Lyne gives update on MSLO at Summit


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NEW YORK - Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia president and CEO Susan Lyne Wednesday wouldn't rule out a future on-air TV collaboration between the company's founder and chef Emeril Lagasse, who recently sold his media assets to MSLO.

"They are  a gas together," Lyne said in an appearance at McGraw-Hill's 2008 Media Summit New York, adding she has an idea in the back of her head.

While she didn't share further specifics of her idea, she did reiterate Lagasse will get more exposure. "We'll be doing more TV with him," she said.

Asked about competition from Rachael Ray, Lyne said a business without other stars is "probably not very vibrant," and competition is "incredibly valuable."

However, she argued Stewart and Ray have different approaches and styles. Plus, MSLO could end up hiring competing talent. "Some of them we'll bring maybe into the family," Lyne said.

Asked if MSLO could go into scripted programming, she said: "I don't believe I would" do that right now, "largely because it's a very risky business." Given that her firm is a publicly traded company, she said she would rather spend the few million dollars that would go into a TV pilot on further developing MSLO's digital business.

Given her past career at ABC, Lyne was also asked about her take on how the TV upfront and pilot process will change.

"The development process is definitely going to change," she replied. While she always liked the energy of pilot season, "it was also a circus," Lyne said.

She predicted that "you will see less waste" and networks will be even more hit-driven in the future. Lyne also suggested that networks should consider resurrecting good pilot scripts in following years with different casts.