The first time I saw Martha Stewart on TV I had to walk away and take a few pain tablets for my headache. Her explanations were so detailed that she lost me at "Hello." Being a gardening enthusiast and a person who enjoys cooking and barbequing, I tend to stick to a simple plant-watering strategy and basic recipes.
I have seen recent interviews with Martha, and in my opinion, if her attitude is any gauge, the future of Martha Stewart LivingOmnimedia
The Queen of All Homemaking is walking a thin line these days. With a sentence of five months in jail and another five months of house arrest, the public might have to get its fix on reruns. Every time I click on the Food Channel and see "Martha Stewart Living" flash across the screen I shake my head and wonder how long that will last.
Martha Stewart Living put out a few interesting press releases today. The first bit of news was the company's second-quarter results, which actually came in below expectations ($0.39 per share loss vs. $0.33 loss expected). The second (and more interesting) press release disclosed the company's intention to launch a new PBS program called "Everyday Food," which is an extension of the Everyday Food magazine launched in October 2003.
The company's "Everyday Food" concept highlights its need to move away from its founder and troubled image. In order for the company to survive, it must diversify its offerings and lessen its dependence on Martha. There's no telling how popular Martha will be when she has completed her debt to society. Hard-core fans will never forget their leader, but investors should wait for more evidence that Martha the company can prosper sans Martha the person. For now, I suggest investors continue to walk away from this mess and put Martha Stewart Living in lockdown.
Want to read more about Martha Stewart? Check out:
- Martha: I'm Too Important for Jail, by Seth Jayson
- A Martha Stewart Identity Crisis, by Alyce Lomax
- Martha Washing Done?, by Rick Munarriz
Fool contributor Phil Wohl spent more than 12 years on Wall Street and now concentrates his writing on more fictional characters. He has no stake in any firm mentioned above.