Thursday, November 5, 2009

The beginning of the end for Entertainment Weekly.

Anne Thompson has reported that Entertainment Weekly has fired eleven staffers, including Christine Spines who was possibly the last of the feature writers at the once prestigious magazine. In just a matter of a few years, the weekly rag was devolved into a Hollywood-centric variation on Us Weekly. I've received and read every issue of Entertainment Weekly since February, 1991. I recently renewed my subscription, and I have to admit it was more out of habit and the unwillingness to let go of the magazine that I used to absolutely adore. Entertainment Weekly, with its occasionally thorough and numbers-driven box office analysis, is what turned me into a box office junkie, and it was my hands-down favorite entertainment magazine for much of my young-adult life. Premiere had better articles and Movieline had more inside-baseball analysis, but Entertainment Weekly was a one-stop shop for the entire industry. It was always a form of infotainment, but the magazine was always filled with trivia, thoughtful commentary, and just plain good writing. Many of our favorite bloggers and online columnists cut their teeth at the ol' EW in the 90s.

But the magazine I once loved is no longer a magazine worth reading. It rarely contains any news, features, or actual journalism. The critical pages are still relatively solid, even as each section gets shorter and shorter (remember when the home video section was just as long as the theatrical film review pages?). The problem is, while the TV listings have always been snarky, the entire magazine often reads like a full-length version of that always terrible 'Hit List'. With few news bites or articles of substance, and new features like News and Notes Style Hunter (IE - 'How do I find that piece of jewelry that the one star was wearing in that one episode of that one show?'), the old pop-culture standby really is just a few shades away from turning into Us or Star. Like so many newspapers currently on the verge of collapse, Entertainment Weekly has responded to the threat of the Internet and the domination of gossip by doing its job worse, not better. Simply put, Entertainment Weekly no longer matters.

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

Heather Moore said...

Crap. That's my favourite magazine too. I have noticed a decline but I was holding on. I was particularly annoyed with the how small the book review section is. It's disgraceful. First Premiere; now this. :(


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