General News

"Martha Stewart Living" Yanked

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Mar 08, 2004 | 12:09pm EST

Martha Stewart's recent felony conviction has put her media and merchandising company, including her syndicated television show Martha Stewart Living, in limbo--but you definitely won't be seeing her on Viacom-owned CBS and UPN stations.

Despite recently snaring six Daytime Emmy nominations, CBS and UPN affiliates have pulled the show indefinitely with no clear plans to bring it back. There was no immediate word about the show's future from King World, the show's syndicator, but Viacom-owned stations in major media markets were considered its most important customers, Bill Carroll, an expert on syndication for Katz Television, told The Associated Press.

Even before Stewart's conviction Friday in her stock trading case, her TV show's future was in question. King World was not actively trying to renew contracts in markets where the show aired, Carroll said, and he doubts the company would try now.

"If she'd been acquitted, I think everyone would have taken a step back and made an evaluation on what the potential was for the show," he told AP. "I think it was almost an automatic decision once the verdict came in."

As her company stock fluctuated wildly on Friday, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's company execs released a statement that they were "deeply saddened" by the news of Stewart's conviction and said its board of directors is "evaluating the current situation and will take actions as appropriate."

The company's print and TV sales have already suffered from advertisers' reticence to place their messages alongside her likeness. The future of its homewares contract with Kmart, as well as the branding and circulation levels of the company's flagship Martha Stewart Living magazine, are also uncertain, Variety reports, yet, Stewart's branded merchandise, including a new furniture line, continues to sell well.

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