News Articles

Upheaval At 'Martha Stewart'

Wanted: new producer 10/27/2006 08:00:00 PM Eastern

In a behind-the-scenes shakeup at syndicated talker
The Martha Stewart Show,
Co-Executive Producer Rob Dauber is out, and a
search for his replacement has begun.

Dauber has been with the show since its inception, and was recruited by
Martha Executive Producer Mark
Burnett
after the duo worked together on NBC's The
Restaurant
. But as first reported by the
New York Post's
Michael Starr, Dauber and the domestic diva
have clashed behind the scenes.

One contender for the job is Bernie
Young
, who, like Dauber, is a former staffer on
The Rosie O'Donnell Show.
Young was executive producer from 1999 to 2001. Former Today Executive Producer
Tom Touchet also interviewed for the position
but is said to no longer be under consideration.

With strong syndication experience said to be in the job description,
other candidates include Jerry
Springer
and Sally Jessy
Raphael
veteran Burt
Dubrow
, and former Tony
Danza
Executive Producer Jill
Blackstone
.

While Martha
earned its highest ratings in nearly five months the week ending Oct. 15, the
1.4 average was off a full 18% from its already disappointing first season.
Despite the modest numbers, Martha Stewart Living
Omnimedia
(MSLO), which is enjoying a good run under CEO and former
ABC exec Susan Lyne, still considers the show
a strong branding asset.

The show is produced as a partnership between MSLO and Mark Burnett
Productions and distributed by NBC Universal Domestic
Television Distribution
. Sources close to it say that arrangement
makes Martha a strong candidate for third-season renewals,
as opposed to if it was just owned and distributed by NBCU.

September
October