I have been an off and on subscriber to Entertainment Weekly for about fifteen years. Usually I subscribe because it’s cheap and I enjoy it. Then something happens to let my subscription lapse (usually it’s when I move). And then I resubscribe some time later. I’ve been steadily subscribed now for about 5 years.
It’s been a decent magazine. I don’t really care too much about the celeb gossip or even the cover stories, for the most part. They’re just an excellent resource for stuff that is about to be released. They give release dates and lots of reviews. Even if I don’t agree with the reviews, they at least give me an idea of what the book is about or what the disc sounds like. And, even more importantly, they do lots of genres in books, independent films and even indie rock.
So, when they celebrated their 1000th issue recently, imagine my surprise to hear that their new format starting with issue 1001 would feature: MORE WHITE SPACE, and be EASIER TO READ! Now, even the people who write letters to EW (and here, you should listen to the Paul F. Tompkins “Letters to Magazines“) know that more white space means less black space. In other words, fewer of those pesky words. That’s right! For our subscription dollars, we now get not 15-20 reviews, but 3. THREE! As you can imagine, all of the indie sceen is basically disregarded now.
There’s another new feature “The Ausiello Files” with some guy who says he’s an “insider.” And we see inane questions that no one would every have really asked getting answered with “insider” information. Rather than a review of the new Constantines album, we get great stuff like “What’s the scoop with so and so’s pregnancy on NCIS??” Come on, it’s Entertainment Weekly, not US Weekly.
I am thoroughly annoyed by this new look. And one way that you know that no one likes the new look is that they haven’t even run the “I love the new look” raves that they inevitably run whenever they feel smug about themselves.
The only thing I can figure is they must have fired a whole bunch of people to be left with such a paltry, pathetic magazine. Right now the only thing keeping me subscribing is that they haven’t cut the TV section. But come fall, if they stop talking about the shows we watch, EW gets the ax for good.