There was a time years ago when TV Guide's fall television preview issues were hundreds of pages thick. Studios would clamor to get their ads placed next to the prime-time listings, knowing that the magazine sat on as many as 20 million coffee tables each week. Then, somewhere between the invention of the onscreen channel guide and an advertising market crash, TV Guide was sold for a pittance to a private equity firm. Cue taps...but over the last year, [new editor Jack] Kliger has led TV Guide as it made a serious, if pained, effort at clawing its way back to respectability. And in doing so, the magazine is helping to answer a question that is being asked across the media business: what does it look like when private equity runs a magazine?
In a word, smaller.
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