Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia CEO Lisa Gersh to Step Down After Transition
Period; Search for Successor Underway
Transition to Support Greater Focus on Worldwide Expansion of Merchandising
Business Alongside New Media Initiatives
NEW YORK, Dec. 19, 2012
NEW YORK, Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
(NYSE: MSO) today announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Lisa
Gersh plans to step down from that role and that a search is underway to name
a successor. The leadership transition is expected to further drive the
company's strategy of expanding its merchandising business alongside its
successful media properties, both domestically and internationally.
Under Ms. Gersh's leadership, the company has successfully restructured and
repositioned its publishing and broadcast divisions to improve profitability
and expand delivery of its lifestyle offerings through digital, mobile and
video platforms. The company expects the restructuring to result in annualized
cost savings in the range of $45 million to $47 million, which is expected to
result in an EBITDA improvement of approximately $5 million to $7 million
The company is also focused on building its higher margin merchandising
businesses by expanding into new product categories, adding new distribution
partners and entering new international markets. As stated on the company's
most recent earnings call, fourth quarter merchandising revenue is expected to
be 15% higher than the same period last year with adjusted EBITDA margins of
approximately 70%. In early 2013, the company will begin to realize the
revenue and brand building benefits of its agreement with J.C. Penney, which
was entered into in late 2011.
Martha Stewart, founder and non-executive chairman, said, "Our media
businesses are now repositioned for the future and we are excited about the
potential of our digital, mobile, video and print platforms. As one example,
our digital business hit an all-time high of 8.3 million unique visitors in
November. Building on this momentum, we are now increasing our capabilities in
merchandising and plan to take full advantage of that opportunity for the
benefit of our shareholders and all of our partners both at home and abroad.
The rest of the board and I are grateful for Lisa's leadership and thank her
for the many contributions she has made to the company."
"It has been an honor to lead this company with its iconic brands, loyal
following and wealth of creative talent," said Ms. Gersh. "With the
restructuring of the media businesses complete and a strong team leading key
financial and corporate functions, the company is on solid footing and
positioned for growth. There is an exciting future ahead for Martha Stewart
Living Omnimedia and I am committed to working with the board to ensure a
Ms. Gersh will remain as President and CEO and a member of the Board of
Directors during a transition period.
About Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) is a diversified media and
merchandising company, inspiring and engaging consumers with unique lifestyle
content and distinctive products. The Company reaches approximately 66 million
consumers across all media platforms each month and has a growing retail
presence with 8,500 products in thousands of retail locations. MSLO's media
brands, available across multiple platforms, include Martha Stewart Living,
Martha Stewart Weddings, and Everyday Food; the Company also offers books and
utility Apps. MSLO's television and video programming includes the new "Martha
Stewart's Cooking School" series, in addition to new made-for-the-web video
and a vast library of how-to content available online. Martha Stewart Living
Radio is available on SIRIUS XM Channel 110. MSLO also designs high-quality
Martha Stewart products in a range of lifestyle categories available through
select retailers, including The Home Depot, Macy's, Staples (together with
Avery), PetSmart, Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores. The Company
entered into a strategic alliance with J.C. Penney Company, Inc., and will
jointly develop an e-commerce site, for a 2013 launch. The MSLO family of
brands also includes Chef Emeril Lagasse's media and merchandising properties.
Additional information about MSLO is at www.marthastewart.com.
We have included in this press release certain "forward-looking statements,"
as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts but instead
represent only our current beliefs regarding future events, many of which, by
their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of our control. These
statements include the success of our strategic plans, estimates of future
financial performance and cost savings, potential opportunities, expected
product line changes, future acceptability of our content and our businesses,
industry trends, anticipated growth, including particularly statements with
respect to our digital presence, the success of our various media alliances
and benefits from aligning our sales and marketing team, and other statements
that can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "should,"
"could," "position," "expects," "intends," "plans," "thinks," "believes,"
"estimates," "potential," "seem," "counting" or "continue" or the negative of
these terms or other comparable terminology. The Company's actual results may
differ materially from those projected in these statements, and factors that
could cause such differences include: adverse reactions to publicity relating
to Martha Stewart or Emeril Lagasse by consumers, advertisers and business
partners; the failure of national and/or local economies to improve or renewed
deterioration of such economies; shifts in our business strategies; a loss of
the services of Ms. Stewart or Mr. Lagasse; a loss of the services of other
key personnel; a renewed softening of the domestic advertising market; changes
in consumer reading, purchasing and/or television viewing patterns to which
our offerings are unable to respond; unanticipated increases in paper, postage
or printing costs; operational or financial problems at any of our contractual
business partners; the receptivity of consumers to our new product
introductions; the inability to add to our partnerships or capitalize on
existing partnerships; legal actions taken against us; and changes in
government regulations affecting the Company's industries.
Certain of these and other factors are discussed in more detail in the
Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form
10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, especially under the
heading "Risk Factors," which may be accessed through the SEC's World Wide Web
site at http://www.sec.gov/. The Company is under no obligation to update any
forward-looking statements after the date of this release.
SOURCE Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Contact: Investors: Katherine Nash, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
Corporate Communications, +1-212-827-8722, firstname.lastname@example.org or Media:
Dawn Bridges, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Corporate Communications,
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