Direct Line Blog

TV Guide hip, young but still TV Guide

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TVGuide.com is making its own mark, separate from its one-time sister magazine, among advertisers : Wednesday, the Web site -- which was sold separately from its print progenitor less than a year ago -- will feature a homepage takeover from A&E.

The move is significant for a few reasons. One, it's the first time, MediaPost reports, that the 56-year-old brand has allowed any pfutzing with its recognizable red and white logo. For the homepage takeover, promoting A&E's "Tattoo Highway," the logo will be updated into a "tattoo" design (Chinese symbols? Barbed wire? An anchor?).

Some people are positing that the logo tweak is part of a larger effort by TV Guide to distance itself from the old brand. A homepage takeover -- which also features animation and a roadblock -- would be a signal to advertisers and consumers that TVGuide.com is hip and young. However, I don't think TVGuide.com would really want to distance itself from the brand.

The ad buy, in fact, shows off the enduring power of the TV Guide brand. No matter its multiple sales over the past few years, nor the severing of the magazine from its Web site (the magazine's online counterpart can now be found at TVGuideMagazine.com) -- TVGuide still speaks to people who love TV. At least, the online brand does. The site, TVGuide.com currently reports 19 million monthly uniques. The magazine, on the other hand, is down to about 3 million readers. Just as TV itself has moved online, through Hulu and network Web sites featuring episodes on-demand, it seems that those searching for info on TV have as well.

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