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Struggling Soap Opera Titles Change Hands

American Media Inc. taking over magazines from Source Interlink
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ABC’s decision to cancel the soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live is producing a ripple effect in the media. Source Interlink, the publisher of Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly, is trimming its staff and turning the magazines’ operations over to American Media Inc. in a licensing deal. Up to 20 of Source's roughly 30 employees could lose their jobs.

According to the New York Post, no money is expected to change hands in the deal, but the publishers will share whatever profits they can manage to get from the soap publications (which will probably be slim considering that there are only four soap operas—CBS’ The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful; NBC’s Days of Our Lives; and ABC’s General Hospital—left on the air). The deal also gives AMI control over Source’s Pixie, a young teen magazine, and a series of puzzle books sold on newsstands.

Soap Opera Weekly has a circulation of about 150,000 while Soap Opera Digest, a monthly publication, has around 650,000—a major drop from the circulation of 1.2 million that it had in the 1980s when a division of News Corp. bought it for $70 million. (It was later sold to K-III media and then Primedia before ending up at Source Interlink.)

The Post says that AMI is now working on a newsstand special covering reality shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and the Real Housewives franchise.