How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of 'GH,' 'The View' and 'The Chew'; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of ‘GH,’ ‘The View’ and ‘The Chew’; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

 
Topic:
Soap Opera Weekly

Photo Credit: American Media, Inc.

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.



Disney/ABC Television Group

As Soap Opera Network first reported on March 16, Deadline‘s Nellie Andreeva is reporting that ABC has officially canceled “The Revolution” and plans to slide “General Hospital” into the 2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT timeslot beginning Monday, September 10, the same day the network hands over the 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT time period to affiliates. The news was later reported by The New York Times.

It was last week Wednesday (April 4, 2012) when Soap Opera Network Tweeted, via a very reliable source, that within ten days a decision on the future of “General Hospital” would be made by the network. Tomorrow, April 12 (or Saturday, April 14, depending on how you look at it), marks the one year anniversary of Black Thursday (April 14, 2011), which is best known to many as the day that ABC announced the cancellations of both “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” and the launches of “The Chew” and “The Revolution.” It was also the day Source Interlink announced a licensing deal with American Media over Soap Opera Digest and newly defunct Soap Opera Weekly.

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American Media, Inc.

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Although the likelihood was expected thanks to the loss of long-time soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” in 2011 and 2012, which were preceded by the departures of “Guiding Light” and “As The World Turns” in 2009 and 2010, news broke on Thursday, March 22 that after 22 years in publication Soap Opera Weekly would end its successful run as one of the premier soap opera magazines. The final decision to end the mag was just one of many blows the soap opera industry has felt in as many years. Soap Opera Network takes a by the numbers look at Weekly and how its readership levels helped lead to its ultimate demise.

On April 14, 2011 news of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live’s” cancellations created headlines in nearly every trade magazine, newspaper and informational entertainment website you could think of. What the world didn’t know at the time was that same day (morning in fact) American Media, Inc. had signed a licensing deal with Source Interlink, owner of both Weekly and sister mag Soap Opera Digest, in which American Media would control the editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution aspects of both magazines. As part of that deal a number of staffers were let go from both Digest and Weekly, while those who remained were either re-assigned or part of the recent layoffs now effecting the demise of Weekly itself.

According to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) data Soap Opera Network has received, Soap Opera Weekly magazine had an average total circulation of nearly 108,000 between subscriptions and single copy sales in the second half of 2011. Single copy sales exceeded subscriptions by just over 5,000 issues. The magazine lost upwards of 40,000 subscribers compared to the second half of 2010, when its total circulation was nearly 146,000 between subscriptions and single copy sales. In November of 2011, in our report announcing the launch of Reality Weekly, we noted that Soap Opera Weekly had recently ceased providing subscriptions:

Dated November 14, 2011:

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.

With the magazine no longer providing subscription based readership, sales figures fell to just over 50,000 single copy sales based on the data average of the 15 issues sold during the first half of 2012, according to the ABC. This showed axed subscribers did not opt into buying the magazine at their local supermarket or grocer. By comparison, in the first half of 2001, when there were 10 soaps still on the air (“All My Children,” “As The World Turns,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “Guiding Light”, “One Life to Live,” “Passions,” “Port Charles” and “The Young and the Restless”), Weekly‘s total circulation was 372,000 on average between subscriptions (134,000) and single copy sales (238,000).

Soap Opera Weekly, which launched with its first issue dated November 21, 1989, with maven Mimi Torchin as its founding Editor in Chief, will present a final look into the world of soaps with its last issue dated April 10, 2012, according to an American Media spokesperson. Stephanie Sloane, in her role as the Editor in Chief of both Weekly and Digest, will close the books on the magazine.



(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.



Source Interlink

(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.



Thomas A. Montalto/MontaltoPhotos.com

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Talk about being two faced! After Stacy (Farah Fath) heads south of the Equator to Brazil this week to have her old plastic surgeon Dr. Fascinella make her look like her old self again, the doc himself finally gets a face of his own.

According to Soap Opera Weekly, Portuguese actor and theater director Pedro Carmo has been cast in the recurring role of the nip and tuck expert. Carmo has appeared in numerous foreign films, shorts, and television series.

He debuts as Dr. Fascinella on Friday, December 2, despite the fact that Stacy, Cutter (Josh Kelly), and then later Rex (John-Paul Lavoisier) and Aubrey (Terri Conn) arrive in his Rio office this week.

And, while there, look for Cutter to encounter a very familiar face in Alex Olanov (Tonja Walker) on Thursday, November 17.

No word yet on the name of the actress cast as Dr. Fascinella’s receptionist, who first airs either late this week or early next week.



George De Sota/jpistudios.com

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Art imitates life as “One Life to Live” does what it does best by poking fun at itself for an upcoming storyline. Beginning next month, the show’s once popular soap-within-a-soap, “Fraternity Row,” gets canceled due to sagging ratings, leading one loyal Llanview fan to take drastic action to save her soap. The plot mirrors “OLTL’s” own predicament, having been dumped by ABC earlier this year.

The story kicks off on Tuesday, December 6, when Roxy Balsom (Ilene Kristen) learns her favorite daytime drama has been given its marching orders, and decides to do whatever she can to help keep it on the air. According to the November 22 print edition of Soap Opera Weekly, that includes circulating a petition among  the residents of Llanview, including a few surprising individuals, to drum up fan support for the sudser. The magazine even gets a shout out on the air courtesy of fellow soap fan Nigel (Peter Bartlett).

The actress tells SOW that “It’s kind of mirroring our situation [at 'OLTL'] and there’s all sorts of ironies in that. Basically, one of the things that’s been very amazing and really touching is our fan support and that’s really kind of what the storyline is, from Roxy’s point of view, because she represents the fan base of ‘Fraternity Row.’”

According to Kristen, “She [Roxy] goes to Clint [Jerry verDorn] to ask him because he used to produce the show and he’s not particularly interested. Then she goes to Bo [Robert S. Woods]. Then she tries to recruit the most famous Llanview person, David Vickers [Tuc Watkins], because he’s a big movie star! I think the audience is really going to have a lot of fun with it.”

But it doesn’t end there. As we previously reported, “One Life” creator Agnes Nixon will make a special appearance on the show the week of January 9 as Agnes Dixon, the woman who created “Fraternity Row,” when she is interviewed about the the show’s cancellation by Llanview’s hard-nosed reporter Blanca Morales (Carolina Bermudez). Long-time “OLTL” fans may remember that “Fraternity Row” was a major part of the show in the late 80′s and early 90′s.

So will Roxy be successful in her quest to save “Fraternity Row” and, if so, will the soap’s fate mirror that of “One Life to Live” who is moving its production online with Prospect Park? Tune in to find out!



Brian Kerwin Returns to ‘OLTL’

Donna Svennevik/ABC

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — When “One Life” fans last saw Charlie Banks (Brian Kerwin) earlier this year, he was leaving town in disgrace after his love affair with Echo DiSavoy (Kim Zimmer) was exposed, ending his marriage to Viki Lord (Erika Slezak). However that isn’t stopping him from creeping his way back into Llanview.

The November 8 print editions of both Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly are reporting that Kerwin, who last aired on May 11 after nearly four years on the show, will be returning to the show later this year. While it is unclear what brings Charlie back to Llanview, Kerwin’s scenes are expected to air sometime in December.

In other news…

It looks like Brody (Mark Lawson) may be about to have a little more family joining him in Llanview, as there are reports that Kate Miller will be reprising her role as Brody’s sister Nadine Lovett for a couple of episodes later this fall. Nadine was last seen in 2009 when she was forced to hold her brother hostage under the direction of an unknown man, who turned out to be Mitch Laurence (Roscoe Born).



‘One Life’ November Casting Updates

Thomas A. Montalto/MontaltoPhotos.com

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Casting changes for “One Life to Live” for the month of November.

As we previously reported, Tonja Walker is returning to “OLTL” as Alex Olanov. Yesterday the actress posted her upcoming airdates on her Twitter page. Fans can be expect to see her on November 17, 18, 21, and 22, and for Alex to have a surprising connection to Cutter (Josh Kelly).

Kathy Brier has posted a few of her upcoming airdates as Marcie McBain on Facebook. Look for her again on November 1, 3, and 8.

Looks like he’s not dead after all. On Friday, November 4, homeless man Louie (Helmar Augustus Cooper) has an encounter with Todd (Roger Howarth) after having escaped from Irene’s hired goons, who have been holding him prisoner.

Speaking of Irene (Barbara Rhoades), look for Todd to have another vision of his dead mother on Thursday, November 10 when she pushes him to do something drastic.

Matthew Conlon is back as Tomas’ (Ted King) friend art dealer M. Claude Calmar on Tuesday, November 8 when the two have a visit.

Patrick Gibbons, Jr. and Stephanie Schmahl next appear as Sam Manning and Bree Brennan on Monday, October 31.

Although she has been MIA recently, Destiny (Shenell Edmonds) returns next week.

Kearran Giovanni appears again as Dr. Vivian Wright on Friday, November 11 when she and Sean (Shaun Ringgold) have a difference of opinion regarding their future together.

Peter Barlett will be making at least a couple of appearances as Nigel next month, including Tuesday, November 1, when he relays an important message to Clint (Jerry verDorn). On a related note, verDorn talks about Prospect Park’s takeover of “One Life” in a recent interview with Soap Opera Weekly.

Kristen Alderson (Starr) and David A. Gregory (Ford) are reportedly in negotiations with Prospect Park about continuing with the show after it leaves ABC.

Doggie David Vickers (Tallulah Bean) will continue to play a role in an important storyline in the coming weeks.

And check out this cute picture of Andrew Trischitta (Jack) helping Patrick Gibbons, Jr. (Sam) out with his math homework during a break on set, and this one of Roger Howarth (Todd) posing with “OLTL’s” Make-Up Artist Julia Davis.



Conn’s ‘Life’ Ends with Prospect Park

Getty Images

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Even though nearly a dozen “One Life to Live” cast members have already signed on to remain with the show when it moves to online production with Prospect Park in the coming months, at least one actress won’t be sticking around to make the transition. Terri Conn (Aubrey/Christine) tells Soap Opera Weekly that “I’m not going to stay.”

In an interview with the actress in the latest edition of the magazine Conn, who joined the cast of “OLTL” in 2010, admits to basing her decision on her age (she is 36), saying “I’ve made the very hard decision because I’m not getting any younger and if I’m going to do it I’ve got to do it now to see if there is anything else out there for me that might have longer longevity. I don’t have any plans to move [to L.A.]; I would prefer to be in New York. The types of shows that are here I’m really excited about.”

Prior to joining “One Life,” Conn played Katie Peretti on “As the World Turns” from 1998-2010. After more than a decade in daytime, she admits her desire for a career change. “That’s the thing about being in a contract on daytime. It’s such an amazing job but there are all these other opportunities that you can’t necessarily do. They will try to get you out, but you are under a contract with them and that’s your first priority. I’ve been tied to a contract for 13-14 years, so I’m excited to get out and try the other stuff.”

Meanwhile, when asked by a fan about whether or not he would be staying with the show, Conn’s husband and “OLTL” co-star Austin Peck (Rick) tweeted earlier this week that “[I] don’t know yet.” Peck joined “One Life to Live” in the recurring role of porn director turned music producer Rick Powers in March of this year. The couple were married on July 1.










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