into the legendary TV Guide, which only recently admitted that its program listings were a thing of the past. With hundreds of channels and program alternatives, TV Guide couldn't compete with electronic program guides provided by cable operators, satellite distributors, and digital video recorders.

Likewise Inside TV couldn't compete with an already glutted world where entertainment magazines offer a more complete picture of TV stars' lives.

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