Entertainment, weakly

I’m sick of hearing from Entertainment Weekly

Here’s a note I just wrote to their circulation customer service:

I’ve received — by mail and email — several requests (more like “demands” to renew my subscription — which doesn’t expire until September.

For God’s sake, people, get a grip. Before renewing, I want to see how many of my favorite staff writers you let go, what celebrity goofballs you bring in as columnists, and whether you actually do finally collapse from double issues every month or so to one issue each year; published, perhaps, in February, after everybody’s returned from a nice, long vacation.

I didn’t add that I let my subscription to TV Guide lapse a few months ago. They, too, seem to publish double issues (meaning, they skip an issue) several times per year. Every third cover seems to have a Sci-Fi theme (nothing against that, other than that I wasn’t intending to subscribe to Sci-Fi Guide); a lot of the feature articles appeared to have more to do with movies than television; and the writing seemed aimed at what the editors assumed to be the literacy level of a not particularly bright middle-schooler.

The listings — the only reason I was buying the magazine — were getting fewer and fewer. (In the “double” issues, listings for the phantom second week were cut in half. There was a while when they didn’t list The CW — a national basic-cable network!)

Listings in the daily paper are OK, though they don’t list every channel (understandably, with a selection in the hundreds, even if you count repetition in the above-100 numbers); only cover prime time on the channels they do list; and don’t allow you to map out any time in advance.

Time-Warner Cable does an OK job; problem is, every once in a while all the listings revert to “to be announced.” Sometimes, rebooting my cable box handles that; sometimes, not.

With all those stations and networks available, all of them costing somebody lots of money to put on the air, I wonder how, exactly, they expect anybody to know what they’re putting on the air?

In fairness, among the other magazines I subscribe to, The New Yorker published the occasional double issue. But it doesn’t seem to be so many; and, in their case, the magazine is so stuffed with reading matter that I find myself appreciative of the opportunity to catch up.

Who’s ever had that problem with TV Guide or Entertainment Weekly? Even the “double” issues?

(later) In fairness, here’s EW‘s reply, which came quite promptly:

We send early renewal notices for several reasons. First, because we select our issue mailing labels in advance, we want to give subscribers ample response time to ensure continuous service. Second, obtaining your renewal order early locks in your savings and protects you against possible rate increases.

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