By Pat Stacey
Recently, Oprah Winfrey ended the twenty-five year run of her talk show. We have carried the program since the beginning and even though we had a quarter century relationship with the program we had no voice in her deciding end her show. In the TV world, The Oprah Winfrey show was simply a product that we contracted with to broadcast. Two other programs are ending their run in the near future. The ABC soap operas – All My Children and One Life to Live – will be ending their runs in September and next January respectively. ABC has made the business decision to end the programs because of declining national ratings and huge costs to produce the shows. But I can personally tell you that soap fans are some of the most dedicated around. When the announcements were made, we received dozens of calls and emails, many pleading with us not to end the programs, and all of them passionate about their beloved soaps. And who could fault you – those of you that have contacted us – you have grown up on soaps for, in many cases, long before Oprah even thought about a talk show. But there is a similarity with Oprah and the soaps, the program creators decided to end the shows. Now Oprah went out with a bang and I hope the soaps do the same but these are decisions, in both cases, that we had no say in. We are lining up new programming for these time slots and while I know we can't replace the soaps, I hope you will stay tuned and that will make for a Better East Texas.