Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Martha Stewart Omnimedia looking for sale or "strategic partnerships"

Time was that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia could do no wrong (perhaps aside from its namesake going to jail in 2006 for a while for consipiracy and obstruction of justice) , going from strength  to strength financially in publishing (Martha Stewart Living, Everyday Food, Martha Stewart Weddings and Whole Living), broadcasting and other ventures. But data released about its Q2 results shows that total revenues of its publishing division have slipped $3.4% to $34.1 million, blamed on "continued volatililty in the print advertising market". 
While the company made up some ground with merchandising, both publishing and broadcasting slid, according to a story in MediaDaily News. The result is that the company has put itself in play. 
MSLO retained Blackstone Advisory Partners to "review and respond" to potential offers for "strategic partnerships," including a sale to another publisher or media company, private equity buyout, or joining forces with foreign partners to boost overseas sales. Other potential high-growth areas include boosting merchandise sales through big-box retail partners.
At the same time MSLO also appointed Lisa Gersh as the company's new president and COO. Gersh, a co-founder of Oxygen Media, who served as president and COO from 1998-2007, will eventually transition into the CEO spot as well. Thus, MSLO is finally filling the spot left vacant by the departure of Wenda Harris Millard in 2009.

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