Vail Valley Voices: Vail Dailly off the grid for television schedules
Vail, CO, Colorado
We fell off the grid for TV listings last week.
You noticed almost immediately if you rely on the paper’s guide, and we’ve had in the neighborhood of 120 calls since March 4.
Like stock listings, there are better, quicker, more complete ways to get the television schedule these days.
For most of us on cable, there’s a “guide” button that calls up the schedule right on the screen, and the schedule extends about as far as you could want. That’s what we use at my house, and we’re not super-duper TV watchers, although the family likes SciFi, History and Discovery, so we’re a half-step up from the most basic cable.
The paper’s grid covered some of the channels from 6 to 11:30 p.m., too often had inaccurate listings and sometimes printed in gibberish instead of words.
And no one seemed to notice. No advertiser could be convinced that sponsoring the TV guide made sense for reaching a good niche of potential customers.
During the boom times just passed ” and what we’ve enjoyed for the past five years was indeed a classic boom ” this wasn’t such a big deal. We ponied up for the service and ran the listing even if almost no one used it.
Then last week ” to our surprise ” it turned out that when our sister paper the Summit Daily News quit the service, we were tied in as well.
We also had been looking hard at the TV listings and other content that was important to smaller groups of readers. We determined that most readers had better ways to access the information and, ultimately, it was proving too costly for the service.
We have received calls, and I know we’ve disappointed some readers, which I never like. We’ll continue to re-evaluate this decision and discuss it with our sister-paper editors if this evening grid is widely missed.
In the meantime, most cable-service options include the ability to use your remote to see the complete cable listings. Also, you can find the listings in complete form ” the full list of channels for the full day ” at http://www.comcast.net/tv/tv-listings.
Better, perhaps, Google “TV listings” and your town name. It’s all there in the time it takes to flip to the section where the daily grid used to appear.
I think you’ll find these ways of finding your favorite show superior to a partial listing, with no summary and only for a few hours of the evening. Try it, and then tell us what you think.
Don Rogers is the editor and associate publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at 970-748-2920 or email@example.com.