City Desk

WaPo Subscribers: Do you really want TV Week?

Up to now, the Washington Post has taken some pretty standard steps toward shrinking itself, consisting of shuttering some sections and taking aim and duplication. Now comes some genuine innovation on the reductionist front: An opt-in scheme for the paper's redundant TV Week insert.

According to the plan—full text after jump—subscribers in Arlington and Alexandria must notify the Post that they want to continue receiving TV Week. If they don't take that step, it'll stop coming. Partial motivation for this step is protecting the environment, as the memo states, in what's easily the most creative of the reasons for this move.


The Post is rolling out a new system March 1 called "Opt-In" for home delivery subscribers in Arlington and Alexandria. Opt-In lets readers decide whether they want to get TV Week with their Sunday package. We began communicating with readers this past weekend about this change, which makes sense on several levels:
** It delivers TV Week to every Post subscriber who wants it while reducing The Post's costs.
** More and more subscribers can get listings on their TV sets because of the growth of digital television.
** It's the green thing to do, as printing fewer copies means saving trees, ink and more — plus, it means less recycling to haul to the curb.

Subscribers have to contact us by Feb. 23 to say they want TV Week. There are two ways to opt-in:
** Call 202-334-WEEK (202-334-9335) and tell us you want to continue to get TV Week.
** Clip out the coupon printed in the Arlington/Alexandria zone of their TV Week and mail it in.

Starting March 1, only those Alexandria and Arlington subscribers who have told us they want TV Week will get it, as will any reader who buys a copy of The Post sold in stores or from a news rack. The daily Style section will continue to provide television coverage, as will

Questions? Email me.


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  • J

    Its actually a smart idea. If only they would do the same with Book World and the already defunct Sunday Source...

  • Dave McKenna

    As a six-year paperboy for the washington post way back when (my journalism career peaked early), i feel confident in saying that whoever came up with this idea, and anybody who thinks it's a good idea, was never a six-year paperboy for the washington post. with inserts, it's gotta be all or nothing. multiple versions of the daily paper will only lead to confusion and complaints and a quick scrapping of the program.

  • Greg Andrew

    This isn't an innovative move; a number of newspapers around the country have started doing this during the last several years - e.g., The Denver Post.

    I'm sure both Posts would like to totally eliminate their TV Week, but they fear the negative reaction they'll get from thousands of senior citizens who rely on those publications. TV networks and stations just don't do any print advertising anymore, so the economic rationale for the weekly books and even daily listings is long dead.

  • JB

    Greg: Does being 36 make me a senior citizen? We use TV Week at our house because we don't get the TV Guide channel via Comcast. And even if we did, it's nice to be able to look at what's coming up without changing channels. And the TV Guide channel is super annoying in the way it takes about 15 minutes to scroll through the channels.

    THANK YOU, CITY PAPER! I would not have known about this dumb plan but not for you. (You'd think the Post would've mentioned it with a flyer in the inserts, but no such luck.)

  • John Kelly

    Ludicrous - is my thought to this policy. If I ask and pay for a subscription to a newspaper, I should get that complete newspaper. If I don't want parts of the paper...yes let me opt-out to assist in reducing your newspaper circulation requirements. Next you will be offering to take away classifieds, advertisements from stores or maybe even the sports section and force me to opt-in to get them.

    Totally unbelievable that I must tell you - I want what I already paid for. Thankfully I chose to contact your subscription service and "opt in" today to understand why I've been frustrated over non-receipt since tv week assists me, WITHOUT DUPLICATION, as I'm only a sunday subscriber. Even if you had this is it duplication to me...

    I'm glad you all think it's a great program - but to me it lacks common sense.

  • http://c/oDebra-CityDesk Tom Sobotka

    Dear TV Week......In this week's issue of TV Week (6/20-26,2010), which I understand will cost an additional $0.15 per month, I could not find the usual Crossword puzzle nor the directory to the different features/sections of the TV Week.

    It was my understanding that the Crossword puzzle would still be included in the updated, enlarged TV Week section.

    I would have sent this directly to "Debra" who signed the website article - "WaPo Subscribers: Do you really want TV Week? Posted by Erik Wemple on Feb. 9, 2009 at 04:32 pm, and requested questions be e-mailed to her but did not include her e-mail address.