(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.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Thursday, May 12, Soap Opera Network broke news when we reported that layoffs occurred earlier this week at Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly after American Media, Inc. officially took over editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution control of both publications from Source Interlink Companies, which retains ownership of both titles. Now comes word that Lynn Leahey, Editorial Director of both magazines along with lesser known title Pixie, is stepping down. We’re told it was her decision.
According to TV Guide Canada‘s Nelson Branco via his Suds Report Twitterfeed, Leahey will step down effective Wednesday, June 1. Stephanie Sloane, who currently serves as Editor of Soap Opera Digest, has been named Leahey’s successor.
Per sources more than half of the 70+ people working at both publications prior to the Black Thursday (April 14) announcement were let go.
(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.