PRESIDENT OF MARTHA STEWART TELEVISION STEPS DOWN

Heidi Diamond Played Major Role Arranging New TV Partnerships

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A correction has been made in this story. See below for details.

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Heidi Diamond, the president of television at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, is leaving, the company staff was told this afternoon.

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Ms. Diamond, who recently helped arrange up a flurry of TV partnerships for the company, will exit Aug. 12.

Third high-profile departure
She is the third high-profile departure from MSLO in a reorganization that began while the company founder and namesake was serving a prison term for lying to government investigators. In November 2004, CEO Sharon Patrick was ousted and the corporate board appointed former ABC executive Susan Lyne to replace her. A few month later in March Martha Stewart Living publisher Suzanne Sobel resigned abruptly.

A MSLO executive said the company would conduct an outside search for Ms. Diamond's replacement.

Speaking on a cell phone from a beach, Ms. Diamond confirmed her departure but declined to detail the circumstances or reason for her decision. She said she will be a consultant to the company during the transition.

Lyne team expanded
In May this year, Ms. Lyne expanded her own team, hiring Cindi Stivers as executive vice president in charge of business development. She will also be in charge of the Martha-branded radio channel launching on Sirius Satellite Radio.

In a statement today, CEO Ms. Lyne said: “Thanks to Heidi’s leadership and the great team that is in place, our TV business is well poised for September.”

Ms. Diamond, who joined the company three years ago, oversaw the syndication of a new NBC daytime show, Martha, launching Sept. 12, and arranged a deal with Discovery Networks for a series spotlighting distressed women working to re-establish their lives. Ms. Diamond also negotiated a DVD deal with Warner Home Video to distribute Martha Stewart-branded DVDs beginning Oct. 11.

Martha Stewart will also appear as a host of a second version of the The Apprentice that premieres in September on NBC.

Instrumental in brand work
Ms. Diamond was instrumental in helping to reinforce Martha Stewart as a global brand, with deals pending for broadcast of various branded programming in the U.K., continental Europe, Japan, the Middle East and Latin America.

Ms. Diamond said she was looking forward to moving on and described herself as a warrior. Among Ms. Diamond's responsibilities were ad sales on the new Martha daytime syndicated property. General Motors Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co. are among the advertisers on that show.

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CORRECTION: The original version of this story inaccurately referred to Ms. Diamond as the president of MSLO. She was in fact president of television at the media company.

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