TVGuide.com spruces up to appeal to more viewers

The continuing slide of the print version of TV Guide would seem to support that. The magazine, which sold about 20 million copies a week during its heyday in 1970, averaged just 2.9 million a week in the first half of 2009. down 10.4% from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, many newspapers are trimming the space they provide for TV listings.

"Newspapers tend to focus on the things that make them unique," says Mort Goldstrom, vice president for advertising at the Newspaper Association of America.

The changes at newspapers could pay off for TVGuide.com. It has deals to provide listings and features for websites of several dailies, including the New York Post, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News and The Miami Herald.

Advertisers are intrigued by its growing influence.

About half of its ads come from program producers and networks – no surprise, considering its focus on TV shows. But that's down from 70% in 2006 as fast-food, cellphone, packaged goods and consumer electronics companies, as well as cable and satellite providers, splash their brands and messages on the site.

That could grow as TVGuide.com's array of embedded videos and celebrity news, in addition to the listings, gives it more cachet with the young adults that advertisers are most eager to reach. Half of its visitors are under 35 years old, up from 27% in 2006.

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