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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What's the Frequency Martha?

Sirius Satellite Radio to Launch Exclusive Martha Stewart Channel. Ahh, my two favorite topics come together like chocolate and peanut butter.

I've written about satellite radio before and really like the technology. Martha makes a smart move tying her brand to a popular cultural trend. Not to mention, it expands her dominant media presence.

According to the press release:

SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) today announced an exclusive four-year agreement to create and launch a Martha Stewart-branded satellite radio channel. The channel, the first of its kind, will provide original programming specifically designed for women listeners and their families, 24-hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.

Martha Stewart will be a regular presence on the channel and will be actively involved with program development. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's team of experts will also contribute. Martha Stewart Living Radio is expected to begin on SIRIUS later this year. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"This will be the first 'around the clock' channel devoted entirely to areas of interest for women in particular. It has been our dream to bring our expertise in the life-style arena, and our vast library of how-to ideas, to radio programming. Just as we pioneered in the creation of the how-to lifestyle magazine and how-to television media categories, our new partnership with SIRIUS is breaking new ground in satellite radio," said Martha Stewart, founder Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

"Through magazines, books, television, Internet, and merchandising, Martha Stewart Living has become the leader in women's lifestyle as a brand that stands for quality and expertise around the world," said Scott Greenstein, President of Entertainment and Sports Programming. "SIRIUS and Martha Stewart Living together create a one-of-a-kind combination that will provide women with the definitive complement to their lives and lifestyle."

Public relations folks take note and add this target to your media list as warranted. A relevant, targeted media placement on satellite radio is sure to have some serious impressions. Not to mention it also attaches your client to this popular cultural trend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sears Prefers Ty Over Martha

According to the Chicago Tribune, Sears has no immediate plans to incorporate Martha Stewart's retail line into its stores. Sears just debuted a retail line from Ty Penngington, from Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Not sure what the big deal is here. The two stores merged, K-Mart and Sears are not becoming ONE brand. As a result, they need to tailor offerings that are distinct from each other.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Martha's Stock Continues to Climb

CNN offers a brilliant timeline that compares milestones in the Stewart Saga against MSLO stock price.

You can see clearly see how things are already ramping up for MSLO.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has already announced plans to have Stewart write a column for the company's flagship Martha Stewart Living magazine. Also filling up her schedule: She's scheduled to star in two television shows next fall and there is talk of plans to launch a clothing line.

And all while wearing an ankle bracelet, folks!

My next Martha prediction:
SOMEONE from Camp Cupcake has probably snagged some of Martha's personal prison items and they will show up on E-Bay within the next week.

Martha Talks?

Martha's wasting no time positioning herself post-prison. In a subtle move, she is funneling all of her post-prison Web announcements to MSLO's Web site. Stewart's Marthatalks Web site shows her Christmas post as the most recent update. While the site may not be updated from this point on, it is a great example of using the Web to rally support. It also serves as an example of Martha's smart pr moves during the trial...perhaps the only smart move. Yes, the CBS salad comment is at the other extreme as her worst PR move.

As you will see below, she is clearly being selective on which elements of her prison sentence to take advantage of. Perhaps she is finally putting some thought into her public relations?

Martha's PR-Fueled Prison Release

She's baaack! Just in time for a weekend of news reports, Ms. Stewart was released late enough last night that it was deemed to be this morning.

This is NOT news. Well, ok, it IS NEWS. But I want to look at the orchestration of this release and the calculated PR efforts designed specifically to make this news.

If you had any doubts that Martha and MSLO wanted to promote her getting out of jail, I submit the fact that MSLO supplied a flat bed truck at the nearby airport from where Stewart would be flying home. Just in case anyone might miss the photo opp, MSLO puts this news out there to get the release back on everyone's radar.

In preparation, the flat-bed truck will be positioned at the Greenbrier Valley Airport near Stewart's minimum-security prison, according to airport manager Jerry O'Sullivan.

But O'Sullivan said the truck will be parked 100 feet from the passenger entrance of Stewart's plane and will be available to television crews on a first-come, first-served basis.

Stewart chose to serve her time early rather than await the outcome of her appeal, which is pending. Stewart has maintained throughout the ordeal that she did nothing wrong.

In announcing her decision to go to prison, Stewart said she wanted to put the scandal behind her. Both her public image and the company's finances had been badly damaged by her legal case and what critics saw as her open defiance.

In hindsight, Stewart may have made the right decision. Legal and marketing experts note that prison has done wonders for her reputation, which appears to have improved in recent months.

Improved? Prison is the best thing that ever happened to her! Here comes Martha, a Phoenix from the flames. I suspect MSLO stock will bump up today and next week we will be hearing a rash of MSLO announcements...at least one big press conference reviewing immediate company plans now that the boss is back.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

"Don't Call it a Comeback"

In a scant nine days, Martha Stewart will be released from prison. Already, the news media are wondering if she will make a comeback. I'd argue that she never left in the first place. Wall Street may tell a different story based on MSLO earnings, but I predict a stock surge when she gets back out.

I also predict someone makes reference to the "Ides of March" in news stories discussing her release and the state of her company in the coming days. A ten day difference is too hard to resist.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart

"Martha Stewart to Host New Version of NBC's The Apprentice"

NBC announced today the network would broadcast an additional version of the hit reality show "The Apprentice" featuring Martha Stewart as host. The new edition will be titled "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart." Donald Trump and Mark Burnett will serve as Executive Producers of both series.

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about. I assumed this was the direction they were heading prior to the recent press conference I complain about it er, weigh in on it below. Why else would she be teaming up with Burnett? It just keeps getting interesting.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Has Martha Learned Nothing?

Canuckflack ponders if Martha will take a lesson from her prison stay and redirect her life, much like Michael Milken did.

Without rehashing the beaten-dead-discussion over her guilt or innocence, I will predict that the prison stay is less a redirection into a life of philanthropy and more a reinvention to spawn several more multi-million dollar media deals.

Her behavior in the big house has been pretty strategic and is already serving as fodder for plenty of projects. Time will tell upon her release.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Stewart Publicity Stunt

This story smells funny to me.

"Report: Stewart loses decorating contest in prison." Martha Stewart, who has regaled audiences with countless holiday decorating tips in her magazine and on television, reportedly was unable to lead her team to victory in a prison decoration contest.

This is perfect material for Stewart. By losing, it is a much bigger story and shows she is out of her element in prison. Pure gold. And you will be hearing more about it in a few months.