Robert Comsol wrote:
and makes me wonder how Gene Roddenberry could have ever wanted to distance himself from the series.
In 1989, several things were happening: Filmation was being sold off (and the entire backstock had their ownership rights thrown into flux); DC Comics had added Arex and M'Ress to their movie-related comics (ordered to be dropped); Larry Niven was attempting to sell the rights for "Ringworld" (and the kzinti) to a RPG company; Pocket Books had proposed a Trek novel, "The Captains' Honor", featuring kzinti (changed to M'Dok); there was a writers' strike threatening to truncate Season 2 of TNG; and TAS showrunner, DC Fontana, and prominent TAS writer, David Gerrold, were suing Roddenberry for co-creatorship of TNG (resulting in their out-of-court non-disclosure settlement).
In such turbulent times, stepping away from something is easier and cheaper than wading through the red tape. Saying that TAS was no longer "canon" was... efficient.