Martha Stewart closing online store, catalog operations: “Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is closing its money-losing online and catalog businesses in February, according to a notice posted on the company’s Web site.”
Wow, although not entirely unexpected. After Ms. Stewart’s unjust and heavy-handed conviction for lying to investigators about a stock sale of ImClone Systems, Inc., even though she was never charged with insider trading and charges of the more serious securities fraud were thrown out by the judge, many analysts had predicted her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., would fold completely. I was more optimistic — and remain so. I believe they are simply closing unprofitable, money-losing divisions, including its marthastewart.com online store and its Martha By Mail mail-order catalog service. And, so they should. It’s a smart move. They’re still keeping the marthasflowers.com online flower ordering service, Martha Stewart Living glossy magazine, the lucrative retail relationships with Kmart and Sears Canada, and their TV production business.
It’s also worth mentioning that former ABC Entertainment President Susan Lyne was named President & CEO of MSO late last year, approximately eight months after ABC parent Walt Disney Company unceremoniously fired her, along with ABC Chair & CEO Lloyd Braun in the spring. Together, the Lyne and Braun pairing also spearheaded the development of now mega-hits “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” but the executives at the Mouse House apparently had itchy fingers and couldn’t wait until the fall. For his part, Lloyd Braun was rewarded when Internet giant Yahoo! Inc. hired him as its Head of its Media & Entertainment corporate division. He oversees such properties as Yahoo! Games, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Launch, Yahoo! News, and presumably, Yahoo!’s Musicmatch, Inc., subsidiary.