MSLO Ad Revs Dip Again, Realignment Planned

MarthaStewart

Reflecting broader woes in the consumer magazine business, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia reported that total revenues at its publishing division slipped 3.4% to $34.1 million in the second quarter of 2011, due to "continued volatility in the print advertising market."

These figures include MSLO's digital revenues, which are now combined with the publishing division.

Broadcasting revenues also dipped 4.9% from $8.2 million to $7.8 million, attributed to weak ad sales and lower international license fees. The declines at MSLO's publishing and broadcasting divisions were partially offset by a major increase in merchandising revenues, which jumped 9% from $11.8 million to $12.9 million over the same period.

However, this wasn't enough to make up the losses in other areas. Taking all these businesses together, total MSLO revenues dipped about 1% from $55.3 million to $54.9 million.

Confronted with declining revenues across its various divisions, MSLO recently announced plans for a major strategic realignment aiming to expand the business.

MSLO retained Blackstone Advisory Partners to "review and respond" to potential offers for "strategic partnerships," including a sale to another publisher or media company, private equity buyout, or joining forces with foreign partners to boost overseas sales. Other potential high-growth areas include boosting merchandise sales through big-box retail partners.

At the same time MSLO also appointed Lisa Gersh as the company's new president and COO. Gersh, a co-founder of Oxygen Media, who served as president and COO from 1998-2007, will eventually transition into the CEO spot as well. Thus, MSLO is finally filling the spot left vacant by the departure of Wenda Harris Millard in 2009.

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