Thursday, November 8, 2012

Martha Stewart's Countdown to Christmas

As the holidays fast approach, Martha Stewart Living is preparing its first ever holiday video series, "Martha Stewart's Countdown to Christmas." 

Launching on Monday, November 26, the 15-part video series will feature Martha sharing her most treasured traditions for the holidays - from seasonal recipes, to festive crafts, decorating tips, and creative gift ideas. 

The video series replaces the annual Holiday issue of the magazine and will only be available on 

MSLO recently announced the company is shifting focus from print to online digital delivery of its vast media library.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Kris Kringle Heading Back to Macy's for Another Miracle on 34th St

Macy’s New Holiday Brand TV Spot “Another Miracle on 34th Street” follows the 1947 holiday classic film’s original Kris Kringle as he lends a helping hand to Macy’s star designers Justin Bieber, Tommy Hilfiger, Marcus Samuelsson, Carlos Santana, Martha Stewart, Taylor Swift and Donald Trump

This season Macy’s is celebrating its storied holiday heritage with a new television campaign that uses modern-day technology to bring the one-and-only Kris Kringle, from Twentieth Century Fox’s “Miracle on 34th Street,” back to his home at Macy’s Herald Square. Set to inspire a new generation of “Believers” with the spirit of generosity and goodwill for all, Macy’s “Another Miracle on 34th Street” is the retailer’s star-studded take on Kringle’s return to a 21st century Macy’s, following Santa Claus as he interacts with Macy’s latest cast of star designers and imparts the true meaning of the holiday season. A beloved classic since its debut in 1947, “Miracle on 34th Street” has through the years cemented Macy’s unique relationship with Santa Claus in the hearts and minds of generations. “Another Miracle on 34th Street” will debut on Nov. 8.

Justin Bieber chats with Kris Kringle, star of the 1947 Twentieth Century Fox film classic "Miracle  ...

“’Miracle on 34th Street’ has been a defining moment in Macy’s storied history since the film first delighted audiences in 1947,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “For decades, we have cherished and embraced the legacy of this wonderful film which along with our incredible Thanksgiving Day Parade has truly helped define the holiday season. Thanks to our special partnership with Twentieth Century Fox, we are able to bring the magic of Miracle to new audiences, in a unique, funny and heartwarming spot that will have millions more believing in the spirit of the season.”

“’Miracle on 34th Street is one of the most treasured assets in the Fox film library and a staple of the holiday season. We are honored to partner with Macy’s on this campaign to reintroduce this beloved classic to fans and possibly introduce it to a new generation of ‘Believers’ this holiday season,” said Jeffrey Godsick, president of Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products.

Using cutting-edge editing and green screen technology, Macy’s in partnership with JWT New York, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and special effects house Framestore (known for their work on several Harry Potter films), selected elements of Edmund Gwenn’s 1947 performance as Kris Kringle to digitally add to the live action scenes. Seamlessly interacting with the star designers, Kringle’s return to Macy’s is often funny and heartwarming, proving that the miracle is still alive and well, even in the fast hustle and bustle of modern day New York City.

Continuing with Macy’s fall sitcom-themed TV concept, “Another Miracle on 34th Street” features new Macy’s Herald Square store manager Harold, as well as star designers including Justin Bieber, Tommy Hilfiger, Marcus Samuelsson, Carlos Santana, Martha Stewart, Taylor Swift, and Donald Trump. Taking place on his first day back at Macy’s Herald Square, Kringle is greeted by an amused Harold and Martha Stewart. In a hurry to see Mr. Macy, Kringle is seemingly unaware of his modern day surroundings. After his introduction to the incredulous staff, Kringle once again finds himself in familiar territory as the stars seek proof that he is indeed the real Santa Claus, especially the skeptical Donald Trump. Proving his credentials as the real jolly old elf, the tide soon changes as the stars try to secure their place on the nice list with Justin Bieber leading the way.

“Another Miracle on 34th Street” begins to air nationwide in both a 60-second spot and a 30-second cut. Miracle is part of the retailer’s fifth anniversary celebration of the Believe campaign, which brings tidings of joy and goodwill to customers nationwide and lends support to Make-A-Wish. Beginning Nov. 2, Macy’s once again invites believers of all ages to drop-off their letters to Santa at their local Macy’s, and for each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million.

Since the late 1800s, Santa Claus has been a fixture at Macy’s, helping generations of children experience the magic and generosity of the holiday season. With “Another Miracle on 34th Street,” a new generation will warm to the man of the hour, Kris Kringle, as he takes us on another journey that will make us all “Believe.”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Restructure Means Changes to Everyday Food and Whole Living Magazines

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.  today announced that it has taken further steps to restructure its portfolio of popular media brands. The new actions include transitioning Everyday Food from a print publication to a digitally-focused brand and exiting Whole Living. Following the reorganization of the Company's Broadcast TV group earlier this year and its recently announced partnerships with Hulu, The AOL On Network and FremantleMedia, these initiatives accelerate the Company's strategic plan to deliver its expert lifestyle offerings via digital, mobile and video platforms in response to strong, sustained trends in how audiences consume and engage with media content, while streamlining its approach to broadcast and print distribution. The Company expects the new actions announced today to result in substantial efficiencies, new revenue opportunities, and approximately $33-35 million in annualized cost savings.

The Company's media portfolio restructuring actions include:
  • Expanding the reach, frequency and audience of the Everyday Food brand across multiple digital platforms. Beginning in 2013, more Everyday Food content will be available online at, on the Everyday Food YouTube channel and via the popular daily video newsletter, "Everyday Food with Sarah Carey."
  • Publishing the Company's Everyday Food print publication as a supplement five times per year in the Company's Martha Stewart Living flagship magazine rather than as a stand-alone monthly.
  • Exiting Whole Living either via a sale, regarding which the Company is in discussions, or, if a sale is not completed, by folding its content into Martha Stewart Living in order to sharpen the Company's focus on delivering exceptional lifestyle content across the Company's more established brands.
  • Partnering with The AOL On Network and Hulu to deliver popular video content – in both full episodes and short-form video – across new platforms.
  • Reorganizing the Company's Broadcast group to expand beyond the TV platform and create and distribute premiere multi-platform digital video content, including the recently announced venture with FremantleMedia, a key player in the global content and brand space, to co-develop programming featuring contemporary lifestyle personalities.
  • Launching "Martha Stewart's Cooking School" on PBS, bringing a Master Class in culinary basics and classics to more than 92% of US households, with viewership trending steadily upward to more than 1 million viewers per episode.
  • Introducing several exciting new digital video series made for the web, including the upcoming "Countdown to Christmas," the first web-focused series featuring Martha Stewart.
  • Unveiling the Martha Stewart Living Apple iTunes storefront for iPad – a branded digital storefront for the presentation of all Company magazine content and the cross-sale of popular Martha Stewart Living utility products like Martha Stewart Craft Studio, Cookies and Cocktail Apps. In addition, last week the Company launched an Everyday Food app in conjunction with the launch of the Windows 8 platform, for PCs and tablet devices.
Lisa Gersh, President and Chief Executive Officer, said "We have taken decisive action to drive the Company's return to sustainable profitability, in part by reducing our costs for production and distribution and in part by creating even more engagement with our audiences, and better and more valuable opportunities for our advertisers. The initiatives announced today, coupled with those we've taken over the past year, further the emphasis we have been placing on digital, mobile and video platforms, reflecting our commitment to put our expert lifestyle content in closer reach of consumers, with greater frequency and in the ways they demand today and will expect even more in the future."
Martha Stewart, Founder and Non-Executive Chairman, said, "All of these initiatives underscore the natural evolution of our great brands and of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as a company. Our goal has always been to continually enhance and improve the way we provide our audience with our unique and engaging content. We have long embraced technology as a driver of innovation and creativity, and by expanding our digital presence, we are able to connect with our audiences and share all that we do in wonderfully rich new ways."

Gersh continued, "We have unique, expert lifestyle content and products that speak to the hearts of consumers – we simply need to continue to innovate in the ways we reach them. As a whole, MSLO's total digital audience has grown an average of 20-25 percent year over year every month since January 2012. Following a careful evaluation of our media portfolio, we are responding to clear trends we are seeing across the industry to give our consumers what they are telling us they want: more video, more of the inspiration, solutions and expert advice and how-to content our brands offer in digital formats, across more platforms and on a more frequent basis. As these initiatives take hold, we believe we can create more value for our stockholders."

As part of the new restructuring initiatives, the Company will eliminate certain positions within the Publishing segment. Including the annualized cost savings of approximately $12.5 million associated with the Broadcast TV reorganization earlier this year, the Company is now removing an estimated $45-47 million of annual costs from its media businesses overall on a go forward basis. The Company will provide additional details regarding the financial impacts associated with these actions when it reports its earnings for the third quarter.