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Troubled Martha Stewart Still in Launch Mode

NEW YORK — Despite Martha Stewart’s personal tribulations, her company continues to add line extensions. <br><br>Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia will test a new portable, digest-sized publication called Everyday Food, created for the...

NEW YORK — Despite Martha Stewart’s personal tribulations, her company continues to add line extensions.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia will test a new portable, digest-sized publication called Everyday Food, created for the supermarket shopper and everyday cook. It will feature quick and easy recipes using supermarket ingredients for weekday meals. All the recipes, created in the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living, are designed to take 30 minutes or less.

The premiere issue will be available in supermarkets and on newsstands in January. If the test is successful, it will be published 10 times a year, beginning next September. Geared to a mass audience, initial distribution is 750,000 copies per issue, including newsstand and controlled circulation. The magazine, which will be multiadvertiser supported, will have a cover price of $2.95, and will be edited by Judith Hill, former editor in chief of the book division at American Express Publishing and designed by Scot Schy, a member of the art direction team of Martha Stewart Living for the past seven years. Helen Seligman, associate publisher of Martha Stewart Living magazine, will serve as publisher of Everyday Food.

Everyday Food will also be a segment within the Martha Stewart Living Television Show and will be included on the the marthastewart.com Web site.

In other news, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia released third-quarter results for the period ended Sept. 30. Net income from continuing operations was $3 million, down 42 percent from $5.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenues were $71 million for the quarter, up 4.2 percent from $68 million a year ago.

“The company and the brand have shown strength and resilience in a difficult environment,” said Martha Stewart, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. Sharon Patrick, president and chief operating officer, added that the publishing business performed well, with ad pages in Martha Stewart Living up in the quarter.

Publishing revenues increased 6 percent to $46.5 million in the quarter, compared to $44 million a year ago. Ad pages in Martha Stewart Living magazine increased 9 percent in the quarter, according to Media Industry Newsletter, with strength in the auto and food categories. The company published two special issues in the third quarter, compared to one issue in the third quarter last year.

The company noted that the merchandising segment rose 21 percent year-over-year to $10.1 million. The increase was due to higher royalty rates under the company’s contract with Kmart, the Martha Stewart Everyday Garden program and revenue from Martha Stewart Signature Paint and Flooring programs, and was partially offset by the impact of Kmart store closures earlier in the year and lower year-over-year same-store sales of its product at Kmart.