Eat the Press looks up from the buffet long enough to catch word this afternoon that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has found an editor-in-chief for Blueprint, its new title aimed at younger women: Sarah Humphreys, formerly special projects director at Time Inc.'s Real Simple. The first issue of Blueprint hit in May, the next is scheduled for August, and we're wracking our brains trying to remember if there was an EIC for that first issue who left amid some sort of controversy. Best we can recall — and best Nexis and Google and our Gawker archive seem to suggest — there wasn't; that first issue was simply overseen by MSLO's development editor, Tom Prince, and now needs its own chief. And that seems fair: Sending your chairman off to prison is enough HR controversy to last any publishing company for some time.
Full press release after the jump.
UPDATE: Right, right right. Rebecca Thuss, the mag's founding EIC and a 10-year vet of MSLO who was previously style director of Martha Stewart Weddings, quit the gig a few weeks before the mag's launch. Whoops.
MARTHA STEWART LIVING OMNIMEDIA, INC. TAPS SARAH HUMPHREYS AS EDITOR IN CHIEF OF BLUEPRINT MAGAZINE
New Editor to Lead MSLO's Promising Lifestyle Magazine
NEW YORK, June 21, 2006—Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) has named Sarah Humphreys the Editor in Chief of Blueprint: Design Your Life, a new lifestyle publication for women, ages 25-45. Ms. Humphreys, who most recently served as Special Projects Director of Real Simple magazine, will oversee editorial direction of Blueprint, which provides today's modern, multi-tasking women with inspirational ideas and practical steps to create and refine their own distinctive style in all aspects of their lives.
Ms. Humphreys will collaborate with Debra Bishop, Blueprint's award-winning design director, to implement the creative vision of the magazine. She will also be working with home editor Page Marchese Norman, fashion editor Katie Hatch, and beauty, health and fitness editor Elizabeth Graves, along with the rest of the Blueprint team.
In addition to her magazine responsibilities, Ms. Humphreys will direct development of Blueprint editorial content for other MSLO distribution platforms, including MARTHA, MSLO's nationally-syndicated, live daily "how-to" TV show, and Martha Stewart Living Radio on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. She will also represent the magazine on national and local television and radio shows.
The first test issue of Blueprint arrived on newsstands on May 1, 2006, with an initial rate base of 250,000. The advance subscription sales are well ahead of forecast. A second issue is slated for late August 2006. The company anticipates publishing six issues of Blueprint in 2007.
Martha Stewart, Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, stated: "We are delighted to have Sarah on board as the Blueprint team develops this magazine for women who are designing their homes and their lives. She personifies the target demographic of the magazine and with her experience and leadership skills I feel she will be able to build and guide this newest MSLO property into a strong and vibrant brand."
MSLO's Development Editor Tom Prince, who directed the launch of Blueprint's first test issue, said: "Sarah is more than an accomplished and creative editor. She's stylish and smart, and she lives the life of the Blueprint reader. I'm confident that she will make this new magazine an extraordinary success."
"I'm excited about this opportunity to work at a new magazine that showcases the incredible beauty and utility that Martha Stewart is known for," said Ms. Humphreys. "Blueprint represents a very fresh and unique perspective for an audience of young women who are eager to forge their own personal style."
As Special Projects Director at Real Simple, Ms. Humphreys was responsible for bi-annual special issues and books. She also oversaw the magazine's international editions in Japan, South Africa, and Greece, and appeared as a guest expert on national and local television and radio shows to promote the magazine.
Ms. Humphreys graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in English.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSLO) is a leading provider of original "how-to" information, inspiring and engaging consumers with unique lifestyle content and high-quality products. MSLO is organized into four business segments: Publishing, Broadcasting, Merchandising, and Internet. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MSO.