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Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Gersh’

Lisa Gersh to Leave MSLO

Lisa Gersh is resigning as CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia after only five months.

The New York Post reports that Gersh’s departure is due to two big factors: 1) MSLO is struggling (as evidenced by it cutting staffers and folding titles) and looking to alter its focus to include more merchandising deals and 2) Martha Stewart and Gersh weren’t getting along:

For months, there also has been talk of tension between Gersh, an experienced media executive, and the company’s namesake founder and chief creative officer. Stewart was said to crave broad television exposure and was upset in January when the Hallmark Channel ended her daily talk show. Gersh worked out deals with Hulu and AOL to distribute new and archived clips from Stewart’s TV shows, but her only program currently airing on television is ‘Martha Stewart’s Cooking School’ on PBS.

“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,” Gersh said in a statement.

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Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to Cut 70 Staffers, Reduce Magazines

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is cutting about 70 staffers and reducing its magazine publishing. According to The New York Times, the company just started notifying employees this afternoon, which will make an already hellish week even worse for them.

Additionally, Everyday Food will no longer be a stand-alone publication. It will only be published five times a year, and sent as a supplement to Martha Stewart Living subscribers. MSLO is also selling Whole Living. While the company says it is already in talks with someone to buy the title, MSLO will fold the title and its content into Marta Stewart Living if no deal is made by the end of the year. Lisa Gersh, MSLO’s president, tried to put a positive spin on it by telling the Times, “We’re taking it really from four separate magazines down to two.”

In related news, Gael Towey, who has been at MSLO for 21 years, is leaving the company. According to a spokesperson, Towey is leaving to start a new project.

Martha Stewart Extends Employment Agreement with Company

Ultimate businesswoman Martha Stewart has extended her deal with her namesake company. As part of the agreement, she’ll remain founder and chief executive officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia through 2017.

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.

“I am excited by the many phenomenal projects we have underway at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia,” said Stewart. “I look forward to continuing my work with Lisa, our executive management and creative teams and our strategic partners to continue growing our strong and far reaching brand both domestically and abroad.”

Over the past year, MSLO has bolstered its corporate management team and creative talent, and is seeking to strategically reinvent its media businesses for the digital era and launching a new TV show, Martha Stewart’s Cooking School (debuting on PBS in October). The company also entered into strategic partnership with J.C. Penney while continuing to grow and innovate with other merchandising partners.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia President Takes Issue With New York Post Report

This morning’s New York Post featured an article that took aim squarely at Martha Stewart, and her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The Post reported that Hallmark Channel was canceling Stewart’s daily daytime talker, and that Home Depot was scaling back its partnership with MSLO to sell Stewart-branded paints.

FishbowlNY has obtained an email that was sent to MSLO staffers this afternoon from president and COO Lisa Gersh, who joined the company late last year. Gersh takes issue with the Post report, arguing that the relationship with Hallmark and Home Depot are not as bad as the Post makes them out to be.

“The show will continue on Hallmark through the end of this season and we are currently exploring programming concepts for Martha Stewart and other MSLO brands beyond this fall,” Gersh wrote, adding: “In addition, MSLO continues its thriving partnership with The Home Depot (THD), which spans a number of home and décor categories, including our very popular paint palette, and they continue to perform well.”

Read Gersh’s full memo to staff after the jump.

Read more

MSLO Adds Four to Executive Team

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has added four people to its executive team. Russell Brown has been named Senior Vice President, Consumer Products Licensing. He previously worked for such companies as Marvel Entertainment and Iconix Brand Group.

MSLO also tapped Charlie Tiersch as Vice President, Business Development and Colleen Nowers as Associate Vice President, Business Development. Tiersch and Nowers both most recently worked at NBCUniversal.

Finally, Claudio Goldbarg has been hired by MSLO as Senior Vice Present, Publishing and Digital Media. Goldbarg has worked at a variety of media companies, including DreamWorks SKG.

“We are pleased to be expanding our team with these new hires as we seek to further extend the breadth and reach of our family of brands and create new growth opportunities for our business,” said Lisa Gersh, MSLO’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

J.C. Penney Buys 16 Percent Stake in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

J.C. Penney has invested $38.5 million for 11 million Class A common stock — at $3.50 a share — for a 16.6 percent stake in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO). The retailer will also receive two seats on MSLO’s board.

As part of the 10 year deal, Martha Stewart mini-stores will be built inside J.C. Penney locations across the country. The staffers working those specialty stores will be trained to dispense Martha Stewart-like advice as well. The Stewart stores  — as well as a joint e-commerce site between the two brands — are expected to start popping up in February of 2013.

Lisa Gersh, President and COO of MSLO, said of the deal, “The strategic alliance we’ve announced today with J. C. Penney strengthens our balance sheet, will enhance the reach of our brands and expand our vibrant merchandising and media presence for the benefit of all of our partners.”

MSLO is expected to get around $200 million from J.C. Penney over the entire span of the deal.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Names New President, COO

Lisa Gersh has been named President, Chief Operating Officer, of Martha Stewart Living Ominmedia, Inc. (MSLO). Gersh is a veteran of the media and entertainment industry, most recently working as President, Strategic Initiatives, for NBC.

Martha Stewart said of adding Gersh, “MSLO has so much opportunity to expand, grow and prosper, and I believe Lisa’s entrepreneurial spirit and operational acumen will be invaluable to the entire organization.”

Gersh’s first day will be June 6th.