Back to the 1988 episodes from AmySilence:
unlike lots of internet clamor on the first airdate of Sally Spectra, I can now confirm that it was NOT in December 1988. I just saw the very last episode of 1988 (#441) and there is absolutely no sign of Sally or Clarke being pressured by his old boss yet. The lovely Darlene Conley probably started taping in December 1988 because I have seen an episode in the 450-range with Sally which should pop on YouTube any day now. It’s gonna be interesting how much set-up there is gonna be because the last mention of shady knock-of rival Spectra Fashions was in Spring 1988... I always assumed there was a much more detailed path to the Spectras, yet Clarke is already super busy with business ambitions at Forrester Creations and keeping Margo’s baby a secret from Kristen - only his (former) employer Spectra is no longer an issue .
I think the "opt-out clause" for actors was probably unavoidable, if the show expanded to an hour. I'm not an entertainment attorney of course, but my understanding is that there's a clear distinction between working on a half-hour show versus working on a one-hour show, and the actors' contracts had been negotiated for a half-hour show.
As far as writers go, I know that the Writers Guild of America establishes a minimum amount that a headwriter on a half-hour show is paid, which is vastly less than the minimum for a headwriter on a one-hour serial. The 2018 mimimums are $21,842 per week for a half-hour serial, and $40,406 for a one-hour serial. So if I'm the headwriter of a half-hour show, I'm going to have a contract which states something like, "Broderick shall be paid $22,000 per week and shall function as the headwriter of 'The Young and the Restless' and shall perform all the duties normally associated with the headwriter of a daytime serial." Well, if the show suddenly expands to an hour, that voids my contract completely, and I must either negotiate a new contract based on the one-hour Writers Guild of America guidelines, or else walk away. I'd assume the same situation probably exists for actors, directors, producers, camera guys, costume designers, set builders, and everyone else involved with the show. Their contracts had been negotiated using certain union pay-scales that no longer applied once the show went to an hour.
Oh yeah it was definitely not Bell or even Conboy's decision to go to an hour. Bell had delayed the expansion a few times, but it was going to happen regardless. However I can't imagine anyone was okay to just let all those actors go at such a pivotal time. It reeks of Conboy's arrogance, thinking they were all easily replaced. My guess would have been Bell would have preferred if the actors had stuck around for at least one more year to help the transition.
The thing to remember about Conboy is that he had a huge ego. A young man, pretty and arrogant.
And, if I recall correctly, it was the show owner, Screen Gems at that time, that insisted on a 60 minute show. Bell was very unhappy about that but could not prevent it.