Martha’s Ge-eeee-Whiz Kitchen

Sep 5, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Martha Stewart didn’t get just two TV shows from NBC. She also got some snazzy kitchen appliances from NBC’s parent company, General Electric, on the working sets in Manhattan’s Chelsea district from which her syndicated daytime show, “Martha,” will originate live starting Sept. 12.

The “Martha” set has two kitchens. One is soundproofed, glassed-in and very professional-looking. The other is also very luxe, but homey. Almost everything in both kitchens, as well as in the crafts area, the solarium and the dining area, is from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s own product lines or from Ms. Stewart’s home in Westport, Conn. Even the paint on the walls is a Martha-franchised brand.

And there are three ranges and one electric double oven on the new set from General Electric’s upscale Monogram line.

GE is no stranger to potent product placement. In the 1950s the company outfitted an all-electric home, including a state-of-the-art kitchen, for Ronald Reagan, long before he served as president. At the time he hosted a GE-branded dramatic series, and the home was used in intros and commercials. In more recent times some of GE’s high-tech medical equipment has scored cameos in NBC’s “ER.”

But it’s a good bet that more viewers will notice the brand of the oven from which Ms. Stewart takes a turkey than a machine that merely identified a tumor or some other medical condition. These days, that’s what the ad people at GE call “imagination at work.”

Yes, Virginia, There is a Cupid

Love is in the air this summer in network news PR circles, which have produced two marriage proposals. Both were executed with the fairy-tale precision and flourish that can’t fail to soften the most hardened heart of even the most world-weary among us.

Sandy Genelius, VP of communications for CBS News, was playing Scrabble in June with Jonathan Applefield, the art history buff and aspiring chef she met through friends and had been dating since April 2004. He began spelling out “W-I-L-L Y-O-U M-A-R-R-Y M-E” on the board. He’d been stashing away letters in preparation. By the time he laid a classic, simple and striking radiant-cut ring on the Scrabble board, he had her teary “Yes!” He popped out the bubbly and called the friends he’d put on alert so they would know it was time to come over for the toast.

Ms. Genelius has found her wedding gown and is scouting locations for a March or April 2006 wedding in New York.

Meanwhile, Jenny Tartikoff, who worked for Ms. Genelius at CBS News until being named press manager at NBC News Communications in early 2004, found a ring in an oyster shell a couple of weeks ago.

It was served up at the end of one of a number of meals recently cooked for her by her longtime boyfriend, Wall Street trader Doug Grossfeld. He thought of everything, even as he whipped up fried oysters, lobster roll, tartar sauce and potato salad. He bleached the oyster shell to prevent any unromantic odors from attaching to the ring he had designed with an offset oval stone and pav%E9; patches to have a knock-your-eyes-out vintage look.

Ms. Tartikoff, whose lawyer father is a cousin of the late Brandon Tartikoff, and Mr. Grossfeld have not set a date.

All together now: A-a-a-a-w-w-w.