Martha Stewart's home decorating and cooking show will be suspended as of the 2004-2005 season as Stewart contends with a criminal conviction, her company said on Tuesday.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia said its founder and namesake's Emmy-award winning show Martha Stewart Living Television would be placed on hiatus after it wraps up its 11th season by September 2004. The show was distributed by King World Productions to 52 percent of local U.S. television markets.
"I am deeply sorry that it has become necessary for the show to go on hiatus until my personal legal situation is resolved," Stewart said in a statement. "I hope to resume our close collaboration just as soon as I am able to do so."
Stewart was convicted in March of lying to investigators about a personal stock sale and resigned as an officer and a member of the company's board. She is scheduled to be sentenced on June 17 and legal experts believe she will serve prison time.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) said it expects to take a second-quarter charge of up to $2 million as it restructures its television business. The company said it would continue production of its "Petkeeping" show with Marc Morrone and step up development of special programs and new shows, such as "Everyday Food".
The Martha Stewart Living television program had already been dropped from Viacom's CBS television stations, reducing license fees and advertising revenues. MSO also plans to downplay Stewart's name on its flagship magazine.