The term ‘media mogul’ refers to an individual who has taken over a large portion, either by personal venture or by inheritance, of at least one major media company (Mediate.com). In a world full of media moguls, Martha Stewart has made a name for herself. Through her cookbooks, magazines, TV show, and radio program, Martha Stewart uses her position to help instruct her followers in lessons on home decorating, gardening, and cooking. These ventures have helped her to build her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
Martha Stewart grew up as one of six children in their family home in New Jersey . From an early age, she had an interest in the activities that would be the stepping stones to Martha Steward Living Omnimedia. Her father started teaching her about gardening at the age of 3, and she learned about cooking, canning, and the art of decorating and caring of the home from her mother. These early teachings from her parents have allowed Martha to always be inspired by her surroundings.
Martha attended Barnard College , where she received her bachelor’s degree in both history and architectural history. During her time in college, she helped pay for her tuition by taking on modeling jobs. After graduation, she started working on Wall Street as a stock broker, which served as the backbone of her business training. While living in Connecticut with her then-husband and her daughter, she opened her own catering business. This led to her first publication, entitled Entertaining, in 1982. This publication was later followed by Martha Stewart’s Cooking School and Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook, as well as many other books.
Martha Stewart began publication of her own magazine, “Martha Stewart Living”, in 1990. This magazine, geared at women across America , gave tips in cooking, decorating, gardening, housekeeping, and entertaining. It became a very successful source of information. After an appearance on “Today”, Martha was offered the chance to host her own show. “The Martha Stewart Show” took the information shown in her magazines and went a step further, allowing Martha to show her viewers the necessary steps to complete projects in cooking, home decorating, and more. Martha Stewart took her success a step further. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, LLC had previously been owned by Time Warner. In 1997, Martha purchased the company from Time Warner and incorporated it.
While Martha has made a name for herself as a leader in the art of home care, she has also had her share of bad judgment calls. On December 27, 2001 , Martha sold nearly 4,000 shares of stock in ImClone Systems, a company run by her personal friend, Sam Waksal. Waksal had an assistant call Martha with a tip to sell her shares, allowing her to save over $50,000 that would’ve been lost without the inside tip. While Martha insisted that the shares were sold based on a preset plan to sell the stocks if they dropped to $60 a share, a witness detailed the events that actually led to the sale. After being found guilty of insider trading, Martha was sentenced to serve 5 months in jail.
After completing her time in jail, Martha Stewart went to work trying to rebuild her good name. In 2006, she donated $5,000,000 to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York to go toward a center for healthy aging. She no longer has complete control over Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, LLC. However, she does still control 92% of the company’s votes and owns the majority of the company’s stock. She acknowledges that the company could still be successful without her having majority control, but she wants to help maintain the same level of success that she had helped build up before her bad decisions marred her name.
Despite her legal troubles, Martha has maintained a partnership with Kmart, working as a spokesperson for their stores while also marketing a line of products for the home sold exclusively through Kmart and their partner, Sears. Her home products range from curtains and comforter sets to pots and pans, from gardening supplies to outdoor furniture. She also has a line of craft supplies for those interested in do-it-yourself home decorating and other DIY projects.
Over the years, Martha has had her hands in a number of different aspects of the media industry. She has published books on cooking, housekeeping, and entertaining. Her magazine, “Martha Stewart Living”, has been a popular selection since its beginning 20 years ago. She has hosted her own television show, giving her fans a chance to view her projects in the making rather than solely through pictures and words. She hosts Martha Stewart Living Radio on Sirius XM satellite radio. The Martha Blog, her own personal blog, as well as her website, MarthaStewart.com, has both given her the chance to delve into internet media.
For nearly 30 years, Martha Stewart has used her media connections to help her teach the world about housekeeping, cooking, gardening, and entertaining. Her books, magazine, and websites share pictures and written instructions designed to help her readers explore the host, chef, gardener, and artist within themselves. Her television and radio shows allow Martha to verbally instruct, while the television show also allows her to visually show her audience the necessary steps to complete each project. As publisher, author, TV and radio talk show host, spokesperson, and creator, Martha Stewart has used her media connections to aid her in building up her media company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
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