Entertainment Weekly deserved better
The end of a publication is, to me, one of the saddest deaths you can experience besides those of humans and pets. Hence why I have had to have a moment to mourn the loss of Entertainment Weekly.
It’s bad enough the publication of EW would cease, but I was especially appalled at how DotDash Meredith handled it. They just sent me a plain white postcard which said (paraphrasing), “Sorry this publication you’ve subscribed to since before you were even an adult is closing, but hey! We’re going to send you People magazine now instead.”
No, sir. People is a magazine I did not order and do not want.
These publications are not the same thing. I’m somewhat astounded at how brazen the company was about making that change. I got a barebones mailer and had a customer service rep say when I called, essentially, “What is the problem? It’s the same thing.”
No, it isn’t the same. If I wanted People magazine, I’d be subscribing to it. If my choice of product is gone, I consider our business closed. Refund my remaining subscription, don’t just give me another publication as if I won’t notice.
The fact the ownership clearly regarded these brands as interchangeable speaks volumes as to why the business failed.
People is a celebrity magazine, EW was about the entertainment business. That’s where I learned which movies and TV programs were in the works and what was getting canceled. They had occasional features about celebrities, but it was usually one story. Otherwise, this was my lifeline to the entertainment industry. It was skimmable, had some fun recurring columns and features, and often was something I could skim fairly easily over my week.
Aside from the closure of my favorite magazine, I was very disappointed at how little regard the ownership had for its own brand. Hey, a beloved product you’ve been enjoying since high school? It is gone now, but here, take this other thing that is nothing like it. No offense to the good folks at People, but that’s the magazine I’ll read at the doctor’s office, and only if I can’t be on my phone.
And all I can think about this is if those of us in the business can’t even care about our brands, why are we even doing these jobs?