Martha Stewart Employees Laid Off as Part of Editorial Transition

Sequential Signed an Editorial Licensing Agreement with Meredith

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The Starrett-Lehigh building on Manhattan's west side, where Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is headquartered.
The Starrett-Lehigh building on Manhattan's west side, where Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is headquartered. Credit: Starrett-Lehigh

A "small fraction of employees" from Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings have been laid off, stemming from the recently signed licensing agreement between Sequential Brands Group and Meredith, a Sequential spokesperson confirmed to Ad Age.

Martha Stewart, who was named chief creative officer for the Martha Stewart brands as part of the changes, personally delivered the bad news to employees from the editorial, digital, and video departments.

Sequential Brands Group purchased Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. in December.

Under the 10-year licensing agreement, which went into effect Jan. 1, Meredith will handle editorial and business functions for Martha Stewart Media Brands. The deal was announced Dec. 22, and supercedes an earlier deal for Meredith to handle the brands' business-side operations.

Meredith and Sequential consulted on employee status decisions in advance of the cuts.

Meredith National Media Group employees received a memo from two executives on Tuesday about meetings connected to the Sequential licensing agreement.

"Earlier today, we met with the editorial and content teams at Martha Stewart's media brands, including Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines and www.marthastewart.com and www.marthastewartweddings.com to begin the process of their transition to Meredith," National Media Group President Tom Harty and Exec VP Jon Werther wrote.

The memo also said Elizabeth Graves has been named editor in chief of Martha Stewart Living. Ms. Graves, who was previously editor of Martha Stewart Weddings, replaces Eric Pike, who is leaving the company.

Amy Conway has been bumped up to editor of Martha Stewart Weddings, succeeding Ms. Graves. Ms. Conway had been editor at large at Martha Stewart Living.

The memo does not mention any staff terminations, but does note that the company "will be relocating a selected number of the digital team members to the Meredith offices in New York in the coming weeks."

About 40 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia employees lost their jobs as a consequence of the intitial business-side licensing agreement with Meredith in 2014.

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