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NY Post: Collective Bargaining & Unions the secret villain to soaps demise!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

The New York Post has a very interesting piece out this weekend on what the death of soap operas say about our economy and the way Unions are structured. And that even though ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons, handed down the death sentence verdict to All My Children and One Life to Live, that there was a bigger villain looming in the background and that was Collective Bargaining and all the Union costs for the various areas involved in the making of soaps, that of the cast, crew, and creatives. Read below some key excerpts on what soaps have been facing internally all this time, while trying to put out a show five days a week, and why reality series looks like a great option for network programmers!

NY Post: “The soaps are effectively an industry heading for bankruptcy, and even union members realize it. In the last decade, soaps have been trying to cut costs to the bone. But those bones are covered in the impenetrable gristle of AFTRA (the daytime actors union), WGA (the writers guild), the DGA (directors) and the backstage union IATSE.

Soaps are “certainly not expensive by other entertainment gauges,” says former producer Michael Laibson, a leader of the creative teams at All My Children and Guiding Light. But “they don’t pay the people [on reality TV] the same kinds of wages. The acting, the above-the-line costs [for creative talent] are much higher on soaps. Generally, on a soap there are about 30 actors that are under contract so they have a guaranteed number of performances per week and a guaranteed salary per performance.”

Union super-minimum wages lead directly to high unemployment. AFTRA requires each of the main performers to be paid at least $913 a day, but stars get much more. Seventeen Writers Guild jobs disappear when the two ABC soaps go dark. They aren’t getting paid in Palmolive, either. Head writers (of whom there might be more than one) get at least $35,345 a week. Writing expenses are minimal on reality, which the WGA hasn’t successfully penetrated yet.”

“The soap industry is highly skilled, and Days of Our Lives is a more polished product than The Biggest Loser. Soaps are more like airlines. The value of their product has dwindled rapidly, but unions don’t provide flexibility for trimming costs to keep up. Since soaps aren’t a separate industry, they can’t use bankruptcy as a wedge to reopen contracts and make cuts. An AFTRA source who didn’t want to be identified says, “We’re certainly mindful of the challenges the industry faces,” although not mindful enough to back down on their main goal: “We want to increase pay and benefits for our members.”  Hundreds of IATSE members are going to be out of work. Even unionized reality programs like ABC’s upcoming soap replacements The Chew (Mario Batali cooking show) and The Revolution (a Biggest Loser-style weight-loss show) will bring far fewer jobs in makeup, costumes, set moving, etc.”

“Maybe renegotiating the daytime serials portion of the contract would have beaten layoffs. But from the unions’ perspective, any concession sets a dangerous precedent. If they take a hit on daytime, isn’t that an invitation to cut prime-time contracts? So unions will continue to shrug at reality and the marketplace will continue to punish them.”




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Nicole
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Nicole

So is Frons trying to get the blame off himself and blame the Unions?? Is he hoping for infighting amongst the unions so that AFTRA and IATSE don’t support each other anymore? Since the actors can’t support the ABC protests publically (because they are worried about backlash from Frons), is this around about way of trying to make sure the other unions don’t support the SAVE OUR SOAPS Protests and Boycotts….create infighting amongst the unions?

John
Guest
John

Again we blame the unions? People have INCREDIBLY short memories. Or a really deficient schooling in what working conditions in this country were like before unions. And what they will be like again if unions are crushed. I can’t help but feeling that our grandchildren will be spilling their blood fighting for rights which our ancestors spilled their blood to hand down to us, and which we so take for granted.

Brooke
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Brooke

What a load of bunk! You can’t blame the unions, who protect the workers, for the out of control GREED on the part of ABC’s and Disney’s top level management and shareholders.

This FAUX News style propaganda a la GOP ain’t gonna fly.

Brooke
Guest
Brooke

“Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert A. Iger commanded a 35% jump in salary and bonuses in 2010, rewarding what the board of directors’ compensation committee called his “exceptional performance” in the face of a slow-recovering U.S. economy. Iger’s salary and bonus reached nearly $16.3 million, up from $12 million a year earlier. His total compensation, including equity awards, reached $28 million… “(LA Times 1/28/2011)

Tracy Thomas
Guest
Tracy Thomas

What a crock of S**T!!!!! So Brian Frons is AGAIN trying to deceive us with his pack of lies! Like I said, “what a crock of SH**T!!!!” While I understand that managing soap operas can be expensive, why is it NOW they’ve become too expensive to handle?! They have been going on for as long as I’ve been aound! What kills me is that Disney is too greedy and doesn’t give a rat’s a$$ about us, but also the fact that Brian Frons can’t take responsibilty for his own stupidity! He continued to lie to our faces about AMC and… Read more »

todd
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todd

You can’t believe anything that you read in the New York Post. It is owned by Rupert Murdoch and is a political paper. It exists as propaganda for far right conservative causes. Having thousands more mad at unions now, with all that is going in the Midwest, is too convenient. Unions can be blamed in the same respect, for all of the US jobs being sent overseas. It boils down to corporate greed — money beforeanything else. OLTL made money,but a reality show will make more. They don’t care that less will watch. It will make more profit. They don’t… Read more »

CINDY
Guest
CINDY

WELL SHE SOME ACTORS ARE WILL TO GO CUT PAY AND SALARY !JUMP ON THE BAND WAGON FOR SOMEONE TO BLAME AND THIS THE CURRENT TREND.HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS. THEN PUT IT ON SOAPNET AND WE’LL PAY FOR THE CHANNEL!

Lori
Guest
Lori

All that article is doing is trying to switch the blame game on Unions.I am sorry if there wasn’t Unions around it go back to what it was before the 1900 ‘s.I mean Unions stop child labor laws before there were Unions they were having ten or even nine year olds working under the worst conditions inmagable.I mean think about the garment fire back in the early 1900’s when how many young women and children lost there lives.They can all say it is caused by the unions,but all this does make trouble were it don’t belong.Common sense with this so-called… Read more »

Brooke
Guest
Brooke

NO ONE from the network approached the unions for negotiations.

leah
Guest
leah

REALLY – ABC and Disney are trying to break the unions… I hope no one falls for or stands for that. If top execs who do nothing would take a pay cut that would be wonderful. Frons isn’t doing much any way.. keep the calls up people.. cause his ass needs to be out like yesterday unions unite

All My Children

Kelly Ripa’s First Book On the Way in 2022

Former All My Children star, now co-host of Live with Kelly and Ryan and a successful executive producer in her own right, Kelly Ripa, will add writer to her list of credits.

New this week is that Ripa is sharing a look at her real-life in a book, that will be released next spring in April of 2022.

According to the intel, the book entitled Live Wire will feature sharp, funny, and honest collection of real-life stories from Ripa, showing the many dimensions and crackling wit of the beloved daytime talk show host.

As soap fans know, Ripa has been married to Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo, AMC) and the two share three children together.

The loglines for the release share: “In Live Wire, Kelly shows what really makes her tick. As a professional, as a wife, as a daughter and as a mother, she brings a hard-earned wisdom and an eye for the absurdity of life to every minute of every day. It is her relatability in all of these roles that has earned her fans worldwide and millions of followers on social media. Whether recounting how she and Mark really met, the level of chauvinism she experienced on set, how Jersey Pride follows her wherever she goes, and many, many moments of utter mortification (whence she proves that you cannot, in fact, die of embarrassment) Kelly always tells it like it is. Ms. Ripa takes no prisoners.
Surprising, at times savage, a little shameless and always with humor… Live Wire shows Kelly as she really is offscreen—a very wise woman who has something to say.”

So intrigued to read Kelly’s book when it is released next year? Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Stars and Eileen Davidson On New Episode of Virtual Game Show “Soap Opera Know-It-All”

Imagine being in the hot seat and having some of your soap opera favorites trying to stump you with trivia, while trying to best your competition.  Well, that’s what four contestants faced as they battled it out in the ultimate soap trivia game, Soap Opera Know-It-All.

The Michael Fairman Channel just released its fifth episode of its season, where in round one of the game play, stars from the beloved All My Children served up the questions including: Cady McClain (Ex-Dixie), Jill Larson (Ex-Opal), Lindsay Korman-Hartley (Ex-Cara), Vincent Irizarry (Ex-David) and Jacob Young (Ex-Y&R).  In addition, the former cast members from Pine Valley also try to stump viewers at home with some additional character-related questions.

Later in the episode, there is a very special appearance by Eileen Davidson (Y&R, Ex-Days, Santa Barbara and B&B).  It is Eileen who reveals and asks the final question of the game to determine the eventual winner.

For this edition, host Michael Fairman welcomed longtime soap fans: Michael Cochran, Sean McKinley, and Robert Davis along with returning champion, David Bursky for this soap deep-dive competition.

Photo: MFTV, Inc.

Trivia questions from the following daytime and primetime soaps were put to the players during the game: All My Children, As the World Turns, Dark Shadows, General Hospital, Knots Landing, Sunset Beach, Days of our Lives, Dynasty, Edge of Night, One Life to Live, Port Charles and The Young and the Restless.

As the series moves through its now back-half of the season, the winning contestant must defeat the competition for the right to move on to the next episode to face three more challengers all in pursuit of the “Know-It-All” title with special soap-related prizes along the way.

Watch the episode below and make sure to subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel for more interviews, music and more.

Now let us know, did you get most of the answers correct? Which question stumped you all the way? Comment below.

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All My Children

Jacob Young, Brytni Sarpy and Jason Cook Working on New Film, ‘Four For Fun’

Check this out! Soap veteran and Daytime Emmy-winner Jacob Young (Ex-AMC, B&B and GH) is producing his first film, that movie is written by and being directed by former Days of our Lives and General Hospital star, Jason Cook.

Now comes word via Instagram that Y&R’s Brytni Sarpy (Elena) is also part of the cast in the indie film, Four For Fun.

Sarpy shared on Instagram “We had all the fun. Love you all. Can’t wait to see this baby fly… 🖤✨🎬 #FourForFun

Meanwhile, Young posted on IG “Producing a movie is no easy task. Films like this are only possible when everyone’s artistic passions are intact and on point. I have to say @brytni @annikafoster @probably_donovan_patton absolutely slayed it (no pun intended) Cast by the one and only @paulruddycasting ! So proud to act with such a talented cast. I’m also incredibly excited to call this the first full-length film I’ve produced on. We couldn’t have done it without the incredible writing, directing, and relentless vision of Jason Cook! Here’s to big things team! More to come!”

The new film also features Annika Foster (Lifetime’s Burning Little Lies) and former Blue’s Clues host Donovan Patton.

Check out the posts from Brytni and Jacob below!

So, are you intrigued to see this film when it makes its debut? Comment below.

 

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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