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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.”

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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.”

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“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
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
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
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
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
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$$ about us, but also the fact that Brian Frons can’t take responsibilty for his own stupidity! He continued to lie to our faces about AMC and OLTL then did exactly what he wanted to do in the first place! Soon ABC won’t have a network because we will grow sick and tired of Frons, Disney and all the lies they’ve told! Even Pinocchio can’l lie that much! He (Frons) talked about being in the witness protection program… well honey, you’d better start running! There are MANY, MANY people who would like to get you alone in a room for just 5 mins.! Now THAT’S a reality show I would pay to see!! Don’t blow smoke up our a$$e$ when you know that we’re on to you!
Sorry Michael! We still love you and all you do for the soap world! Thank you for keeping us informed! Best wishes!

todd
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 have to pay as many people, or as high a wage. Frons will get a promotion, not fired. If you think any US corporation is any different, you are wrong. It is capitalism. Even Hoover saw the dollars that would benefit them in supporting our cause. I want OLTL back more than anybody. I have been in a daze since the news broke. I just cant see a Network picking it up.

CINDY
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
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 “Reality shows are done with real people who I believe don’t have to have like the join the actor gulid.They can all say it is cheaper,but just how cheaper is it when and I mean when someone gets hurt bad enough that the network get sued then what.I mean these people have to get there a**** out of there heads.And just stop and think I do believe some of these actors who have been on the show long enough they would kind of enough take a pay cut.It just the higher ups think if we read this we quite blaming them and that won’t work in my book.

Brooke
Brooke

NO ONE from the network approached the unions for negotiations.

leah
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

TODAY: John Callahan ‘iHub Radio’ Tribute With AMC Stars: Julia Barr, Walt Willey, Bobbie Eakes and More Guests

Saturday morning at 10amPST/1PMEST on Palm Springs iHub Radio, there will be a special hour tribute to the late soap veteran John Callahan who passed away last week at 66.

Callahan hosted his own show on the station, and to honor him the stations owner John McMullen, along with several of Callahan’s former All My Children co-stars including: Bobbie Eakes (Ex-Krystal), Walt Willey (Ex-Jack) , and Julia Barr (Ex-Brooke)  will also be part of the live broadcast special event, along with LIVE magazine TV host Melissa Neiderman, and other longtime friends and colleagues of Callahan’s.

As some know, John Callahan was a longtime resident of the Coachella Valley. From 2018 on he continued to be a part of the station with his weekly show all the way up until his death.

John’s soap resume was impressive, not only from his time as All My Children;s Edmund Grey, but also as General Hospital’s Leo Russell, Santa Barbara’s Craig Hunt, and Days of our Lives, Dr. Baker, plus his primetime roles including on Falcon Crest.

Following iHub Radio’s special broadcast, the tribute program will be available as an on-demand show via the iHubRadio.com home page.

So, let us know if you will be listening or caught the special broadcast honoring John today in the comment section below.

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All My Children

Kelly Ripa Shares Her Grief and Remembrances of John Callahan on ‘Live with Kelly and Ryan’

There was always something special about the wonderful actors and the cast pictured here from ABC’s All My Children.  After all, this is where Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley) met her husband, Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo) and where Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria) met her ex-husband John Callahan (Ex-Edmund).

Then, over this past weekend this family picture from Pine Valley was forever changed, when the soap world was rocked by the news that John Callahan passed away at only 66/

Heartbreaking remembrances poured in on social media …. and none more so than from Eva LaRue, who also shares a daughter with John, named Kaya.  Eva and Kaya rushed to John’s bedside where he has been put on life-support following a reported massive stroke.

Now on Monday’s episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, which is being done remotely from the hosts individual hosts due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kelly Ripa shared her grief over the loss of her dear friend John Callahan with Ryan.

Kelly said “I had a really a bad weekend this weekend.  A very dear friend of mine for many, many years, almost 30 years, passed away over the weekend. He was a great actor, a really good friend. One of the funniest people I’ve ever met. He was the ex-husband of my first-born son’s godmother, Eva LaRue. His name was John Callahan. He was 66 years old—way too young to be taken from us.”

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Ripa went on to to tell her co-host: “A gentleman of, I mean, Ryan, you two would have loved each other. He would say the funniest things and we were all going through our brains about all of the funny, like the funny ‘Callahan-isms’ over the years. He was just one of these guys and you know and he just died way too soon. His daughter and my daughter are good friends, they’re the same age and I just want everyone to know, Eva and Kaya, that we are thinking of you and we are just so sad and so devastated. So, I apologize in advance if I seem out of it. I really actually am, I’m terribly out of it. You know, forgive me for it.”

Watch Kelly discuss the death of John Callahan with Ryan Seacrest below.  Then share your thoughts on what Ripa had to share and more on the loss of John Callahan via the comment section.

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All My Children

Soap Vet and All My Children Alum John Callahan Dead At 66

Absolutely heartbreaking news this Saturday afternoon.  John Callahan, best known to soap fans for his role as Edmund Grey on All My Children has passed away after suffering a massive stroke.  The stroke happened on Friday, March 27th when paramedics responded to a call at his home in Palm Desert, California. He was 66-years-old.

According to reports, Callahan was rushed to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA, where he was put on life support.  John’s daughter Kaya, and his former wife, and AMC co-star Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria) rushed to the hospital to be by his side from Los Angeles.  John died Saturday morning.

Photo: JPI

In a statement, Eva La Rue shared: “We are extremely saddened and distraught over the loss of John. He was my great friend, co-parent and amazing father to Kaya. The absence of his bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. Words cannot express the shock and devastation we are feeling at this time. The Yankees just lost one of their greatest fans.” 

John played Edmund on All My Children from 1992-2005.  He also appeared throughout his soap career on: Santa Barbara, Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bay and primetime’s Falcon Crest and Desperate Housewives; in addition to many more television appearances.

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Michael Fairman TV will continue to follow this breaking story as remembrances are shared by John’s former co-stars throughout the day and night.

Below is LaRue’s touching tribute to John  via Instagram:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

May Flights of Angels Wing You to Your Rest my Dear Friend. Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. We are devastated-My great friend, co parent partner, and loving father to Kaya. That big belly laugh, bear hugs, bad puns, ability to harmonize to any song, great kitchen table singing-fests, and two steppin bad ass! “Johnny Numbers”, my All My Children soap stud, the great time keeper, Beatles fanatic ( I wish to God we could go back to “Yesterday”)… Kaya and I are beyond broken hearted, so stunned, sorry that my thoughts are a mess. You gave the best most beautifully written tributes, and I am at a complete loss for words right now for you. I hope Heaven has baseball and that your team always wins! The Yankees has just lost their biggest Fan. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

A post shared by Eva LaRue (@evalarue) on

Please share your condolences with Kaya and Eva and the Callahan family below, and let us know your thoughts on this heartbreaking loss on the death of John Callahan via the comment section.

 

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