Over the weekend, The New York Times published the last daily TV listings in its print edition. According to an article announcing the end of print TV listings, for years only the local New York City edition of the paper has carried TV listings in print. Why the change? Because a printed TV grid no longer makes sense in the streaming era of television.
The content crush is a far cry from May 18, 1939, when television listings began appearing regularly in the paper. That day, at the bottom of the Today on the Radio column — The Times considered television a form of radio for quite a long time — a few lines briefly noted the frequencies and a mention that an 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. bloc would consist of “Films.”
The paper’s culture editor, Gilbert Cruz, fully expects to receive angry e-mails from readers angry about the loss of the print TV grid.
I’ve transcribed hundreds of daily and weekly TV listings from The New York Times. They’re an invaluable resource for cultural historians and early television enthusiasts like myself.