Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tomorrow's History... (1974)

I stumbled on something very small, but very interesting, while checking out an old TV Guide recently. This item came from the September 21-27, 1974 issue (#1121). This was the annual Pro Football preview issue.

While the item in question did appear on the "Sports and Specials" page in the local listings section (page A-13), it has nothing to do with sports. For that matter, it's not even a listing for something that appeared on TV that week. It was simply a little "blurb" that was put in the lower right hand corner of the page--apparently as more of a filler to complete the page than anything else. It's a paragraph called "Tomorrow's History", which seems to be similar to what today we'd call a "mission statement". I don't know if that term existed in 1974 or not, but that's what it seems like. It goes beyond the simple fact that TV Guide is a place to find out what is going to be on TV and read some related articles. In fact, this little paragraph has a lot to do with what the TV Guide Time Machine is all about! Read it and keep both the Time Machine and your ideas about TV Guide in mind:

While this item as a whole does indeed seem to relate to the TV Guide Time Machine, one line really stands out: "It is a basic element in modern culture--an element worth analyzing, studying, writing and reading about." I couldn't agree more!

I don't know whether this was actually some sort of official "mission statement" for TV Guide or not (and it does indeed end with the proclamation "This is the reason for TV Guide"). I also don't know whether it was printed in other issues before or after this one. It seems like something that may have been occasionally used as a final touch for pages that weren't quite full for printing (maybe because of differences between regions that made some ages longer or shorter and possibly messing up the pagination?) and pulled out every once in a while to remind viewers/readers that there was more to TV Guide than simply guiding your TV viewing. I haven't seen this little item before, but will now keep an eye out for it in the future...

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