Information Diet: Martha Stewart

The TV personality and magazine publisher loves her iPad but still kicks it old school with visits to the library, late nights with Leno

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

At 5 a.m., I put on MSNBC, and I listen to the early news and weather. And then at 5:30, my favorite, Willie Geist, is on.

What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?

I have NPR radio on in the background. Later, I read my three newspapers—a tabloid, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times in paper form.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train, or bus?

On the way to my office, I go over my scripts, have telephone calls, and look at news sources. That’s also a good time to send out a tweet to my Martha viewers asking them to respond to a segment or see if they have an idea or photo they want to share. Social media is becoming more important to us than ever.

Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?

I only turn the TV on when I get into bed, if I’m not reading some book that I can’t put down or watching a movie on my iPad.

If you’re a couch potato, what do you watch, and how: TV, laptop, or tablet?

I love historical series like Downton Abbey, The Tudors, and The Borgias. I watched Mad Men a little bit, but I wasn’t addicted to it. I lived through that era. I didn’t care for it then, and I don’t care for it now.

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter, or fast until morning?

I watch the late-night shows—Jon Stewart, David Letterman, and I try to catch some Leno.

Which is more nutritious: print or Web?

I do my research primarily on the Internet, realizing that any facts still have to be checked—it’s not always 100 percent accurate. I’ll still go to a library if I have to, although that’s becoming less and less imperative these days.

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.

My magazine app! I’m so excited that Martha Stewart Living and Everyday Food are now part of Apple’s Newsstand. And you know what’s really cute? The Zoo Babies app. Every day, they put up a photo of a new baby animal born in a zoo somewhere.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?

Watching movies on my iPad is my new bad habit. I’m kind of a movie buff, so I’m always looking for something that I haven’t seen before.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?

At Martha Stewart Living, we are constantly editing out what we think is extraneous or unnecessary. So when we make a pot or a pan, we’re trying to use the pot or pan that you need, so you can forget all the other ones. The same thing goes for content.