The Buzz

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IT'S COME TO THIS: The interests of Martha Stewart and the company she founded are now officially at loggerheads, and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia President-CEO Sharon Patrick said as much during last week's earnings call with analysts. "Only when Martha puts incarceration behind her and/or has successfully completed the appeals process," Ms. Patrick said "will large numbers of advertisers actively return to our media property." Meanwhile, as of mid-week there was no word on Ms. Stewart changing her stated plans to appeal. This moves back the "closure" target date from Ms. Stewart's mid-July sentencing to some time in the wild blue yonder.

As with so much else in the long saga of U.S. vs. Martha Stewart, this puts the company into uncharted territory, except when it comes to trendlines of key indicators. Ad pages for Martha Stewart Living, exec VP-Chief Financial Officer James Follo said, fell 52% in the second quarter. This represents a still-accelerating decline. Its online and print catalogues will be shuttered. A new show, "Everyday Food," will be aired-on ad-free PBS. (A spokeswoman said the company will sell sponsorships.) The net loss for the quarter was $19.3 million, on revenues that fell 33.1% to $44.0 million, and Mr. Follo said losses would continue for the rest of the year. The one upside of the sentencing, the company had made clear, was it would sound a finale, no matter how dour. Sadly for MSLO, the band's playing on, and on.

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