CEO: MARTHA STEWART’S COMPANY NEEDS MORE EXPERTS

Lyne Tells Analysts MSLO Is Grooming New Group of Personalities

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Even though Martha Stewart has reassumed her role as the face of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, her company is working to broaden its stable of personalities, President-CEO Susan Lyne told an audience at the seventh annual Credit Suisse First Boston Media Week conference yesterday.

Photo: AP
Susan Lyne, President-CEO, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
“Martha has been the face of this company and we love that,” Ms. Lyne said. “But it was important for us to begin growing a new group of expert personalities. They’re coming from all over the company at this point, not just from our core group but from our tech groups. We’ve got two dozen people doing regular programming for us.”

The company seems to view the new faces and voices, found on the syndicated “Martha” TV show and the just-launched company channel on Sirius Satellite Radio, as something closer to brand extensions than as Marthas-in-waiting. That’s in keeping with its strategy to seek growth even while its founding properties age.

“At some point, Martha Stewart Living will reach maturity,” Ms. Lyne said later in her presentation, addressing a question about the publishing division. “To continue growing that segment, we’ll have to keep bringing on magazines that continue that growth.”

'Blueprint' confirmation
Ms. Lyne at another point provided the most detailed confirmation yet of Advertising Age’s report two weeks ago that the company is preparing a magazine -- tentatively titled Blueprint -- that would target the new-home crowd. “We are excited currently by development we’ve seen on a new lifestyle target that will be going after a somewhat younger audience, the first-time home buyer,” she said.

Acquisitions are unlikely in the publishing sector, which now includes titles like Everyday Food and Body & Soul. “I think the full investment in Everyday Food will be about $15 million,” said Ms. Lyne. “What is clear is that for $15 million, you have a hard time buying a significant title.”

The company is looking for impressive growth next year as it enjoys decreased development costs at Everyday Food and a full 12 months of revenue from “Martha,” the Sirius deal and the once-again advertiser-friendly Martha Stewart Living.

Ms. Stewart was released from prison last March, and since then the company has put her out front decisively as its brand image.

In this article:
Most Popular