Wanna buy TV Guide for $1? Not a copy of the magazine at the newsstand, the ENTIRE MAGAZINE? According to Multichannel News, that's what OpenGate Capital just did, and Macrovision, the company that owned the magazine, gave OpenGate a $9.5 million loan at 3% interest to take it off its hands. Macrovision got the magazine when it purchased Gemstar-TV Guide International earlier this year for around $2.8 billion, and it's no secret that they've been shopping the magazine to buyers ever since. Circulation has dropped from around 20 million in the 1970s to 3.2 million today, and the magazine is bleeding cash--it's expected to lose from $20 to $23 million this year, and lost at least than much for the last two years.
Even with the losses, I find it hard to believe that another publisher couldn't have integrated TV Guide with its operations and saved a lot of money. The problem could have been TV Guide's publishing model, where they do a unique edition for every television market, combined with national editorial content. Unfortunately, this is probably the beginning of the end of the magazine.