What's up with the TV Week format?

Question: I will spare you the risible misinterpretations I have made of some of the abbreviated program listings, but "What's up with the TV Week format?" The size of the publication may have been adequate in the days of five broadcast channels, but with today's volume of programming, it is clearly not sufficient.

I expect that the economic factors are paramount, but surely there are off-setting benefits of more ad space being available plus other considerations. Thanks for the opportunity to ask the question this conveniently. -- Niles Schomburg, Spokane

Answer: The Spokesman-Review TV Week is not produced by the newsroom. It is produced by the company's marketing department. Decisions to change the book would be made by that unit, not the newsroom.

Having said that, I can appreciate the writer's frustration. But I also know it is becoming less and less practical for newspapers to publish weekly TV guides. The expanding TV universe requires books to list dozens of channels making schedule grids cumbersome and increasingly difficult to read. Packing all of the required information into a reasonably sized book is a real challenge. Given the limitations, I think our marketing folks do a pretty good job. -- Steve Smith, editor

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