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Merc to charge 50 cents a week for TV Guide

To cut costs, many newspapers are thinking about cutting or reducing their TV listings. After all, most cable and satellite systems provide listings on their own channel. And with all of the channels available, TV listings suck up a lot of news hole. Yet those readers who prefer TV guides in print are passionate about it, Mercury News editor David Butler explained in a note to readers this morning.

So the Mercury News announced today a new way to deal with the problem — only deliver the TV guide to people who want it, and charge them 50 cents extra a week, which will be tacked on to their subscription. It’s what the ad people call an upsell.

The new TV Week will have more listings, more information about movies and more puzzles.

The new section will be included in all copies of the Sunday paper until June 28. Then, on that date, only those who have opted for the TV Week will get it.

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