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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.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Dinner and a Show

Martha noted before the holidays that the quality of prison food is lacking. Now I think Martha's prison sentence is a bit extreme, but I do wonder how good prison food should be. No one would commit a crime to get access to prison food, but why make prison a great place to stay? Incentivize folks to reform and stay out of prison. A slippery slope to argue, I know.

Stewart suggested Americans should push for reforms in federal sentencing guidelines for nonviolent first-time offenders and particularly for drug offenders, who she said would be better served by rehabilitation than prison.

Stewart, who built a billion-dollar empire in homemaking, reported that her job at the federal prison camp in Alderson, W.Va., has been cleaning, including sweeping, vacuuming and raking leaves.

"I have had time to think, time to write, time to exercise, time to not eat the bad food, and time to walk and contemplate the future," she said.

An update on MarthaTV was also publicized recently. Unfortunately, it looks like less The Apprentice meets Trading Spaces and more of the usual Martha Stewart Living show.

Stewart will revive her daily homemaking show next September, it was announced Wednesday this time before a live audience, with celebrity guests and the help of "The Apprentice" producer Mark Burnett.

NBC-owned stations in 14 major cities have already agreed to air the daytime show, and deals will be sought in other cities.

"Millions of people feel that Martha got a raw deal," Burnett said. "America loves comeback stories."

Her old show, "Martha Stewart Living," was put on hiatus last summer after its 11th season. She will tread familiar territory on the yet-to-be-titled new show, including cooking, entertaining, decorating and home renovation.

Burnett said he watched several hours of outtakes from "Martha Stewart Living" and often found them more entertaining and reflective of her personality than the show itself. Interaction with a studio audience and guests will add a new element to what she does, he said.

Stewart went into prison promising to learn something new every day, Lyne said. "Knowing her, I am convinced that much of it will end up on the show," she said.

Come on now, Burnett will have to have more of an impact on this show other than star power. It is a creative opportunity for both parties and I hope it is not a rehash of what Martha was doing before she decided to "focus on her salad."