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How'd they get so rich? (Soap Company Edition)


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Posted (edited)

In the beginning, everyone on soaps had an understandable career; doctor, lawyer, homemaker, occasional blue collar worker.  Then, in the 1980's everyone in soaps got rich.  I know some people hate business stories, my opinion is that they are often useful as a backdrop for Romeo/Juliet sagas and revenge plots.  Yet, I was scratching my head about how some of these companies created generational wealth? 

 

AMC - Chandler Enterprises: Adam came to town as a media magnate. He financed the movie based on Erica's autobiography, owned the local tv station, and later acquired the print magazine Tempo.  However, at some point along the way Chandler also created faulty airline parts.  If the brakes in my car were manufactured by Disney, I would be greatly concerned.  So, what were the enterprises of Chandler?

 

OLTL - Lord/Manning:  It made sense that a soap set in Pennsylvania would establish a manufacturing plant based storyline.  However, by the 2000's Viki's only assets seemed to be The Banner and Lord Manor (I'm a poet).  What happened to Lord/Manning?  Why didn't Todd get a share of the company?  Couldn't one of Star's boyfriends have worked in the plant?  After Harry went to jail did the whole plant just close?  And while it made sense that Asa Buchanan traded in oil futures, it defied logic why their headquarters were in Llandview and London.

 

GH - ELQ - Other than the issue of how the Q's made money before Edward started ELQ, came the question of what did that company do?  In the 1990's they seemed to be a shipping company when Mac tried to sink their oil tanker named after Tracy (which is hardly an honor).  However, by the 2000's they were manufacturing faulty condoms.  Did they lube the condoms using the leftover crude?  I'm not even going to discuss how the Cassadines afford the world's largest R&D department that experimented in everything from climate change to IVF, without ever making a profit by selling their contraptions!

 

ATWT - WE - Lucinda came to Oakdale to buy The Argus, but eventually her offices became known as Walsh Enterprises, a management consulting firm that was always competing to get the elusive Kingsly-Malta account.  Of course, Connor and Evan ousted Lucinda from Walsh and she founded Worldwide.  Which begs the question, why would a small town whose largest industries seemed to be a fashion house, a hospital, and a farm need two management consulting firms?  And why didn't Lily help her grandmother Emma make cutting squash into an international business?

 

SB - Capwell Industries - Capwell is a real quandary because the company morphed a couple times depending on the plot.  At first it seemed like a real estate development firm which built casinos, restaurants, and hotels.  But then, it also owned an offshore oil well, a pharmaceutical company, and later a computer manufacturing firm.  No wonder none of CC's kids wanted to work for him, they couldn't figure out what the hell he did for living.

 

Y&R - Newman Enterprises - another international conglomerate with no known source of income.  Victor came to town to work for Kay at Chancellor Industries after the death of their founder Phillip.  Somewhere along the way he quit Chancellor, founded his own company, and amassed enough wealth to buy Jabot.  Later his children sued him and we were told he was worth nearly one billion dollars.  But, other than selling shampoo made from an elusive Oriental flower, what do they do at Newman?

 

DAYS - We know Salem is the site of many murders and at least two major organized crime families.  However, does a small town really support this many private investigators?  In the age of Google, does anyone still hire a private investigator?  If you're not married to a doctor, can you really support a family as a private investigator?  Which then leads to the question about the professions of multiple adults in Salem.  What do Jen, Patch, and Chloe do for a career?  Do they have offices?  Do they engage in watercooler talk about the vasts amounts of local gossip?  I know most real estate in Salem is passed down through families and friends, but I don't know how these adults pay taxes and afford food, let alone the number of formal occasions and foreign trips they need to take annually.

Edited by j swift
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With changes in writers and producers, OLTL probably just forgot about manufacturing and it would have been easy for the writers to do so considering that manufacturing was becoming forgettable in the real world. But overall most of the companies on soap operas were written to emulate the business intrigue of Dallas and the other primetime soaps. With most daytime soaps not being set in big cities it didn't make sense to introduce corporate elements so over time the small town locales have morphed into metro areas to give a reason for powerful characters to be there.

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I disagree about Victor Newman.  I know that all over the Internet, people say that "Victor came to Genoa City to work for Kay Chancellor".   I don't remember it that way at all.   

 

The first time I saw Victor Newman on-screen was in February of 1980 when his Rolls Royce had been stolen by a girl named Cathy Bruder who had gone joy-riding.   Brock Reynolds was the public defender assigned to represent the girl in court.   Brock assumed she would be tried as a juvenile, as she was sixteen.   But the owner of the car (Victor Newman), whom neither Brock nor the audience had ever heard of or seen before, wanted the girl tried as an adult.   As we got to "know" Victor, we found out that he was a self-made zillionaire who was the owner of Newman Enterprises.   Months and months later, Kay Thurston asked him to temporarily take over control of Chancellor Industries, because Kay's current husband, hair stylist Derek Thurston, had made a mess of things and had fired George Packard, the man who'd been running the company since Phillip Chancellor's death in 1975.   Victor obligingly ran Chancellor Industries for Kay for a few short months until she could get rid of Derek and hire a new CEO.  

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Broderick said:

disagree about Victor Newman.  I know that all over the Internet, people say that "Victor came to Genoa City to work for Kay Chancellor".   I don't remember it that way at all.   

The internet may have phased the need for private investigators, but we'll always need experts to remember the real backstory on these boards - thanks for your contribution - but I still don't know what they do at Newman to get so rich...

Edited by j swift
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19 minutes ago, j swift said:

 I still don't know what they do at Newman to get so rich...

 

I think they write "reports", lol.   They always had these clean desks with some random "report" that they were reading.   And their corporate dialogue always concerned either reading or writing a "report".   

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1 hour ago, Broderick said:

I disagree about Victor Newman.  I know that all over the Internet, people say that "Victor came to Genoa City to work for Kay Chancellor".   I don't remember it that way at all.   

 

The first time I saw Victor Newman on-screen was in February of 1980 when his Rolls Royce had been stolen by a girl named Cathy Bruder who had gone joy-riding.   Brock Reynolds was the public defender assigned to represent the girl in court.   Brock assumed she would be tried as a juvenile, as she was sixteen.   But the owner of the car (Victor Newman), whom neither Brock nor the audience had ever heard of or seen before, wanted the girl tried as an adult.   As we got to "know" Victor, we found out that he was a self-made zillionaire who was the owner of Newman Enterprises.   Months and months later, Kay Thurston asked him to temporarily take over control of Chancellor Industries, because Kay's current husband, hair stylist Derek Thurston, had made a mess of things and had fired George Packard, the man who'd been running the company since Phillip Chancellor's death in 1975.   Victor obligingly ran Chancellor Industries for Kay for a few short months until she could get rid of Derek and hire a new CEO.  

To further add on to NE history, There’s an episode from May 1993 where they celebrate Victors 25th anniversary of finding NE, and Neil asks “how did it all start” which Victor basically says: “I just brought one company, then another, and another...” lol 

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Wasn’t Newman supposed to be either a Gulf&Western or a P&G type conglomerate? I don’t think Y&R disclosed exactly what Prentiss did either; Chancellor of course was a manufacturing company with a large factory in Genoa City but I’m not sure what they manufactured. 
 

We had this discussion about Spaulding Enterprises recently as well. They might have been closer to P&G or Colgate Palmolive as Spaulding did pharmaceuticals but also had media division. As for Lewis Oil it made sense they were from Oklahoma but moving their base operations to Springfield was a bit ridiculous, and Lewis Construction was made more glamorous than what a construction company should be. 
 

Jennifer on Days? She’s a reporter. Mainly

with Jack’s newspaper but also did TV as well. I think at some point she became PR for the hospital. I don’t know what happened to Chloe’s opera singing career.

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Yeah, I think Chancellor Industries was (originally) the parent company of a few textile factories when the show started.   A successful little company that made Kay and Phillip wealthy, but not billionaires by any stretch of the imagination.   Prentiss Industries was more vague, and then Newman Enterprises was even vaguer still.  Jabot was the Y&R company that seemed to be the most clearly defined.     

  

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25 minutes ago, Broderick said:

Jabot was the Y&R company that seemed to be the most clearly defined.     

Although between the generically named "Men's Line" and anachronistic "Brash & Sassy" they needed a stronger marketing department.  And, how many makeup lines produce their own photography ads in-house?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but Christy Turlington wasn't being shot by her uncle in the basement of the Calvin Klein building.

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19 minutes ago, j swift said:

Although between the generically named "Men's Line" and anachronistic "Brash & Sassy" they needed a stronger marketing department.  And, how many makeup lines produce their own photography ads in-house?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but Christy Turlington wasn't being shot by her uncle in the basement of the Calvin Klein building.

How is Brash/Sassy anachronistic?

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12 minutes ago, j swift said:

anachronistic "Brash & Sassy" 

 

Brash & Sassy wasn’t a Jabot product, that was Victoria’s own personal product and brand all the way. 
 

BTW anyone recall what Gregory Richards on Sunset Beach’s source of money was? I know he was supposed to be a hot shot high priced attorney but we never saw him practice law much, seems he always a shareholder in a lot of schemes and properties more than anything else. Same A.J. Deschanel...old real estate money from his father?

 

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I remember Sunset Beach and they had two companies: the Liberty Corporation and Richards Communications Group.

 

What did the Liberty Corporation do and what did they own in Sunset Beach?

 

What did Richards Communications Group own in Sunset Beach?

 

What was Gregory Richards' source of money?

4 hours ago, Broderick said:

I disagree about Victor Newman.  I know that all over the Internet, people say that "Victor came to Genoa City to work for Kay Chancellor".   I don't remember it that way at all.   

 

The first time I saw Victor Newman on-screen was in February of 1980 when his Rolls Royce had been stolen by a girl named Cathy Bruder who had gone joy-riding.   Brock Reynolds was the public defender assigned to represent the girl in court.   Brock assumed she would be tried as a juvenile, as she was sixteen.   But the owner of the car (Victor Newman), whom neither Brock nor the audience had ever heard of or seen before, wanted the girl tried as an adult.   As we got to "know" Victor, we found out that he was a self-made zillionaire who was the owner of Newman Enterprises.   Months and months later, Kay Thurston asked him to temporarily take over control of Chancellor Industries, because Kay's current husband, hair stylist Derek Thurston, had made a mess of things and had fired George Packard, the man who'd been running the company since Phillip Chancellor's death in 1975.   Victor obligingly ran Chancellor Industries for Kay for a few short months until she could get rid of Derek and hire a new CEO.  

Chancellor Industries seems to be a defense contractor with defense and engineering interests. In addition to operating a factory in Genoa City, Chancellor later diversified in construction, media, and other businesses. Its founder, Garfield Dandridge Chancellor, founded Genoa City. The deceased Gary Reynolds (Kay's first husband)' company was very similar to Chancellor Industries and merged with Chancellor Industries when Kay married her second husband, Philip Chancellor II, who was the CEO.

 

Newman Enterprises is a conglomerate in Genoa City with interests in media, cosmetics, energy, venture capital, real estate, medical research, and other businesses

What did Anderson Manufacturing do in Salem during the seventies?

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6 minutes ago, AArredondo02 said:

What did Richards Communications Group own in Sunset Beach?

I seem to recall SOD making a snarky remark about Olivia owning a radio station that she never went to, so perhaps it was part of the Richards Communications Group.

 

Also I'm fairly sure that Richards Communications Group owned the newspaper that Vanessa worked at.

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On Another World, it was well established that Mac Cory owned a large international publishing company, but when Steve Frame was introduced in the clip below at the 53 minute mark, it was briefly stated that he worked in construction.  What caught Rachel's attention and impressed her was that he was the owner of Bay City Bengals, a minor league football team.  It seems that this plot was quickly dropped by subsequent writers, but it would have been interesting to focus on the football team, rather than Frame  Construction.  Has any soap ever featured a football team in a storyline?

 

 

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Of all the soaps I watched, Jabot was the best defined business, and had clear roles for everyone involved and real dramatic stakes that played out as major storylines.

 

I knew what Jill’s job was, Ashley in the lab, and the dynamics at Newman with Victor, Jack, Neil, Ryan, etc, and how it relates to Jabot.

 

I don’t think any soap has ever told a business story as successful as Victor’s takeover of Jabot, followed by the family getting it back a decade + later.

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