Dwyer-Dobbin Leaving CBS Soaps

Sep 7, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin, who has cast a long and award-winning shadow on daytime programming since the late 1970s, is leaving her post of executive in charge of production for the venerable Procter & Gamble-produced CBS soaps “Guiding Light” and “As the World Turns” when her contract expires at the end of the month.

P&G intends to eliminate her position.

Ms. Dwyer-Dobbin, a 35-year TV veteran known as Mickey, has watched the number of commercials and interruptions in daytime programming increase and the number of daytime drama viewers decrease across the board, which led to growing financial pressure on the soap genre.

“It’s a daypart that is challenged,” she said. “I hope they find the answer.”

Ms. Dwyer-Dobbin said she intends to renew her relationship with her husband, exercise, travel and read, and enjoy a script-free life. “Last night I didn’t have to read 200 pages,” she said. “I went to the U.S. Open and had a glass of wine.”

On her watch, “GL” and “ATWT” earned a total of 137 Emmy nominations and last year competed against each other each other for best drama Daytime Emmy, an award that went to “ATWT,” which also won the team-writing Emmy four out of the last five years.

A spokesman for the two soaps said the elimination of Ms. Dwyer-Dobbins’ position is less about cost-cutting and more about putting creative control in the hands of the executive producers, Ellen Wheeler at “GL” and Christopher Goutman at “ATWT.”

“They are extremely capable and talented,” the spokesman said.

The executive producers will report to Pat Gentile, Procter & Gambles North American television programming and finance manager.

“P&G is behind these shows and is looking for a bright future for both of them,” the spokesman said.

Ms. Dwyer-Dobbin served two stints at ABC between 1974 and 1994. As executive VP of ABC Daytime, she was responsible for the network’s soaps and for programming such as “The Home Show” and “Mike & Maty.”