Rupert Murdoch paid $3 billion for TV Guide back in 1988. But things have changed: Macrovision has sold the magazine to OpenGate Capital for one dollar. That’s one American dollar, folks. Macrovision also threw in a $9.5 million, low-interest loan. It is, however, keeping the online TVG franchise.
If this seems weird — TV Guide is, after all, a famous entertainment brand in an entertainment-obsessed age — be aware that while it still has one of the top circulations among U.S. magazines, and its ad revenue is up, the franchise’s fortunes have fluctuated over the years (even Murdoch wound up selling it at a loss), and its strategy has been confused — and Macrovision’s statement that they would work later on a “digital companion to the magazine” indicates that it remains so.
In the current shaky days for magazines, not even moneymakers are considered a safe bet — except at extremely low stakes.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 15, 2008