Share Your Memories of Local Newspaper TV Inserts

Share Your Memories is a monthly column that invites readers to contribute their recollections of what they watched on television and how they watched it. Topics range from obsolete equipment to network programming practices to specific TV shows and everything in between.

TV Guide or TV Week?

Do you remember weekly TV inserts published by newspapers with titles like TV Week, TV Times, TV Channels, TV Scene, or TV Prevue? These publications usually included a week’s worth of local TV listings plus articles, news, photographs, and advertisements. Some newspapers still publish weekly TV inserts, believe it or not. Others have switched to the national TV Weekly magazine published by NTVB Media.

(NTVB Media purchased TV Guide Magazine in October 2015. In addition to TV Weekly, the company also publishes several other magazines including Channel Guide Magazine and ReMIND Magazine.)

My family never subscribed to TV Guide when I was growing up. I can remember flipping through the Hartford Courant’s weekly TV Week insert, however. There were no articles to read, just daily grids, black-and-white ads for TV shows, and pages of movies. For some reason, I held on to nearly every issue of TV Week from the 2000-2001 season plus dozens of issues from 2004 and 2005.

Scan of the front cover of The Hartford Courant TV Week for October 1-7, 2000
The Hartford Courant TV Week (Sunday, October 1, 2000)
Copyright 2000 The Hartford Courant

I think The Hartford Courant stopped publishing TV Week in 2012, replacing it with NTVB’s TV Weekly.

A quick search reveals The Orange County Register dropped TV Register in June 2012 in favor of TV Weekly. The Chicago Tribune replaced The Guide with TV Weekly in September 2012. The Tampa Bay Times stopped publishing TV Times in April 2017 and switched to TV Weekly the following month.

The Washington Post, I believe, continues to publish a weekly TV insert called TV Week.

I’ve never understood how newspaper TV inserts competed with TV Guide Magazine but clearly they did.

Old issues of newspaper TV inserts don’t seem to be very valuable. You can find dozens, if not hundreds, listed on eBay at any given time. Collectors may want to own a copy of a local TV insert if a specific TV show is on the cover. Over the years, I’ve referenced a handful of articles published in various local newspaper TV inserts here at Television Obscurities.

Do you remember reading your local newspaper’s weekly TV insert? What was it called? Did you keep any issues? Do you subscribe to NTVB’s TV Weekly? Hit the comments with your recollections and memories.

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8 Replies to “Share Your Memories of Local Newspaper TV Inserts”

  1. I have a collection of various local newspaper TV Guide inserts, mostly from 1998-1999, because they were originally thrown out. I had a friend who saved them for me at the Main Branch of the Cleveland Public Library, where I worked at the time. In 1999, the inserts were kept with the papers. These days, there are a lot fewer papers at the library.

  2. These inserts were never a substitute for TV Guide, just a cheap alternative for those who couldn’t afford a subscription. Due to the digital revolution, they are just as antiquated as the papers that published them!

  3. In St. Louis back when we had 2 newspapers the globe published a TV guide on par with the national TV guide. The post had a more newspaper like guide but with the advent of cable they couldn’t cover it all and with a guide channel they became obsolete

  4. The HARTFORD TIMES originally ran an insert call “TV TOPICS”, then would switch it to a smaller page format and re-branded it as “TV TIMES”.

  5. The local Meadville, PA newspaper still carries a TV listing in the Sunday newspaper, and I had no idea other papers had stopped doing so. With the Sunday paper you get the comic section, Parade magazine, and a supplement called Entertainment Weekly, which has a few pages of sports news, plus the TV listings. You get a page showing the weekday schedule, the daytime weekend shows, and a page for each day’s primetime schedule. This covers the broadcast stations, plus at least 25 cable stations.
    Since I only watch a few shows each week I no longer check to see what my viewing options are, but it wouldn’t be the Sunday paper if you didn’t get the TV pages.

  6. My local Greenville News Sunday TV listings section was called TV Spotlight; it was first a 64-page section, then got cut to half that, and then later got cut to a quarter of that (just an 8-page insert, basically); now, there is no longer a TV section (just Sunday night listings in the Arts section; the Sunday paper in and of itself is a wimpy wisp for an absorbent price, as are many other Gannetts due to cost cuts).

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