TV Guide's newsstand sales increased 38% after the magazine was redesigned, parent company Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. said Wednesday. The shares rose 14%, the most in more than three years.
The company sold an average of 400,000 copies a week since the publication switched to a larger format Oct. 17, Hollywood-based Gemstar said.
Newsstand sales averaged 290,000 copies in the third quarter, before the change.
The sales indicate readers like the magazine's new look, which includes more color photographs and celebrity interviews in addition to TV listings, said April Horace, an analyst at Hoefer Arnett in San Francisco. Gemstar is trying to halt a 21% decline in revenue at the magazine, including circulation and advertising sales, during the first nine months of 2005.
"It appears on an initial basis it's been well-received," Horace said. "They're re-inventing the brand."
Readership declined because viewers use on-screen guides for program listings and because of competition from celebrity-focused publications such as Us Weekly.
Total circulation since the redesign is 4.9 million, down from 12 million in 1999. That would put TV Guide at No. 7 among U.S. magazines, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. AARP the Magazine is No. 1 with a circulation of 22.6 million.
Shares of Gemstar-TV Guide rose 39 cents to $3.12.