We’re still flummoxed by the decision of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) to shutter Blueprint while keeping Body+Soul afloat (we think the mag has yet to shake that free-healthfood-store-periodical feel), but thanks to today’s MSLO earnings conference call, we know what the company will be doing with the money that would have been spent on Blueprint (which brought in $7 million of revenue last year). It’s going toward weddings and Emeril Lagasse. Bridal Bam!
“When we reported last quarter our closure of Blueprint, we said we directed some of that investment into the expansion of our weddings franchise,” said MSLO president and CEO Susan Lyne on today’s call. The company has invested in WeddingWire, acquiring a 40% stake in the online wedding planning company and entering a agreement related to software, content, and media sales. MSLO also announced today that it will pay $50 million for chef Emeril Lagasse’s brand empire, excluding his restaurants and foundation-related assets. Beyond the cookbooks and television programming, the deal seems a particularly good fit on the merchandising side. Emeril has a line of food products (Martha’s own recently premiered at Costco) and oodles of licensed kitchen products, including Wedgwood tableware, which Martha rolled out at Macy’s late last year. Lyne reported today that Martha’s Wedgwood line is going gangbusters, noting that the china is at “almost the number one slot in Macy’s bridal registry.” Can you feel the synergies?