When the MVA judges and the Advertising Age editorial staff discussed whom we might honor with a Media Vanguard Lifetime Achievement Award, one person was the immediate and unanimous choice: Martha Stewart.
From the start of her extraordinary career in media, Martha Stewart has embodied precisely the sort of multimedia vision that the MVAs were created to recognize. She was never just a print person or a broadcast person or a digital person. An integrated, multimedia approach has always been in the DNA of her trendsetting company.
Early on, even before founding her own company, she was a master of multimedia. Her enormously successful series of books, starting with "Entertaining" -- the biggest cookbook hit since Julia Child -- vaulted her into the public eye, making her an inspiration to millions. She became a trusted expert on food and home, and a regular in magazines and newspapers and on TV (most notably as a correspondent for NBC's "Today"). The public couldn't get enough of her, and Time Warner came calling, making her chairman of Martha Stewart Living Enterprises.
Martha Stewart Living, the glossy she launched in 1990, became the National Magazine Award-winning flagship of what was conceived from the start to be a cross-media content juggernaut. A broadcast empire followed with the debut of her own Emmy Award-winning TV show in 1993.
Fifteen years ago, New York magazine called Ms. Stewart "the definitive American woman of our time." Since then, she's also become one of the definitive media executives of our time -- and, more than ever, an American icon.