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April 18, 2005

Martha Stewart Launching Satellite Radio Channel



Courtesy of TechWeb News

A little jail time doesn't appear to have slowed down Martha Stewart.

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. said Monday that the lifestyle billionaire and founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. has signed an exclusive four-year agreement to create a Stewart-branded radio channel.

Designed for women, Martha Stewart Living Radio will provide how-to programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week that will focus on topics such as cooking, entertaining, gardening, home-keeping, decorating, holidays, collecting, health, crafts and weddings.

Stewart is expected to be a regular on the channel and actively involved in program development. The channel is scheduled to launch later this year. Financial details were not disclosed.

"This will be the first 'around the clock' channel devoted entirely to areas of interest for women in particular," Stewart said in a statement.

Sirius is battling for subscribers with its larger rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. Both have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on big content deals in order to attract subscribers. XM, for example, signed a $650 million deal to broadcast Major League Baseball games, and Sirius paid shock jock Howard Stern $500 million to move his talk show to its network next year.

Sirius ended 2004 with 1.14 million subscribers, and XM Satellite with 3.2 million.

Stewart was released last month from a West Virginia federal prison where she spent five months after being convicted of lying to government investigators about the sale of ImClone stock in late 2001. Stewart's media empire includes magazines, books, television, the Internet and merchandising, all under the brand of Martha Stewart Living.

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