In the very first issue of Entertainment Weekly, dated Feb. 16, 1990, founding managing editor Jeff Jarvis made 10 promises to readers about the new publication: national entertainment coverage; no long, pompous articles; timeliness; selectivity; an easy-to-use read; a voice for quality; a diversity of opinions; critics who love the genres they review; opinions uninfluenced by advertisers, corporations, publicists, or stars; and a read that was always entertaining, certainly more entertaining than any editor’s note could be. Some things don’t change. Fifteen years later, I promise you the exact same things from EW.
A lot of other things have changed, of course (including the viability of 1990 Entertainers of the Year M.C. Hammer, Arsenio Hall, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; on the other hand, entertainer-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and entertainer-turned-EW columnist Stephen King have fared much better). For one thing, we cover the business of Hollywood more avidly now, with a big L.A. bureau (above, with the New York editorial staff on the left). For another, you have many more choices for entertainment coverage than you did back in 1990, which means that we’ve got to deliver on those original 10 promises better than ever.
One way we’ll do that in 2005 is to celebrate these amazing 15 years of entertainment. This issue’s back-page pop quiz is about 1990; over the next 11 months, we’ll cover all 15 years there. We’re also devoting three issues to the anniversary: the Great American Pop Culture Quiz issue in April, a summer issue looking back at some of the stars that burned brightest — or burned out — on these pages, and our annual Photo Issue in the fall. It’s one way of thanking you (especially the 5,100 of you who’ve subscribed from the start!) for your continued support. We try to earn it every day.