Monday, October 13, 2008

TV Guide is "Bought"

See the memo below -- OpenGate Capital is an investment acquisition firm that has been looking to build an entertainment media department. It's headed by Andrew Nikou. We may be reading this wrong, but it appears to us that the magazine has been purchased by a company without any experience in publishing, but with an interest in dipping their collective corporate toe into the water of the entertainment industry.

What the company's forte appears to be is to evaluate a company and present it, after it's been "OpenGate"-d and subsequently find appropriate "investors" who have deep pockets. At any rate, it's sad to see the magazine bumped around from "owner" to "owner," as it has been in the last five years.

Hopefully, someone, with adequate experience and a vision beyond the standard weekly tabloid, will take TV Guide and turn it back into what it was originally intended to be: a magazine about television. And by television, we don't mean just CSI, Grey's Anatomy, blah blah. If TV Guide could reinvent itself again -- separate itself from In Touch and Life & Style and US (which it ABSOLUTELY cannot compete with) -- and become a wholly television-related entity, it may still have some life.

What if it were to become a bi-monthly mag (every other week), with critical prime-time listings, but also in-depth profiles of all different types of television shows, stars of shows and below the line talent. It can still make very good use of a website that would work completely in conjunction with the magazine. Run condensed or partial stories that are in the magazine. If there is someone who gets some seriously "breaking" news, break it online. Elaborate it in the magazine. Get some angle that would have some legs so that it's still relevant a week and a half later.

We (BeansTalk) are fans of little seen shows like My Boys and 10 Items or Less, and a slew of other shows you might not have heard of, but should. There's not really a venue to promote those shows or satisfy the fans of some of the new series.

The editors there have been fired, retired, forced out, switched around and the focus has on non-real news staff, eg. a contributor to Star was given a prominent position there and has broken not one story. Nada.

What TV Guide needs are editors who are focused on PRIME-TIME (a main managing editor with associate editors for each network and cablers), REALITY, SPORTS. Add to that a features area that would encompass profiles and photo-driven stories about sets or fashion or cars or some other element that has caught or can catch the fancy of fans. They do not need to have 20 Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice/Heros/Lost covers. There are many people who do NOT watch those shows, believe it or not.

Leave the GOSSIP to the rags, who have staff who can grease palms, who have freelancers who are young, tenacious, pretty and Teddy-ready. It's absurd to have a cover story on Prince William getting back together with Kate Middleton. It's a waste of time, energy and a loss of any serious subscribers or readers.

Make TV Guide something other than the slew of other entertainment "news" magazines that are more salacious than any Rona Barrett tabloid. Set it apart. Get off the bandwagon.

It's our opinion that if TV Guide doesn't go back to being a magazine exclusively about television, with news entailing the fate of series, guest talent, a more intensive look at series that may include a weekly column/page/feature on a show runner, etc.

Here's what went out today:

From: Fred Amoroso []
Sent: Monday, October 13, 2008 1:08 PM
Subject: TV Guide Magazine

I am pleased to share that this afternoon we announced the sale of TV Guide Magazine to OpenGate Capital, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles.

The transaction is scheduled to close approximately December 1, 2008. While we are sorry to see our colleagues move to a new company, this will allow TV Guide Magazine to have focus under new ownership and allow Macrovision to focus on its vision for the future of digital entertainment. It’s a win-win situation.

I am proud of the team that executed this agreement as it was a complex process, but it again shows our ability to execute, something we greatly value.

To help answer some of your questions we have prepared an FAQ that can be found on the intranet at

If you have additional questions please don’t hesitate to contact me, your manager, use the integration source location at or use “ask fred”.