(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — In a story we had been following since it was first reported last April that Soap Opera Weekly and Soap Opera Digest magazines would fall under the umbrella of American Media, publishers of such mags as Star and TV Guide, Soap Opera Network has learned that after 22 years Soap Opera Weekly (launched in November 1989) will be shuttered and its April 10, 2012 issue will be its last.
Weekly, which last fall discontinued its subscription base readership in place of a newsstand only publication, let go some of its remaining staff while retaining the remainder according to a representative. Stephanie Sloane, who took over both magazines last June as Editor in Chief, after the departure of Lynn Leahey, will continue in that capacity at Digest.
In December rumors of Weekly‘s ultimate demise began with the announcement of American Media’s newest publication Reality Weekly, which shipped its first issue in January of this year. At the time an American Media publicist confirmed that Reality Weekly had no impact on the future of Soap Opera Weekly. It is understood that despite today’s announcement of Soap Opera Weekly‘s end Reality Weekly will not replace Soap Opera Weekly on newsstands. “Reality Weekly has its own supermarket pockets and are not taking over Soap Opera Weekly‘s pockets,” confirmed the rep.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Sunday, November 13, The New York Times reported that American Media, Inc., which earlier this year purchased the licensing rights of both Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly from owner Source Interlink, in which the company now oversees all aspects including editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution, would be launching a new weekly magazine dubbed Reality Weekly.
The magazine, which is set to launch in January 2012 with a newsstand price of $1.79 per issue, has long been expected. After all, reality TV related programming and “stars” have graced the covers of People and Entertainment Weeky, and even celebrity gossip mags Us Weekly, Star (which is owned by American Media) and Life & Style. With coveted supermarket placing between both Weekly and Digest, many often wondered if, along with dwindling audience for the soaps, American Media took over the mags just for their positioning and would shutter the mags in place of magazine’s such as Reality Weekly. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Although I do not personally subscribe to either Digest or Weekly, it recently came to my attention that Soap Opera Weekly no longer provides subscriptions for soap fans wishing to receive their Weekly at home as it and numerous other magazines have done since their inceptions. This was later confirmed as the magazine no longer provides an online subscription via the Zinio magazine subscription and tablet application service. Digest and Soaps in Depth (both ABC and CBS editions) continue to provide subscriptions, however.
An American Media representative told Soap Opera Network “Absolutely not!” when asked if the launch of Reality Weekly had anything to do with the company’s decision to stop providing subscriptions for Weekly. “We made it a 100 percent newsstand mag that generates a million dollars of editda per year,” the rep continued. EDITDA stands for Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
In an industry plagued with erosion, it’s safe to say that at least our soap magazine’s appear to have more longevity than some of the soaps themselves.