The Buzz

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Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia keeps hurting from the bad publicity over the investigation into Chairman-CEO Martha Stewart's ImClone stock trades. The media company is forecasting ad pages at Martha Stewart Living will shrink about 25% in the first quarter and publishing revenue will drop 20%. The investigation has hurt ad revenues, with some advertisers holding off on their 2003 schedules, says Sharon Patrick, Omnimedia's president-chief operating officer. Ms. Stewart is "increasingly hopeful" the situation will be resolved shortly. See Omnimedia's earnings: QwikFIND aao48x

ShoWest, the annual conFAB of movie-theater owners, convened last week in Las Vegas and attendees focused on three themes-piracy, in-theater digital technology and the growth of on-screen advertising. Theater executives are jazzed over the sudden rise in revenues from in-theater ad and marketing deals. The nascent $250 million a year on-screen ad market has grown by 45% per year, according to survey of theater ad sales executives. With a newly developed trade organization, the Cinema Advertising Council, ad revenues are expected to grow even more quickly-especially when the CAC comes to a decision on which third-party research company will form the basis for in-theater audience measurement.

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