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The Changing Media World

By admin Published: May 28, 2008

You may have heard the TV critics' mantra of "we watch so you don't have to." Here's a new electronic demonstration of that idea, via a TiVo press release:

TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), today announced that it has partnered with the Chicago Tribune to deliver the recommendations of the newspaper's TV critic directly to subscribers' televisions while TiVo automatically records the recommended shows listed in the newspaper's TV grids. The concept is one of several new initiatives designed to explore new ways for the newspaper industry to adapt to the changing media landscape.
TiVo will bring added value to a coveted column in the iconic newspaper by enabling TiVo subscribers to obtain TV critic Maureen Ryan's programming suggestions right on their televisions, with a guarantee that the best in TV is automatically recorded and always on the TV when viewers tune in. In addition, TiVo subscribers will be able to download recurring, unique video commentaries recorded by Maureen Ryan right to their TV, making the Chicago Tribune's TV critic an on-air personality for the TiVo audience.
"From the days of the legendary Col. Robert McCormick on, the Chicago Tribune has had a legacy of significant innovation in both print and television. Our partnership with TiVo underscores a present and future tied to those values and the quest to experiment for the good of our consumers," said James Warren, Managing Editor/Features at the Tribune.
Tom Rogers, TiVo CEO and President, said, "This is another example of how TiVo continues to weave itself into the fabric of the media industry and helps solve strategic issues faced by traditional media companies. We applaud the Tribune management for their willingness to embrace TiVo's technology to help bring innovation to its newspaper model. It is a pleasure to be working with the one of the Nation's leading newspapers on such a revolutionary new concept. We have essentially used TiVo to build an interactive, technological bridge between television and print -- unlocking value for both mediums in the process."
Ads in the Tribune's Sunday product, The Guide: TV & Internet, as well as in its daily Tempo section will highlight the new capabilities available via TiVo and inform customers how they can sign up to receive TiVo and the TiVo service.
Ryan's authoritative and popular print and online column "The Watcher" has made her, according to the entertainment trade publication Variety, one of the TV industry's "favorite (or most feared)" newspaper TV critics.

By the way, you can that Variety list of the faves and feared here.

Update: The New York Times has a story about this agreement here. The Times story says this is a Chicago-only arrangement, although I don't see why the Tribune wouldn't want to make it national; you can already read Maureen online from almost anywhere. And if other critics are added, as the Times story indicates, subscribers could pick and choose among the ones they find most useful. You could do something similar with movie critics, too.

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