On Wednesday, "Days of Our Lives" announced that it was firing two of the soap's biggest stars: Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn. I was shocked and saddened by the news. Can you imagine the town of Salem without Marlena (aka "Doc") and John?

Thanks to budget cuts "Days" execs reportedly had to let go of the highly-paid actors in order to keep their show on NBC for another 18 months, but with a bloated cast of 31, couldn't they have axed some of the newbies instead of these beloved vets?

When I asked my friend -- who works in the soap industry -- for his initial reaction to the news and what it means for the future of daytime, he responded, "You might as well sound the death knell."