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Stewart to Create Channel For Sirius Satellite Radio

Associated Press
Tuesday, April 19, 2005; Page E03

NEW YORK, April 18 -- Six weeks after being released from federal prison, Martha Stewart has reached a deal with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. to create a 24-hour channel featuring cooking, gardening and entertaining programming for women.

Coming on the heels of separate deals to create a version of "The Apprentice" and a daily cooking show, the four-year agreement with Sirius announced Monday marks Stewart's latest move to rebuild her business after serving time for lying to the government about a stock sale.

Martha Stewart's deal with Sirius is for four years. (Rick Maiman--Bloomberg News)

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Stewart, who has parlayed her success at homemaking advice into a magazine, TV show and merchandising empire, has dabbled in radio work before, making 90-second "Ask Martha" radio segments.

For Sirius, the deal with Stewart is the most recent effort to compete with its much larger rival in the emerging satellite radio business, XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. District-based XM reported this month that it had 3.8 million subscribers, while Sirius's most recent subscriber count was 1.2 million.

Both Sirius and XM are still suffering deep financial losses and are spending aggressively to lure customers to their services, which cost $12.95 a month and require the purchase of special receiver units, which can receive only Sirius or XM signals. Both Sirius and XM offer dozens of commercial-free music channels as well as numerous talk channels, many of which carry advertising.

Stewart's channel, which is expected to launch later this year, will also carry advertising. The companies declined to provide financial details other than to say the arrangement would last for four years. The companies did say that Stewart herself would appear on the channel, which was expected to be called Martha Stewart Living Radio.

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