Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The TV Guide Is Dead, Right? Not at the Los Angeles Times.

Two articles of faith among the digerati:

  1. Print editions of newspapers are going, going, gone.
  2. TV may not be going anywhere. But it will get a lot better when we can use the Web to find our favorite shows.

And here’s the Los Angeles Times’ retort: “TV Times,” a new 44-page TV guide insert that will be bundled with the paper’s Sunday edition.

Here’s what you get: “A 24-hour daily grid listings spanning morning, afternoon, primetime and late-night programming, four pages of alphabetized TV/cable/satellite movie listings, a full-page cover story, a TV-related crossword puzzle, episode highlights and synopses, and a dedicated sports programming page.”

In a Hulu/GoogleTV/iTunes/BitTorrent/Clicker/TV Everywhere/Etc., etc., etc. age, why would you possibly want this? Because you don’t use any of the aforementioned services. The LAT, owned by bankrupt Tribune Co., doesn’t spell this out, but that’s clearly the thrust here: Anyone who still reads our print edition probably doesn’t spend much time online. Let’s see if they’ll pay up for more paper.

And the Times does expect people to pay, by the way. The LAT is charging its subscribers an extra $3 a month for this.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work