The New York Times has included TV listings in its newspaper since 1939, but that’s about to change.
Sunday is the final day that the paper will include daily TV listings in its print editions. The TV grid in the paper was paired with a “What’s on TV column.”The New York Times has included only the grid in its New York City edition for several years now, according to the paper.
In January 1945, the paper included four TV listings (this was way before cable), and in March 1988, the TV listings began appearing in print form in the paper, with almost 40 channels listed for readers.
In 2006, the paper discontinued its TV section and moved the TV listings to the Art & Leisure section.
Canceling TV listings was a long time coming: It comes at a time when streaming is taking over the entertainment world, leaving traditional TV in the dust. And for traditional TV viewers, apps, on-screen listings and the internet have long since made print listings obsolete.
“We know that this will be a loss for many of you,” the New York Times wrote to print subscribers in an email this weekend. “But growing numbers of readers are already using their own TVs or other digital resources to inform them of daily schedules and there are now far more shows available any day, any time, on demand.”
The New York Times says it won’t stop covering television as a beat. It will just focus more on streaming options. In print, the Sunday At Home section will include a roundup of streaming options.
Online subscribers will still be able to find recaps of shows and information about new shows that are coming to streaming services. The New York Times will also continue to publish “Watching,” its TV and movie-focused newsletter, which comes out four times per week.
The online edition of the paper also regularly updates lists of the top movies on specific streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+.
But by discontinuing its print listings, the New York Times told subscribers it will “gain vital printing and staffing efficiencies that help support our journalism.”
Digital is unsurprisingly a sweet spot for the media company. This August, New York Times’ digital revenue exceeded its print revenue for the first time ever.