MARTHA HIRES NBC EXEC AS NETWORK DROPS HER SHOW

‘Apprentice’ Won’t Be Back, but Former Daytime VP Will Oversee ‘Martha’

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Days after NBC decided not to renew Martha Stewart's version of "The Apprentice," Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia hired a former NBC Universal executive, Sheraton Kalouria, as president of television.
Photo: AP
Martha Stewart and Donald Trump have been squabbling over who is to blame for the lower-than-expected ratings on their 'Apprentice' franchises.
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Public squabbling
NBC’s decision to drop the show follows several weeks of public squabbling between Donald Trump, the original mentor, and Martha Stewart over who was the cause for the uneven ratings for the two “Apprentice” franchises. Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Universal Television Group, recently told Ad Age that if the network could do it over again, it probably wouldn’t have run both shows at the same time.

According to NBC, “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,” which is produced by Mark Burnett Productions, was never scheduled to run more than one season -- though few in the industry believe it would have gone away had ratings been better. Marketers integrated into the show included Wish-Bone and QVC.

Ranked 104
Ms. Stewart’s prime-time version of “The Apprentice” ranked 104 season-to-date on the list of Nielsen-rated shows, with an average rating of 2.5 for adults ages 18 to 49. That NBC has declined to renew Ms. Stewart’s most high-profile TV project underscores the importance of Mr. Kalouria’s challenge to develop new programs around the domestic diva’s empire.

But just as Ms. Stewart lost her primetime TV gig, her other broadcast venture, Martha Stewart Living Radio on Sirius, is heating up. Today the company released the schedule, set to debut Thanksgiving week.

Ms. Stewart will host a weekly one-hour question-and-answer show and her daughter, Alexis Stewart, and Jennifer Koppelman Hutt, daughter of “Apprentice” judge and MSLO Chairman Charles Koppelman, will host a daily talk show on topics that range from relationships to pop culture.

Ms. Stewart’s other experts in cooking, entertaining, decorating, gardening, collecting and crafts will host segments and the channel will be an extension of MSLO’s Body & Soul magazine, with two half-hour yoga shows, one in the morning and the other in the evening, a variety of health-related programs, career- and life-coaching shows and inspirational fare.

In addition to new program development, Mr. Kalouria, who was most recently NBC’s senior VP-daytime programs, will oversee “Martha,” Ms. Stewart’s nationally syndicated “how-to” series that launched this past September, as well as MSLO’s other shows, including “Everyday Food” and the syndicated “Petkeeping With Marc Morrone.” MSLO also develops programs for Style Network and Discovery Networks.

Mr. Kalouria replaces Heidi Diamond, who left her post as MSLO president of television in August.

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