Martha Stewart's Business on the Upswing
Plus: Madonna reads to kids, Grammys set their date, and more
REVIVED: Some of the damage caused by the scandal surrounding Martha Stewart appears to be subsiding, with advertising and circulation for her Martha Stewart Living magazine on the upswing, Martha Stewart Living Chief Executive Susan Lyne told investors at a teleconference, the Associated Press reports. Ad pages for the second quarter may also go up as much as 40 percent, said a “very optimistic” (her words) Lyne, who also said that the circulation base of the publication may be increased. In the wake of Stewart’s legal problems stemming from a suspicious stock sale, the magazine was forced to cut its rate base to 1.8 million from 2.3 million. Lyne said Martha Stewart Living has about $147 million in cash, which the company can use for investment and acquisitions.
GREETED: Madonna, 46, busily promoting her fifth children’s book, Lotsa de Casha, read to a group of grammar-school students Tuesday at a bookstore in Manhattan’s Time Warner Center. Though 45 minutes late, reports the New York Post, the author read for 30 minutes and then left without ever engaging in conversation with the little ones. But she has talked to the Ladies Home Journal, for its July issue. Among her parenting tips, she tells the magazine, “I’m the disciplinarian, Guy’s the spoiler. He’s the fun guy. I’m doctor’s appointments, lessons, homework. … He’s good cop, I’m bad cop.” Guy is Guy Ritchie, her husband. And Lotsa de Casha is a rich Italian greyhound who learns a lesson about helping out underdogs.
SOLD: Former NYPD Blue star Rick Schroder has put his western Colorado ranch on the market for $29 million in part because of a legal squabble with a neighbor. “All this unpleasantness has left, unfortunately, a bad taste in my mouth,” Schroder tells the Daily Sentinel newspaper. Schroder, 35, said he anticipated going through with court-ordered mediation before taking his dispute over access issues to trial (“I’m still going to defend myself in court and see that through”) and explained that he also was putting the ranch up for sale because he is unable to visit frequently.
ORGANIZED: Director Michael Moore, 49, is bringing a film festival to the tourist town of Traverse City in his native Michigan that will feature free outdoor showings of classic movies on an inflatable screen. Among the films being considered for the July 28-31 event: Jaws, Rebel Without a Cause and Casablanca. But no Fahrenheit 9/11 – or any of the other opinionated movies the activist has made, such as Bowling for Columbine, reports AP. Moore said he hopes it eventually will become a leading annual film festival and send a message that Americans crave well-made pictures.
SCHEDULED: Mark your Blackberry: The 48th annual Grammy Awards will take place for the third consecutive year at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, organizers have announced. The music industry’s biggest night of the year will return to its traditional Wednesday slot, ending a three-year Sunday run. CBS will broadcast the ceremony for the 33rd consecutive year. Nominations will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 7.