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Dropped TV listings got little attention

I noticed that the Mail Tribune no longer carries daily TV listings. Why the change? I'm assuming it was a cost decision. I found the daily listings to be more accurate than the weekly listings in the Tempo.

— Bill F.

We SYA underlings here in the newsroom's version of Stalag 17 are just keeping our heads down and trying to stay out of the spotlight, Bill. That's our way of saying we're passing the buck up the line, in this case to the Muted Trumpet's editor, Bob Hunter. Here's what he has to say on the subject:

"We dropped the TV listings a couple of months ago after some very informal surveying suggested that they were not being heavily used. Since we weren't entirely secure the information was solid, we decided to try a test run by withholding the daily TV grid for a week. If we got a big pushback, we could restart the grids.

"So, when we got very little reaction — a handful of phone calls — it confirmed our suspicion that the listings were not being used by many people on a regular basis. Part of that, we assume, is because readers who want printed listings keep their weekly Tempo around for reference.

"The daily grids did sometimes have schedule changes that weren't reflected in the Tempo listings, but they were relatively few and just weren't enough of a reason to keep the listings, especially given the lack of response when we dropped them.

"Dropping the daily listings does save us some money and saves space for other content that we hope is being more widely read. It's always tough to drop features because they all have followers to one degree or another, but the lack of response when we did drop the daily listings confirmed for us that it was the right move."

There you have it, Bill, straight from the top. He must like you. Maybe you can get him to upgrade the boob tube in our newsroom barracks. Can you get HD on rabbit ears?

Email questions to youasked@mailtribune.com.