You might want to hold off on sending that fan letter to your favorite soap star. Due to heightened security, your letter might never reach its intended addressee. The recent anthrax attacks have prompted networks and studios to re-evaluate their policies on delivering fan mail.
ABC was the first network to institute stricter guidelines for mail handling. The network is not opening or delivering fan mail for any program - daytime or primetime. There are conflicting reports about what will be done with any mail received. On a recent episode of ABC's The View, the show's co-hosts revealed that mail was being thrown away. However, one studio insider hinted that some studios were holding on to the mail for later delivery.
In the meantime, ABC is urging fans to send fan mail by email. The address to use is firstname.lastname@example.org.
CBS is no longer allowing unopened mail into CBS Television City in Hollywood, where The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless are taped. The network has set up a mobile mail dept in the parking lot of the studio complex where all mail is being opened and searched for potentially hazardous material. Once the mail is searched and cleared of any potential danger, it is still unclear if the mail will ever reach its intended recipient. Some stars, explains a studio insider, are hesitant to open any fan mail.
New York-based As The World Turns and Guiding Light are taking similar precautions. No fan mail is being opened by either soap. However, a spokesperson for both shows explains that the mail will not be thrown away.
NBC declined to comment on its procedures for handling fan mail. On the record, the network has no policy and mail is being delivered as normal. However, it is said that the network would prefer that fans use the Internet to contact its stars.