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Time Inc. Entertainment Weekly Task Force records

Call Number

MS 3009-RG 59


1986-1988 (bulk 1988), inclusive


Time, inc.


2 Linear feet in 2 record cartons

Language of Materials

The documents in the collection are in English.


Time Inc. studied the concept of what became Entertainment Weekly for years before actually publishing the magazine. A Task Force on Entertainment Weekly was formed to study every aspect of the proposed magazine including editorial direction and content, projections on advertising and circulation, and to perform direct-mail tests to gauge consumer interest in the magazine.

Historical Note

The concept of a weekly magazine assessing readers' entertainment options arose at Time Inc. in 1988 almost simultaneously with Mike Klingensmith and Jeff Jarvis, who then collaborated to develop the concept that became Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. spent two years studying and testing the concept which included the formation of a Task Force on Entertainment Weekly. This task force studied the proposed magazine's advertising potential, editorial direction, researched competing magazines, and performed direct mail marketing tests including soliciting subscriptions before the magazine was ready to be published, and created plans and reports based on their findings. Entertainment Weekly began publication in 1990.


Time Inc. Subject Files, MS 3009-RG 1, New-York Historical Society.


The Time Inc. Entertainment Weekly Task Force Records are arranged in alphabetical order.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of records belonging to Mike Klingensmith, then Chief Financial Officer of the Magazine Group and future Publisher of Entertainment Weekly, and Nancy Phillips, Business Manager of Life and member of the task force. It includes projections on pricing, costs, circulation growth, advertising, and other forms of planning for the launch of Entertainment Weekly as a new magazine such as direct mail advertisements, samples of other magazines, and proposals on the concept of the magazine and general style of editorial content. There is a small amount of reference material pre-dating the Task Force on Entertainment Weekly including an earlier Time Inc. study on a new magazine concept.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials in this collection are stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit

Conditions Governing Use

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.

Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation

The collection should be cited as Time Inc. Entertainment Weekly Task Force RecordS, MS-3009 RG 59, New-York Historical Society.

Location of Materials

Materials in this collection are stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Time Inc. in 2015.

Related Materials

This finding aid relates to just one record group of the Time Inc. Records. For information about the other record groups and for overall information about the archives, please see the Guide to the Time Inc. Records (MS 3009). The Henry Luce Papers (MS 3014) were acquired with the Time Inc. Records. The collection of books acquired with the records are cataloged as the Time Inc. Reference Library.

Further material on the earliest days of Entertainment Weekly can be found in the Time Inc. Reference Files (MS 3009-RG 3). Further material on Michael Klingensmith can be found in the Time Inc. Bio Files (MS 3009-RG 2).

Collection processed by

Allen Thomas

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 15:47:58 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Description is in English

Processing Information

The Time Inc. Entertainment Weekly Task Force Records were processed by Allen Thomas in 2021. The original folders were retained where present; loose material was foldered. Arrangement was imposed. Allen Thomas created the inventory and other descriptive notes to produce this finding aid.


New-York Historical Society
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024