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Buzz Is Back at Martha

Martha Stewart Living shares surge 8% as investors gear up for fall's action-packed TV slate.
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The buzz is back at

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia



Shares in the domestic diva's empire rose 8% Thursday after Stewart held a midmorning press briefing talking up her new TV shows.

Autumn will be a busy one for Martha Stewart, given the amount of media pouring out of the company. Her syndicated daily TV show


is due to launch Sept. 12. Production is also complete on

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart

, which should start on NBC Sept. 21.

The company also has recently inked a cable deal with


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and a satellite radio deal with Mel Karmazin's


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. Both of those ventures are being prepped for later this year.

But wait, there's more. Martha Stewart Living will launch a series of DVDs through

Time Warner's


Warner Home Video, with four slated for October release and 16 for next year. At its magazines, the company said last month that ad pages were up significantly, while sales at its merchandising division sales have been mixed.

Martha Stewart Living said earlier that it expects $45 million in revenue from the TV segment. At last count it had achieved 96% coverage so far for Martha, for which ad revenue will make up 50%, while station, cable and international license fees make up the rest.

Discovery's TLC will air Martha on cable in the evening, in a deal with a range of other components between the two companies.

Despite the launch of so much product in a short period of time, Martha Stewart Living won't see the lion's share of revenue until 2006. It expects to report an operating loss of $25 million to $26 million in the third quarter and an operating loss of $1 million to $2 million in the fourth quarter.

Analysts now expect the company to lose 30 cents a share in the third quarter and to earn 24 cents in the fourth quarter.

On Thursday, Martha Stewart Living was up $2.04 to $28.11.