Fans of As the World Turns are still reeling from this morning's announcement that, after 54 years and some 13,000 episodes, As the World Turns will stop spinning on CBS in September 2010. Now, comments from at least one network executive are sure to burn, like rubbing salt into an open wound.
For CBS executive Barbara Bloom, the daytime portion of CBS's lineup is essential to her livelihood; she is the Senior Vice President of Daytime Programming for CBS. Bloom has expressed her sadness over As the World Turns' impending end, and offered thanks to the viewers for more than five decades of loyalty.
"It's extremely difficult to say good-bye to a long-running series that's been close to our hearts for so long. The almanacs will show As The World Turns as a pioneer of the format, a hallmark for quality with its numerous Emmys, the launching pad for many television and film stars and a daytime ratings powerhouse for parts of three decades," Bloom said in a statement. "But, the true legacy of As The World Turns will be the fictional characters and stories of a small Midwest town that resonated every day with millions of viewers over multiple generations, becoming a treasured daytime institution in the process. We thank our partners at Procter & Gamble for the privilege of hosting this beloved series...the actors, writers, producers and crew who worked so hard and shared their amazing talents to bring this series to life...and, of course, the viewers who shared the journey on our network for so many years."
Meanwhile, Les Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation, didn't appear to share Bloom's sentiment. In an interview with CNBC, Moonves clearly noted that axing As the World Turns was a business decision.
"The days of the soap operas have changed very much. Guiding Light left last year. As the World Turns will leave this year," Moonves explained. "They've had long and distinguished runs and their day is over."
“Is it the end of an era? Sort of,” Moonves later told the New York Times. "Only the special soaps are going to survive. It’s certainly the end of the client-owned soap. All good things come to an end, whether it’s after 72 years or 54 years or 10 years. It’s a different time and a different business.”