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New Wave Martha

Thursday, April 21, 2005; Page H03

Martha Stewart can tell your how to coddle an egg. Howard Stern would rather throw one. Martha cooks the perfect meal. Howard prefers to eat your lunch.

Soon, thanks to the miracle of the airwaves, they'll be beaming down together from the skies above, stars in the growing constellation of Sirius Satellite Radio.

Earlier this week, Stewart signed a four-year, $30 million deal to develop a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour radio channel, Martha Stewart Living Radio, which Sirius will air later this year, after Stewart finishes five months of house arrest. (Stern moves his raunchy morning radio show to Sirius in January.)

Sirius has been using a heavy dose of sports to lure men to buy the necessary receiver and pay $12.95 a month for its 120 channels. The company wants Martha to bring in more women listeners. The programming is still being developed but will include the subjects over which Stewart reigns supreme: cooking, decorating, entertaining, crafts, weddings, gardening and housekeeping. Martha will have some airtime, but details of her role have not been determined yet, says Susan Magrino, her spokeswoman.

It's hard to imagine listening to Martha arrange flowers, decorate cookies or fold a dinner napkin. But if Howard Stern can use naked women to attract listeners, certainly Martha can dress our tables.

Kathy Lally

© 2005 The Washington Post Company