America Media, Inc. (AMI) has purchased 37-year-old Soap Opera Digest from previous owner Source Interlink Media. As followers of Soap Opera Network knew, America Media licensed Digest from Source Interlink on April 14, 2011, wherein American Media would retain editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution control of the magazine and its sister publications Soap Opera Weekly and Pixie! (both now defunct), while ownership would remain with Source Interlink.
According to a press release issued today, the deal in acquiring Digest closed on July 20, 2012 with the ownership effective date listed as June 1, 2012. Soap Opera Network has also learned that as part of the deal another round of layoffs hit the magazine resulting in a number of long-time staffers and writers losing their jobs.
Soap Opera Digest is said to have a circulation of over 200,000 and a reach of over 4 million readers per week, making it a key asset to American Media. “Soap Opera Digest is a very important strategic acquisition for AMI as it fits perfectly in the Celebrity & Entertainment Group,” said David J. Pecker, Chairman, President and CEO of American Media, Inc.
Stephanie Sloane will remain the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief while David Jackson will remain Group Publisher of Soap Opera Digest. They both report directly to Pecker.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — While “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” were receiving worldwide attention after it was announced that ABC had decided be cancel both series on the afternoon of what is now known as Black Thursday (April 14), magazine publisher Source Interlink quietly made noise of its own that very morning when it announced it would be laying off more than half of its employees working on popular magazines Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly. Now comes word that the company, which handed over editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution control of the magazine’s to American Media, which runs such rags as The National Enquirer, has officially laid off the affected individuals.
In announcing the deal last month, David J. Pecker, Chairman, President and CEO of American Media, Inc. (AMI) said, “This agreement is ideal for American Media as both soap opera titles fit strategically into our entertainment group, which includes Star, National Enquirer, Country Weekly and TV Guide, reaching an audience of 37 million people. Advertising clients will benefit immensely as we will now deliver the most efficient ad buy in the celebrity category for consumers.”
“This transaction will allow our media company to focus on the continued growth and investment in our core enthusiast brands, while positioning our sales and services company, to focus on its long-term vision of fully capitalizing on the vertical integration of our wholesale magazine distribution assets,” noted Michael L. Sullivan, President & CEO, Source Interlink Companies. “American Media understands and values our history and commitment to the entertainment category, through our soap titles. Given the synergies in their demographic audience, this license agreement will allow AMI to support these titles moving forward where they will continue to provide an exciting and relevant product for our dedicated consumers. We are pleased to have identified the right partner and are confident that our soap titles are in good hands.”
While there is no word yet on who the magazines were forced to lay off, Soap Opera Network has learned that the announcement was made earlier this week. Just another sign that the economy is a bust. We wish those affected good luck in all their future endeavors.