A SLIMMER MARTHA: Layoffs hit Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia on Friday and many longtime staffers, including Fritz Karch — editorial director, collecting, and one of Martha Stewart Living’s founding editors — are on the way out. Sources had placed the pink slip count at around 60 but insiders insist it’s closer to 20, all on the editorial side. The flagship title has been making a huge push for reinvention as of late under new editor in chief Pilar Guzman, and sources said many of these jobs will be filled by new talent. Since joining the title, Guzman has hired a few of her old colleagues from Cookie, including editor at large Yolanda Edwards and Carl Germann, managing editor. Over at Everyday Food, the company installed Sarah Carey as editor in chief last week, succeeding Anna Last, who took the helm in June 2009.
Changes to the editorial side of the business come as executives are paying closer attention than ever to the bottom line, since MSLO was put into play back in May and since Martha Stewart herself became free once again to join the company’s board. Blackstone Advisory Partners was hired to deal with potential offers from investors. During the first half of this year, newsstand is down almost 5 percent at Martha Stewart Living and ad pages are down about 6 percent, through the September issue.