Mag Bag: MSLO Settles With Macy's

by , Jan 2, 2014, 2:47 PM
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MSLO Settles With Macy's

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Macy’s have settled their legal dispute concerning merchandising rights out of court. The terms of the settlement are confidential and won’t have a material impact on either partner’s performance. Macy’s lawsuit against MSLO’s erstwhile partner J.C. Penney will continue, according to the release announcing the agreement.
 
MSLO and J.C. Penney unveiled a licensing and merchandising deal in December 2011, calling for the creation of mini-stores carrying Martha Stewart-branded product lines in J.C. Penney stores. Macy’s then sued both MSLO and J.C. Penney, arguing that their deal violated the terms of its own contract with MSLO, under which Macy’s claims exclusive rights to certain categories bearing the Martha Stewart brand, including bedding, bath and cookware product lines.
 
In July 2012, the New York State Supreme Court ordered MSLO to pause its work with J.C. Penney to create mini-stores, although the injunction allowed J.C. Penney to continue to sell some products originally created for the MSLO merchandise deal under a new brand, J.C. Penney Everyday.
 
In October of this year, JCPenney announced that it will terminate its troubled partnership with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in 2017 -- four years earlier than previously agreed -- and will also return 11 million shares in MSLO that it purchased as part of the deal, equal to around 17% of the company. The move was interpreted as a victory for Macy’s. JCP also reduced the scope of MSLO’s design duties to product lines in window treatments and holiday goods -- product categories not precluded by Macy’s agreement with MSLO.
 
The early termination of the partnership was also a setback for MSLO, which was supposed to reap $200 million over 10 years from merchandising fees -- revenues that would help offset losses resulting from the secular decline in print advertising revenues and the end of some of MSLO’s TV ventures.
 
Magazines Saw More Cross-Platform Ads in 2013
 
Cross-platform campaigns placing ads in both print and iPad editions of magazines grew 6% in 2013 compared to 2012, according to a new study by Kantar Media and the MPA – The Association for Magazine Media. The study, which tracked 69 major magazines with print and tablet editions, also found that ad units for iPad editions of magazines grew 16% in 2013. While that’s certainly good news, it’s down somewhat from the growth rate of 24% in the first half of the year, as measured by an earlier MPA-Kantar study.
 
Mywedding.com launched mywedding The Magazine
 
Mywedding.com, a popular wedding planning and inspiration Web site, has launched a new electronic magazine, mywedding The Magazine, which will be published on a quarterly basis, with issues emphasizing the seasonal possibilities available to couples. Editorial content and fashion shoots created in-house will be presented alongside hand-picked real weddings from prominent wedding photographers. The magazine will also feature DIY projects, “minimoon” agendas and wedding planning advice.
 
Condé Nast Closes La Cucina Italiana
 
Condé Nast has closed the U.S. edition of La Cucina Italiana, a bimonthly niche epicurean publication with a rate base of 150,000, according to Women’s Wear Daily. The Italian edition of La Cucina Italiana will continue publication, along with a number of licensed editions in other countries.
 
Goldberg To Executive Editor, National Geographic
 
Susan Goldberg is leaving her post as executive editor of Bloomberg News to take up a new role as executive editor at National Geographic, per an email circulated to Bloomberg staffers on Thursday. Goldberg joined Bloomberg in 2010. Before that, she served as editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, as well as executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News, among other newspaper jobs.


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