Reversing a Strategy, Martha Stewart Names Dedicated Publisher for Flagship Magazine

Martha Stewart Living Hasn't Had Its Own Publisher Since 2008

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Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is undoing a strategy that had a unified ad-sales group selling across its magazines for the past two and a half years.

Peter Medwid
Peter Medwid

The company named Peter Medwid senior VP and publisher of the flagship Martha Stewart Living on Wednesday. It is the title's first dedicated publisher since August 2008, when Sally Preston was promoted to group publisher in charge of a new publishing ad-sales group representing all company titles.

Ms. Preston left in November, the same month that the company hired publishing veteran Joe Lagani for the newly created position of chief revenue officer. (Ms. Preston is now publisher at Time Inc.'s Real Simple.)

Mr. Medwid comes from Time Inc., where he was VP and publisher of Sunset and Coastal Living. He was previously associate publisher at Time Inc.'s People and Hearst's Cosmopolitan.

Ad pages at Martha Stewart Living fell 6.2% last year, while ad pages across magazines as a whole declined 3.1%, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Ad pages at Everyday Food dropped 21.2%, undermined in part by the 17% crater in food ad pages; ad pages at Whole Living slipped 2.8%.

Last month, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia said it had sold a 17% stake in the company to JC Penney Co.for $38.5 million in a deal that put mini Martha Stewart stores in the retail chain's outlets across the country.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia also promoted Christina Cranley on Wednesday to senior VP and publisher of Everyday Food and Whole Living. She had been VP-integrated sales.

Martha Stewart Weddings has been an exception to the cross-title sales approach: Amy Wilkins has continued as publisher there since 2007.

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