Exhibitor Drops Showtime Listings; Newspaper Fights Back
Malco Theaters, a 32-theater chain in the Southeastern U.S., has decided it no longer wishes to pay the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to list the times its movies play on its screens in Little Rock, Arkansas. And the newspaper is fighting back. Romenesko.com has displayed a house ad in which the newspaper says that the Malco decision is not the decision of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. It then states, To address this policy change with Malco officials, please contact the company at ... (followed by the company's phone number and website address). Typically, theaters must pay to have showtimes published in newspapers. (Romenesko and other media watchers have been asking for years whether people still get movie times from newspapers, with most responding negatively.) Other theater chains have also begun reducing or eliminating their showtime listings in newspapers. And the Democrat-Gazette's ad appears to have backfired. Romenesko quoted a typical tweet: Give me a break @ArkansasOnline. ... It's 2013, people check movie listings on smartphone.