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Even Mega-Tycoons are Failures, if They're Democrats, on Fox

Reported by Melanie - July 28, 2005

Martha Stewart is someone Fox News loves to hate. Stewart is a successful, confident woman. She's rich, she's a Democrat, and she contributes to the Democratic party. Yikes! A frightening combination, to be sure, right?

Whenever Fox can turn news, any news, about Martha into bad news about Martha, it does. A report Wednesday (July 28, 2005) on Your World w/Neil Cavuto was a good example.

At 4:36 p.m. ET, Cavuto said this before heading to a break:

Out of the slammer and slamming home with a stock that is up 150% in a year but signs that Martha Stewart's empire might be in trouble. We're all over that. (My emphasis.)

After the break Cavuto said:

Seeing red. Martha Stewart. No, it's not a shade of nail polish. Martha's media losing more than 33 million dollars in the latest quarter. [A full-screen graphic appeared showing revenue up by 4%.] The company blaming the high cost of launching Martha's new syndicated TV show.

But advertisers are returning. [A full-screen graphic appeared showing revenues for Stewart's Living magazine up 42% and up 65% for her cooking magazine.] Ad revenues rising for all of Martha's magazines, but her merchandise isn't selling as well. Sales of K-Mart dropping 6%. The stock slipping on that news. But, if you got into this one a year ago you'd still be up 153% and, of course, you did get into this one a year ago.

Here's a New York Times article, Martha Stewart Living Posts Wider Loss but Increased Revenue, which gives more detail (and persepective). It says in part:

[T]he company's revenue rose for the first time in 10 quarters, helped by advertisers returning to its flagship magazine as the founder puts her personal legal woes behind her. (My emphasis.)

Comment: Cavuto made the dramatic announcement about the "signs that Martha Stewart's empire might be in trouble" ahead of a break, yet he reported the details in the middle of the rapid-fire "Biz Blast" portion of his show. In the "Biz Blast" segment, Cavuto talks very fast and rattles off statistical information about four or five companies. Viewers who aren't actually watching the screen miss whatever's shown there (Like Stewart's positive overall revenue number and the magazine ad revenue numbers shown on-screen during this report). In my opinion, Cavuto's viewers were much more likely to remember that Stewart's "empire might be in trouble," than the dry details Cavuto reported, which didn't indicate that at all.

Note to self: Start paying more attention to whether or not Cavuto refers to high-powered male business tycoons by their first name.

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