NEW YORK, May 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At an upfront presentation held
today in New York, executives from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO)
unveiled the details surrounding the launch of the company's newest daytime
endeavor featuring Martha Stewart. Premiering September 2005, the nationally
syndicated program, entitled "Martha," has been cleared by NBC Universal
Domestic Television Distribution in over 90% of the country and sold in all
top 20 U.S. television markets and 50 of the top 50.
Presenting the upfront were MSLO Founder and Martha Executive Producer
Martha Stewart; MSLO President and CEO Susan Lyne; MSLO President of
Television Heidi Diamond; and MSLO President of Publishing Lauren Stanich.
Company executives were joined on stage by television producer Mark Burnett,
executive producer of the new daytime series, and Martha co-executive Producer
"This is our most ambitious television project to date and we are thrilled
with the enthusiastic response from both the advertiser and affiliate
community," noted Susan Lyne. "No other new daytime show has the bench of
resources, breadth of talent and audience awareness. That very passionate
connection consumers have with Martha and our lifestyle brand is what
distinguishes us as a company. When combined with the cross-platform
opportunities we offer, we're confident that Martha will be a draw for
advertisers this fall."
Commenting on the series, Martha Stewart said: "I have always been proud
of our 'how-to' television programming -- it has always been informative,
inspiring, well researched, beautifully presented and extremely trustworthy.
These elements have consistently engaged and helped our viewers and our goal
with this series is to raise the bar even higher. We will still mentor and
teach and put strong emphasis on valuable information, but we are excited
about taking a new approach with this series by including a live,
participatory audience and guests who will surprise us with their homemaking
Mark Burnett, producer of NBC's hit reality series "The Apprentice," the
upcoming, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, and executive producer of Martha,
added: "What sets Martha apart is her constant desire to make a difference in
the quality of people's lives. She remains one of the most relevant and
dynamic personalities of our time and we believe that television audiences
will connect with her enthusiasm and passion as well as her great sense of
humor, which will translate into terrific ratings success."
"Martha" Features Entertaining Field Pieces, Celebrity Guests and Audience
At the upfront presentation, advertisers were introduced to the series'
Emmy-winning co-executive producer Rob Dauber, whose credits include "The
Rosie O'Donnell Show".
Mr. Dauber explained that Martha's mostly live format and casual, yet
classically styled set will allow Martha to interact with her audience, which
will appeal to her loyal fan base while introducing her to new viewers. The
set will feature a kitchen island within a versatile swing-set for home
segments such as cooking, gardening and crafts. Throughout the hour, "Martha"
will combine entertaining field pieces, in-studio segments featuring celebrity
guests and human interest segments where Martha can connect with people. The
hour-long series will be taped in front of a studio audience at Chelsea
Television Studios in New York City.
Upfront attendees were also treated to a preview of a segment in which
Martha visits a viewer at her home and helps get dinner on the table. "What
will define this show is interactive and informative entertainment. We
deliver interesting lifestyle information in a way that is fun, engaging and
entertaining." He added: "Don't be surprised to see Martha cooking up a storm
with a member of her studio audience or working the local hamburger or hotdog
stand. We hope that by allowing Martha to participate with her fans in a
bigger way viewers will find even more reasons to tune into the series."
In addition to the majority of NBC owned and operated stations
(representing more than 30% of the country), leading broadcast station groups
including Hearst-Argyle, Gannett, Scripps-Howard, Albritton, Post-Newsweek,
Belo, Freedom, CBS, Young, Clear Channel, Meredith and Milwaukee Journal are
on board for "Martha's" debut this fall.
Unique, Cross-platform Marketing Opportunities
In addition, Heidi Diamond and Lauren Stanich spoke about how the
company's magazines are perfect companions for its television series. Ms.
Diamond said: "What we are able to do is integrate the content we create
across all our media platforms, which truly distinguishes us from other media
companies. Our information, inspiration and ideas begin in our award-winning
publications which we in turn bring to life on television." Ms. Diamond also
introduced the company's new head of television ad sales, industry veteran Liz
Koman, noting that Liz's "extraordinary relationships and track record make
her an invaluable asset to the team."
Ms. Stanich added: "We are building unique brands at MSLO based on our
strong bond with our consumers. They seek our high-quality, 'how-to'
information because they rely on our experts for answers to their lifestyle
questions and to help them enhance their daily lives."
Programs such as "Everyday Food," currently airing in 80% of the country
on PBS, have made smooth transitions to the small screen from their print
counterpart. The weekly television series, offering quick, easy and practical
solutions for preparing delicious everyday meals, brings to life Everyday Food
magazine, the survival guide for home cooks that launched in October 2003.
Each half-hour episode, featuring five individuals who all have cooked
professionally in the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living, is designed to
provide solutions to the challenges of everyday cooking and includes
easy-to-make recipes along with smart tips and kitchen techniques.
In addition to "Everyday Food" on PBS, the company has shown year-to-year
growth with another syndicated series, "Petkeeping with Marc Morrone," up over
12% in ratings performance according to Nielsen. This is a program for pet
lovers, providing fascinating yet practical 'how-to' information about pet
care in the home. Distributed by Tribune Entertainment, the series is seen on
138 stations representing 92% of the country.
About Mark Burnett Productions
Mark Burnett Productions (MBP) is a leading production company in the
world of primetime non-fiction television. MBP revolutionized television with
hits such as Eco-Challenge, Survivor, The Apprentice, Contender and the
upcoming CBS show to find the next lead singer of INXS. MBP also successfully
reintroduced product placement as an integral part of each of its shows and
has garnered a total of 24 Emmy nominations since 2001. Mark Burnett was
listed as the #1 Most Valuable Player by TV Guide and also in Time Magazine's
Top 100 most influential people in the world today.
About NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution
NBC Universal is a leader in providing entertainment programming to the
domestic and international marketplaces. NBC Universal Television Distribution
division is responsible for the global distribution of NBC Universal product
to all forms of television throughout the world. This includes distribution of
current and library film and television product, including formats and
non-scripted programming, in the pay, free, and basic markets, as well as the
domestic syndication of first-run syndicated TV programs and theatrical and TV
movie packages. Current and upcoming first-run strip syndicated programming
includes a new daily series with Martha Stewart, "Access Hollywood," "Blind
Date," "The Jerry Springer Show," "Maury" and "Starting Over." Current and
upcoming first-run weekly syndicated programming includes "The Chris Matthews
Show," "The George Michael Sports Machine," "Rebecca's Garden," "The Wall
Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo," "Your Total Health" and the
off-network distribution of "Crossing Jordan," "Fear Factor," "Providence,"
the "Law & Order" franchise. Special programming includes "Good Housekeeping
Reports" news inserts, a series of "The Remarkable Journey" specials, as well
as a collection of feature film packages.
About Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) is a leading provider of
original "how-to" information, inspiring and engaging consumers with unique
lifestyle content and high-quality products. MSLO is organized into four
business segments: Publishing, Television, Merchandising, and Internet/Direct
Commerce. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. is listed on the New York
Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MSO.
We have included in this press release certain "forward-looking
statements," as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts
but instead represent only our current beliefs regarding future events, many
of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of our
control. These statements can be identified by terminology such as "may,"
"will," "should," "could," "expects," "intends," "plans," "anticipates,"
"believes," "estimates," "potential" or "continue" or the negative of these
terms or other comparable terminology. The Company's actual results may differ
materially from those projected in these statements, and factors that could
cause such differences include: adverse reactions to publicity relating to
Martha Stewart by consumers, advertisers and business partners; an adverse
resolution to the pending SEC enforcement proceeding against Ms. Stewart
arising from her personal sale of non-Company stock; adverse resolution of
some or all of the Company's ongoing litigation; downturns in national and/or
local economies; shifts in our business strategies; a loss of the services of
Ms. Stewart; a loss of the services of other key personnel; a softening of the
domestic advertising market; changes in consumer reading, purchasing and/or
television viewing patterns; unanticipated increases in paper, postage or
printing costs; operational or financial problems at any of our contractual
business partners; the receptivity of consumers to our new product
introductions; and changes in government regulations affecting the Company's
industries. Certain of these and other factors are discussed in more detail
in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
especially under the heading "Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations," which may be accessed through
the SEC's World Wide Web site at http://www.sec.gov. The Company is under no
obligation to update any forward-looking statements after the date of this
SOURCE Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia