Soap Opera Cancellations Lead to More Layoffs

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With "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" going dark, two magazines are expected to lose half their staff.

The cast and crew of One Life to Live and All My Children aren't the only ones losing their jobs when the shows go off the air.

Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly are expected to drastically trim their staffs, the New York Post's Keith Kelly reports. As many as half of the 70 employees in the New York office will be laid off.

Publisher Source Interlink is turning the magazines' operations over to National Enquirer and American Media Inc. in a licensing deal.

Entrepreneur Jerry Ritterman bought Soap Opera Digest from News Corp. for $70 million in the 1980s.

After changing hands several more times, it was included in a $1.2 billion sale of Primedia enthusiast titles to Source Interlink.

In the ‘80s, Soap Opera Digest was published every other week and had a circulation of 1.2 million. Now, it has a readership of 150,000. Soap Opera Weekly pulls in 500,000 readers.

Kelly says AMI is preparing reality TV show special issues on the Kardashians and Bravo's Housewives franchise to take the soap magazines' place in checkout counters.

In the 1970s, there were nearly 20 soaps being broadcast in the U.S. Only four will survive: NBC's Days of Our Lives, CBS' Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful and ABC's General Hospital.