Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Lays Off 100 Staffers

by , Dec 13, 2013, 5:48 PM
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It isn’t a particularly joyful holiday season at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where 100 staffers were laid off on Thursday, thus reducing the company’s headcount by roughly one-fifth, including some top executives and publishing staff. The move comes two months after Daniel Dienst stepped into the top spot as CEO in October.
 
According to the New York Post, which first reported the news, the list of layoffs including Peter Medwid, publisher of Martha Stewart Living, the magazine’s managing editor Carl Germann, vice president of integrated sales Laura Petasnick, executive vice president and chief administrative officer Daniel Taitz, digital sales head Jess Hollander and CRO Joe Lagani.
 
Like other big publishers, MSLO has been confronted with a challenging combination of shifting media habits and broader economic uncertainty.

Over the last few years, MSLO’s total revenues have declined from $230.8 million in 2010 to $197.6 million in 2012. More recently, total revenues fell 20% from $141.3 million in the first nine months of 2012 to $113.3 million in the first nine months of 2013.
 
These declines are partly due to the loss of broadcast revenues, as it cut back its live TV programming production, and continuing declines in print advertising revenues. In the third quarter of the year, ad pages fell 2.4% at Martha Stewart Living, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. The company closed Whole Living and stopped publishing Everyday Food as a standalone magazine in December 2012.
 
In October of this year, amid a high-profile lawsuit brought by Macy’s, JCPenney announced that it would terminate its troubled merchandising partnership with MSLO in 2017 -- four years earlier than previously agreed. JCPenney also returned 11 million shares in MSLO that it purchased as part of the deal, equal to around 17% of the company.

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