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MARTHA’S MILLIONS: With a stock price hovering around $2.50 a share — a 67 percent decline from a year ago — shareholders of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. may be more interested than usual in the company’s upcoming annual meeting on May 13. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that outlines what will be discussed, the media company revealed founder Martha Stewart received overall compensation in 2008 that by far surpassed what she earned the previous year: $5.4 million, compared with $2.06 million in 2007. The amount included $3.6 million in “other” compensation, made up mainly of payments in connection with the firm’s license rental agreement with her, plus $193,066 paid to her as “talent” on the company’s TV show and $100,000 in a nonaccountable expense account.
Separately, the report said the company requires Stewart to have a home security system and backup power system, which it deems as legitimate business expenses but “we also recognize that these costs can be viewed as personal benefits.” Wenda Harris Millard, president of media and co-chief executive officer, earned $1.46 million in 2008, slightly down from the $1.49 million a year earlier, while Robin Marino, president of merchandising and co-chief executive officer, earned $1.63 million, which included $42,200 for an apartment in New York. But this was down from $1.66 million in 2007.
Meanwhile, daughter Alexis Stewart, co-host of “Whatever, Martha!” on the Fine Living Network — which was just picked up for a second season — was paid $209,000 for her work as a radio host and a merchandising and publishing advisor, and co-host Jennifer Koppelman Hutt, daughter of Charles Koppelman, executive chairman, received $130,000. — Amy Wicks