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Critic on the loose: EW's first issue

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As a genre, editors’ notes are about as illuminating and captivating as speeches by Miss America finalists, thick envelopes from Ed McMahon, and anything out of the mouth of Andy Rooney. So I’ll use this space most weeks to write about entertainment — not about Entertainment Weekly. Except this week. Here, in our premier issue, I should take this chance to tell you what you can expect from our new magazine.

Our aim is simple: Entertainment Weekly will give you reviews and reporting to help you decide how to spend your money — and, more important, your precious time — on TV, movies, books, music, and video (plus kids’ entertainment, home tech, magazines, and more). To do this job reliably, we must follow some basic rules. So here are our guarantees to you, our Top 10 Rules To Publish By:

10. This is a national magazine. We cover what’s at your local ‘plex instead of what’s on Broadway because more than 200 million of you don’t live in New York (you lucky ducks).

9. We won’t have long, ponderous, pompous articles about show biz — 5,000-word stories about 50-minute albums that take longer to read than it would to listen to the records themselves. Short is fine.

8. The magazine is current. We review and report on the big movie or show or book when it’s useful to you — when it’s out, not weeks before or weeks after. And we’ll condense and repeat reviews whenever it’s helpful — as long as a movie is still in theaters and again when it shows up on videotape, or on cable, or on the Sunday night movie. Each issue will tell youuwhat you need to know now.

7. Entertainment Weekly is selective. We don’t review and report on everything, only what’s notable — notably good, bad, big, or hyped. In fact, finding what’s notable is our most important job.

6. The magazine must be easy to use. You will be able to pick up Entertainment Weekly and browse through our well-organized pages to find out what you want to know — what’s out, who’s in it, what it’s about, what it costs. You also should be able to find out quickly and easily what our critics think, and that’s why they grade (from A+ down to F) everything they review.

5.This magazine will be a voice for quality in a business that needs one.

4. Since we are boldly and loudly opinionated, we also must be open to the opinions of others. That’s why we plan to have a large and lively mail section — as soon as you start sending us smart letters. We’ll also give space to entertainers — singers, actors, directors, producers, or writers — who disagree with our critics’ reviews. In this magazine, everybody’s a critic.

3. Our critics enjoy the areas of entertainment they review. They are discriminating fans and members of the audience, just like you.

2. Guaranteed: The opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writers and are free from influence by advertisers, corporations, public relations people, or stars.

1. Entertainment Weekly will be entertaining. This magazine will be wittier, wiser, and more enjoyable to read than this or any other editor’s note ever

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