Hearst Entertainment, Inc. to Syndicate Television Program Set to Air
NEW YORK, April 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Martha Stewart Living
Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) today announced that it is building a new
omnimedia brand, "Petkeeping with Marc Morrone," as part of the MSO brand
family. The new how-to brand, dedicated to the care and keeping of pets in the
home, will use MSO's omnimedia business model to showcase the talent of
nationally known petkeeping expert Marc Morrone.
In making the announcement, MSO's Chairman and CEO, Martha Stewart, said
that MSO's independent production unit, Martha Stewart Living Television, will
produce a new weekly half-hour syndicated program, Petkeeping with Marc
Morrone. The first season consists of 22 weekly shows comprised of original
segments as well as selected repackaged petkeeping segments from Marc's
appearances on Martha Stewart Living. Petkeeping with Marc Morrone builds on
the audience of Marc's current show, The Pet Shop with Marc Morrone. Marc
began on television in 1994 with his show about pets on Metro Channel,
Cablevision's cable access channel, where Ms. Stewart first saw him.
Distributed by Hearst Entertainment, Inc., Petkeeping with Marc Morrone is set
for the 2003-2004 season, launching in September to more than 130 U.S.
television markets representing 90 percent coverage.
"From the first moment in l998 that I saw Marc and his colorful menagerie,
I knew that he would prove to be an ideal teacher and brand representative for
those eager to learn how to care for and enjoy living with pets. Since then,
Marc has expertly shared his knowledge of petkeeping with Martha Stewart
Living audiences. I am proud to announce this expanded omnimedia forum for his
talents," added Martha Stewart.
"Martha and the Martha Stewart Living television team helped to bring me
and my pet co-stars to national prominence. We are very happy now to work more
broadly with MSO to establish a nationally known petkeeping brand. In that way
we can more fully contribute excellent and more readily available how-to
information and products for petkeeping, a subject matter that is the passion
of my life," said Marc Morrone.
Ms. Stewart stated that in addition to his own television show, Marc
Morrone will continue to regularly appear on the syndicated Martha Stewart
Living daily television show. He will also appear as a regularly featured
columnist in Martha Stewart Kids magazine and will be contributing to articles
about petkeeping in Martha Stewart Living magazine. The new Petkeeping with
Marc Morrone brand will be supported with a microsite, accessible directly
through www.petkeeping.com as well as through marthastewart.com-offering
petkeeping advice for kids and their parents as well as other features.
Opportunities for newspaper syndication are currently being explored with the
New York Times Syndicate, in addition to radio syndication. Merchandise to
support pets and petkeeping will be developed and designed by MSO under Marc's
guidance, with the intention of offering products through multiple retail
tiers beginning with highly selective "Petkeeping with Marc Morrone" branded
products offered online through www.petkeeping.com and www.marthastewart.com.
Sharon Patrick, MSO's President and Chief Operating Officer, said,
"Introducing the Petkeeping with Marc Morrone brand is an exciting next step
in the evolution of MSO. It enables us to further leverage our company's
omnimedia business model and infrastructure, building broader recognition for
the next generation of Martha Stewart Living experts, discovered and trained
by Martha, in areas that offer MSO opportunities for expansion."
"In its first two seasons, The Pet Shop with Marc Morrone built a strong
and loyal audience and the station community embraced the series as effective
FCC-friendly programming," said Rob Corona, Senior Vice President, Domestic
Sales, Hearst Entertainment, Inc. "We now look forward to even greater success
with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's production of season three." Speaking
for Martha Stewart Television, President Heidi Diamond added: "The combination
of Marc's talent as an on-air personality combined with the proven ability of
our television team will result in unique, entertaining programming that is an
ideal next step in developing MSO's capabilities as an independent production
Marc Morrone, a nationally recognized petkeeping authority-by virtue of
his lifelong interest in pets, his television appearances, and his 25 years of
experience as the owner of Parrots of the World pet shop in Rockville Center,
New York-is familiar to audiences of Martha Stewart Living, where he has been
the resident petkeeping expert since l998, as well as to viewers of his
current syndicated television program, The Pet Shop with Marc Morrone.
Petkeeping with Marc Morrone will be comprised of high-quality, FCC-friendly
programming with a focus on providing straightforward, practical how-to
information about the keeping and care of pets. Adding to his authenticity,
Marc Morrone draws from his personal experience with his own family of pets-
including Harry the Scarlet Macaw, Dixie the Dachshund, Bubbles the Prairie
Dog, and Harvey the Flemish Giant rabbit, all of whom join him on-air-to
provide the instructive, yet playful, segments his audiences enjoy. Through
his direct interaction with pets, in a home and family setting, Marc gives
petkeepers great tips and techniques to help them understand the animals that
share their homes.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSO) is a leading provider of
original how-to information that turns dreamers into doers, inspiring and
engaging consumers with unique content and high-quality products for the home.
MSO's creative experts develop content within eight core areas -- Home,
Cooking and Entertaining, Gardening, Crafts, Holiday, Keeping, Weddings, and
Baby and Kids -- that provide consumers with ideas and products to celebrate
their homes and the domestic arts. MSO is organized into four business
segments -- Publishing, Television, Merchandising and Internet/Direct
SOURCE Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
/CONTACT: Elizabeth Estroff of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.,
+1-212-827-8281; or Samantha Schabel of Susan Magrino Agency, +1-212-957-3005,
for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc./
/Web site: http://www.marthastewart.com http://www.petkeeping.com /