Plug Pulled on Stewart Show

Martha Stewart Living will end production at the end of its 11th season in September, but King World Productions said it would consider distributing the show again.

The show's producer, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, calls it a production hiatus--while decorating diva Martha Stewart continues her legal battles over her March conviction in federal court.

The company says it will continue to produce Petkeeping with Marc Morrone and speed up development of a new show, Everyday Food.

Pulling the plug on Martha will mean staff "adjustments" and a $2 million charge on the books in the second quarter, the company said.

The company also said some stations have expressed interest in getting the show back, "when available."

Stewart herself was trying to sound hopeful in a prepared statement: "I am deeply sorry that it has become necessary for the show to go on hiatus until my personal legal situation is resolved," she said. "I hope to resume our close collaboration just as soon as I am able to do so."

Is distributor King World game for another try? "They've been a great partner and we would certainly consider that," said a spokesman.

Stewart is scheduled to be sentenced June 17 for lying to federal investigators about her Imclone stock trade.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.