By Claire Booth
Entertainment Monthly? My latest issue came in the mail this past week, and I am not happy. A letter from the new editor announced that the magazine would become a monthly publication.
He went on to talk about a lot of crap like digital covers, audio and TV, and A-list events. None of which I’m interested in. Those are all fine, and I’m sure there are people who do want those things, but from the Internet reaction, a hell of a lot of them still want something in their mailbox every week.
|EW on my coffee table, not on a screen.|
That includes me. I’ve read the magazine for the past 25 years. I stare at screens all day for work, and afterward holding something printed—turning pages of words on actual paper—is a respite. And a magazine that specializes in irreverence and snark? That’s my kind of reading. Its quality has waxed and waned since it started in 1990, sure, but it’s always been a general audience pop-culture chronicle that used its power for good. It has championed LGBTQ and minority artists. It has made space for the little guys—the independent movie, the under-the-radar music group, the overlooked TV show. It includes book coverage!
Maybe that’s why this ticks me off so much. I realize that the switch to monthly is all about cutting costs to survive in a tough marketplace (despite the BS official line that it’s nothing but a desire to bring subscribers more of everything they love). I worry that the decrease in frequency will mean a decrease in quality.
Don’t get me wrong. I like monthlies. I get Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine. But those folks know that they’re monthly. The stories that they produce are long form, in-depth, fully reported. Will EW up its game to match that? Will it keep the snark and add the serious?
Will it check on the #MeToo pledge of celebrities to help, financially and otherwise, women in poorer professions?
Will it give me a story on the campaign for the Screen Actors Guild presidency and why I, as an entertainment consumer, should care?
Will it finally be able to break the streaming services' secrecy and tell me how many people are really watching Stranger Things?
If Entertainment "Weekly" wants to keep me, this is what it needs to do.