Sunday, August 14, 2011

More TV Guide Blurbs (1980)

I recently wrote about a small item in a 1974 issue of TV Guide called "Tomorrow's History". I wasn't sure if it was merely a small blurb used to take up empty space on a page to fill it out, or if it was some kind of official or unofficial "mission statement" for TV Guide. I also had no idea whether it was a one-time item or if it was used occasionally in various issues whenever needed. It looks like I now have some answers to those admittedly unimportant questions.

March 22-28, 1980 TV Guide cover

I just found the same "Tomorrow's History" piece in the March 22-18, 1980 Eastern New England Edition issue (#1408) too. It looks exactly the same as the one that appeared in 1974. Obviously this means that it did indeed appear more than once. If I just happened to randomly find it in two issues six years apart, it would seem safe to figure that it is in others as well.

Here's the March 1980 "Tomorrow's History" blurb:

And here is the full page that it appeared on and where it was apparently needed to take up a little otherwise empty space:
TV Guide Page A-60

This same issue actually provided me with three more of these "blurbs"--all very different in topic and size from each other. I'll show each one up close, and also what it looked at on the page that it appeared. Since it does seem that they are little space holders it's useful to see what they looked like on the page.

This one, titled "Vital Statistics" is a tiny and rather uninteresting bit of trivia about how CBS paid six million dollars for the rights to air the last Super Bowl game. Something that makes it a bit more interesting is the thought that companies are now paying close to what CBS paid to telecast the entire game simply for a 30-second commercial slot during Super Bowl games of today! (Note the ad for Channel 4's Evening Magazine with Barry Nolan in the full page scan)

TV Guide Page A-41

Speaking of the Super Bowl, here's another blurb simply titled "Sports". It seems to be a bit like the "Tomorrow's History" bit--with TV Guide relating its importance in a world full of many (televised) sporting events. (Note the cool WLVI Channel 56 ad for the movie "Judgment at Nuremburg" on this page)

TV Guide Page A-68

Finally, here's a blurb called "Network Addresses", which lists just that. It's funny to look back at a time when people not only communicated with something like a television network by writing an actual letter, and also to recall a time before cable took off when there were basically only three "real" networks (plus PBS of course). I wonder what would happen if you were to send a letter to one of these addresses today? Would it actually make it to the offices of ABC, CBS, NBC or PBS? Would it actually be answered by another letter?

TV Guide Page A-90

As much as I'm interested in TV Guides from the 1970s and 80s now, I never really saw or read them much when they were new. My parents would sometimes subscribe to the magazine and my mother would give them to me after the cover dates had passed. Since they weren't anything all that "special" at the time I just never seemed to get around to reading the articles and stuff like that. I also didn't really check out the listings, since they were already old by the time I got ahold of the issues. I just held onto them until it came time to toss them out. Perhaps someone who actually bought and read TV Guide on a regular basis in the 1970s and 80s would have a familiarity with these little blurbs and remember seeing them in the magazine from time to time. It's possible that they wouldn't. I've noticed that they're placed in a rather unassuming way that allows you to kind of ignore them as you're scanning through the listings. Unlike paid ads geared to get your attention, these little pieces sort of blend in with the page and don't really stand out. Kind of refreshing actually!

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