The layoffs and magazine closures that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) announced Thursday afternoon foreshadowed the company’s poor third-quarter earnings report released Friday morning. Total revenues were $43.5 million, down 16.6 percent from this time last year. The company reported an operating loss of $50.7 million, which included a write-down of $44.3 million resulting from “continued softness in the print publishing industry overall and, specifically, a decrease in the Company’s advertising revenues.”
Publishing revenues were down 17 percent, to $27.6 million. Broadcasting revenues were down 58.6 percent, to $2.7 million, reflecting “a strategic migration of [the] Broadcasting business away from the higher costs associated with daily live television production, in favor of investment in short-form video for digital formats and targeted broadcast initiatives.”
Merchandising was the report’s one bright spot, with revenues of $13.2 million, up 7.3 percent.
“Including the Publishing segment actions announced yesterday, we have taken actions designed to significantly reduce the cost structure of our print and broadcasting operations this year, an important step toward positioning MSLO for profitable growth,” president and CEO Lisa Gersh said in a statement. “We are transitioning our content operations to digital, mobile and video platforms that feature lower fixed costs and align with evolving consumer preferences for how and where they engage with our content. We are seeing some encouraging early results, particularly in video.”
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced Thursday afternoon that it is laying off 70 of its roughly 600 staff members, ending the standalone publication of Everyday Food magazine and attempting to sell off Whole Living magazine.