TV Guide Wraps Total TV, Launches Full-Sized Version

New York -- TV Guide, which just finalized its $75million cash acquisition of TVSM Inc., will convert Total TV into its plannedfull-sized version of the TV Guide magazine, effective with the July 11 issue.

That issue will be mailed to Total TV's 800,000subscribers as of July 6.

Total TV's subscribers got their last issues lastweek, dated July 4, along with wraparound covers touting the new full-sized TV Guidethat'll take its place -- "about 10 percent larger than Total TV."

The editorial content will not be substantially differentin the large-sized edition, but its listings may have a new look, said Steven Reddicliffe,TV Guide's editor in chief. "Having a large format will allow us topresent the growing number of TV-viewing options in new ways," he said in a preparedstatement last week.

TVSM's Cable Guide will remain a monthly. Aspokesman said TV Guide's logo won't appear on that magazine's Julycover, adding that it's unclear how soon that will start happening.

When it comes to placing advertising space in TV Guideand in TVSM's Total TV, Cable Guide and See (a monthlyprogramming guide for DirecTv Inc. subscribers), Dick Porter, TV Guide'spublisher, said, "Advertisers will now have the opportunity to buy singly or inpackages."

That's something that most cable-network executivesseemed enthused about, since it should translate into savings, compared with buying theads from separate companies. Executives at Discovery Networks U.S. and Turner NetworkTelevision had looked forward to such packaging back in mid-April, when word of themagazine merger first broke. Some networks also said they looked forward to thelarger-magazine format as a plus.

TV Guide, the circulation rate base of which remains at13 million weekly, has partnered with Time Warner Cable and other MSOs to publishcable-specific regional editions with a total circulation of 750,000. The addition of TotalTV's 50 cable-specific editions now nearly doubles that size.

Next, there may be further enhancements available to theprint advertisers, with the merging of the electronic TV Guide with United VideoSatellite Group Inc.'s The Prevue Channel. UVSG announced plans to acquire TVGuide from News Corp. for $2 billion last month.