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Martha Stewart Living, Mark Burnett Join Forces to Create TV Shows

Sep 22, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the lifestyle company trying to recover from the conviction of its founder for lying about a suspicious stock sale, on Wednesday said it struck an agreement with reality-television king Mark Burnett to bolster the company’s television business.

As part of the relationship Mr. Burnett will consult and advise MSO on developing opportunities to revamp “Martha Stewart Living,” the daily syndicated television show that is on hiatus amid Ms. Stewart’s legal troubles, as well as develop and produce a prime-time network television series featuring Ms. Stewart.

In exchange, Mr. Burnett will receive a warrant to purchase up to 2.5 million shares of class A shares in MSO at an exercise price of $12.59 a share. The warrant will vest and become exercisable when certain milestones related to the television shows are reached. MSO shares closed Wednesday up 1 percent to $14.98.

The deal comes as Ms. Stewart sets off to serve a five-month prison term, starting Oct. 8. Last week Ms. Stewart, who was convicted in March, abandoned her push for a retrial, opting instead to serve her jail sentence as soon as possible to put the entire matter to rest. She is also subject to a five-month sentence of house arrest following her prison time.

“We will explore new ways to communicate that unique combination of teaching, usefulness, quality, style and impeccable good taste that millions of viewers have enjoyed over a decade,” Mr. Burnett said in statement.