The Return of Martha Stewart
August 30, 2005--After five months in prison, and another five months of home detention, Martha Stewart will resume working fulltime on Wednesday, August, 31, when a tracking bracelet is removed from her leg.
Stewart has a host of projects that aim to improve the bottom line at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Atop her to-do list are a new monthly column in her magazine Martha Stewart Living, a book deal, and a primetime reality show. A spokesperson for Stewart said that she has been coming into the office regularly to film shows and attend meetings within the 48 hours per week allowed as part of her release from prison.
In June, 2003 Stewart resigned as chairman and chief executive from the company she founded, which had revenue of $187 million company in 2004. Federal prosecutors had charged Stewart with trading about 4,000 shares of Imclone on insider information. Though cleared of securities violations, Stewart was convicted of lying to prosecutors.
Prior to her incarceration, the 64-year old Stewart negotiated a deal with NBC Universal for "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart," which will run for 13 weeks beginning September 21. As in Donald Trump's show, the winner will receive a job in Stewart's company.
"We will welcome the winner of "The Apprentice" search to the MSO family in this dynamic period for the company," said Susan Lyne, President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, in a press release.
Stewart is also finalizing a book of business wisdom drawn from her experience as a fashion model, stockbroker, homemaker and media titan. "My goal with this book is to help people turn their passions into successful businesses, as I did myself through many of the things I learned over the years," said Stewart in a press release. "Martha's Rules," published by Rodale, will appear in bookstores this October.
A key goal for Stewart may be improving the company's financials. Despite stock gains, including a 26% rise in the past six months, MSO posted a year-to-date net loss of $33.5 million for the second quarter of 2005. And that's not a good thing.