Martha Stewart Cancels TV Appearance

There will be no grilled Martha Stewart on The Early Show on CBS Wednesday.

The domestic diva cancelled her appearance on the CBS morning news program late Tuesday after being told she would be asked about the investigation into her stock dealings.

She had been booked to talk about ice box desserts.

It means there will be no repeat of her memorable appearance on the program last week, when Stewart continued to chop cabbage for a salad as host Jane Clayson asked her questions about alleged insider trading.

``I want to focus on my salad, because that's why we're here,'' Stewart said then.

Stewart called a CBS executive to ask if she would be questioned about the investigation late Tuesday, and was told she would. She later called back to bow out, said a CBS insider who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Stewart realizes that as ``a premier news network,'' CBS is compelled to talk about the stocks, said Allyn Magrino, a spokeswoman for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

``As she explained in her previous interview on CBS last week, she is unable to comment or offer any other information at this time out of respect for the investigatory process,'' Magrino said. ``This inherent conflict unfortunately prevents Martha from appearing tomorrow in her lifestyle `how to' segment.''

Congressional investigators are examining whether Stewart had inside information when she sold nearly 4,000 shares of the biotech company ImClone a day before the Food and Drug Administration announced it had decided not to consider its experimental drug for combating colorectal cancer.

There was no immediate word on what this meant for the future of Stewart's weekly appearances on The Early Show.

While it offers Stewart a chance for weekly network exposure, her syndicated show gives her plenty of controlled TV opportunities. And with The Early Show mired in third place in the morning ratings, Stewart is arguably more important to CBS than vice versa.