Trouble in the auto industry is causing drama for daytime TV as soaps lose big advertising dollars, Advertising Age reports. Local dealerships are key backers of the shows, which have been in a ratings decline for years. The upshot: trimmed budgets, fewer sets, and dropped actors, including a pair of Days of Our Lives mainstays. Even All My Children leading lady Susan Lucci is getting a pay cut, the Age notes.
“The affiliate stations are really hurting because the automobile dealers don't advertise (like they used to),” says Agnes Nixon, the creator of All My Children and One Life to Live, who herself is facing a smaller paycheck. The crisis also spells trouble for local TV stations. “We're scared to death,” said the head of one, whose auto-ad revenue has fallen 25% for the year.