TV Guide - A brief analysis from the HBR case

Essay by dusty_binUniversity, Master's December 2002

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Options for the future

In the paper TV Guide (A), several options are presented for future development. This document will select the best of these and provide support for this selection from the evidence contained within the paper. A brief discussion of the other options will be given.

Joseph Barletta, CEO of TV guide has to steer the business towards a changing future whilst protecting the cash flows of TV Guide.

By 1994, the company was already involved in experiments in electronic publishing but at the time it was unclear which technology or system would be the winner. At the time TV Guide was also facing threats from paper based competitors. The difficulties caused in part, by the large number of cable stations that made it very difficult for one magazine to list easily and clearly all the available channels on the right channel number in the magazine.

In our opinion, the company needs to pursue a complex strategy which encompasses both the electronic and printed media.

The company has at it's disposal a very large and effective database of subscribers and TV programme information. This asset needs to be leveraged to enable multiple use of the same data.

How can this be achieved?

The company should continue with its work on electronic publishing. At the time of the report it was not clear which system could be the most useful to users, but it could be sure that all the possible users could use the printed version of the magazine. The advertising revenues of the magazine (27% of all revenue) and huge subscriber base with it's eleven year average life were both too important to risk. These revenues would be needed to fund the future development of the company as a whole.

The magazine needs to find a...