UPDATED: Shares fell as much as 9.7% in early trading after Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia said that Lisa Gersh — who just became CEO of the domestic diva’s media company in July – “plans to step down from that role” as directors begin to search for a successor. The former Oxygen Media exec had been president and chief operating officer at Stewart’s company since 2011 and was expected to beef up its TV programming after Hallmark Channel decided early this year not to renew The Martha Stewart Show. As you might expect, execs say that all’s well. “With the restructuring of the media businesses complete and a strong team leading key financial and corporate functions, the company is on solid footing and positioned for growth,” Gersh says. “There is an exciting future ahead for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and I am committed to working with the board to ensure a smooth transition.” Martha Stewart, who’s founder and non-executive chairman, says that the “media businesses are now repositioned for the future and we are excited about the potential of our digital, mobile, video and print platforms.” But investors aren’t so sure. The company’s shares lost 45% of their value over the last 12 months before this morning’s drop. The publishing business slowed; Stewart’s company said this month that it will close Whole Living, a magazine dedicated to healthy eating. JCPenney, which bought a major stake in the company last year, plans to put Martha Stewart shops in some of its stores in 2013 — but Macy’s says it has an exclusive deal for Stewart’s merchandise and sued for breach of contract.
EXCLUSIVE: After dipping her toe in the sitcom waters with a guest spot on CBS’ 2 Broke Girls last May, lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart is entering the space in a major way with …
The domestic diva, the loud chef and HSN are being pulled into court together by a German Chamber of Commerce for selling knockoff knives. With the kind of damages the plaintiff is seeking, the suit could end up taking a big cut out of Stewart and the company she founded as well as the Home Shopping Network. Filed yesterday in Florida (read it here), Stewart herself and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, along with Emeril Lagasse and HSNi the company that owns the Home Shopping Network, are accused of trademark infringement in selling knives purporting to be made in Solingen, a region in northern Germany known for making high quality knives, when in fact the cutlery comes from China.
NEW YORK, July 10, 2012 — Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) today announced that Martha Stewart has extended her employment agreement with the Company until June 30, 2017. The agreement names Stewart Founder and Chief Creative Officer. Stewart continues to serve as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board.
Lisa Gersh, President and Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Directors since 2011, has been named Chief Executive Officer. Gersh will continue to report to the Board of Directors.
Will Martha Stewart put her company’s extravagant good-bye gift to Executive Chairman Charles Koppelman in a tasteful gift box with a bow? The former EMI Music chief — who was a fixture on NBC’s The Apprentice: Martha Stewart in 2005 — will leave by year’s end, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia disclosed in an SEC filing today. His departure was moved up a year to open running room for MSLO’s new COO Lisa Gersh, who co-founded and ran Oxygen Media until NBCUniversal bought it in 2007. She’s been reporting to Koppelman but will report directly to the board when he leaves. But he shouldn’t complain: His exit package includes a $1.47M severance payment and up to $35,000 for the attorneys who worked on his new arrangement. The filing says he’ll remain on the MSLO board as “Non-Executive Chairman, Vice Chairman or Special Committee Chairman.” That will entitle him to an initial $50,000 in stock rights as well as rights to 100,000 shares. (Stewart, who was convicted of obstruction of justice in connection with an insider trading investigation in 2004, plans to rejoin the board before October.) Don’t let Koppelman’s sweet deal fool you into thinking that the publishing, TV, and merchandise firm’s doing well: MSLO shares lost about 20% of their value over the last 12 months.