Martha Stewart, Sirius to Launch Radio Channel

Six weeks after Martha Stewart's (search) release from federal prison, her media company has reached a deal with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (SIRI) to create a 24-hour channel featuring cooking, gardening and entertaining programming for women.

Coming after separate deals to create a version of "The Apprentice" and a daily cooking show, the four-year agreement being announced later Monday with Sirius marks Stewart's latest move to rebuild her business after serving time for lying to the government about a stock sale.

"I don't know about you, but I was raised on the radio," Stewart said during a news conference to announce the venture. "I'm very excited about this. ... Of all the things that I have done in the last few years with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, radio is actually one of the most enjoyable."

Stewart's channel will carry advertising. The companies declined to provide other financial details.

Stewart, who has parlayed her success at homemaking advice into a magazine, TV show and merchandising empire, has dabbled in radio work before, making 90-second "Ask Martha" radio segments.

The companies did say that Stewart herself would also appear on the radio channel, which was expected to be called Martha Stewart Living Radio.

Last week Stewart attended at a magazine industry awards ceremony as two magazines published by her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (MSO), won honors for design and general excellence.

Two TV deals involving Stewart were also announced in the past few months, while she was still in prison: a daily cooking show was announced in December, while the "Apprentice" show was unveiled in February.

Last year, Sirius signed a five-year, $500 million deal to broadcast Howard Stern's (search) show beginning in 2006, and XM Satellite Radio (XMSR)reached a $650 million deal last fall with Major League Baseball (search). Last week, Sirius also said it would launch a weekly talk show with former Sen. Bill Bradley.

Scott Greenstein, the head of entertainment and sports programming at Sirius, said that Stewart's channel would "provide women with the definitive complement to their lives and lifestyle."

Chance Patterson, a spokesman for XM, said that his company had spoken with Stewart's representatives but declined to make a deal with her.

"We evaluated this deal and passed on it, particularly given what we felt was a limited ad revenue return for our investment," Patterson said. "We were more interested in doing a show. We didn't feel it justified doing a whole channel."

Stewart was convicted of obstructing justice and lying to the government about her 2001 sale of nearly 4,000 shares of the biotechnology company ImClone Systems Inc. (IMCL), run by her longtime friend Sam Waksal.

Prosecutors claimed Stewart received a tip that Waksal was unloading his shares ahead of a negative government report about an ImClone cancer drug. The stock tumbled in the following days, and Stewart saved $51,000 on the sale.

Stewart's lawyers argued the sale was based on a prearranged agreement with her stockbroker to sell once the stock dropped to $60 per share. The case came in the midst of a federal crackdown on corporate corruption, and Stewart is one of the most prominent figures to serve time in the wave of scandals.

Stewart resigned as chief executive and chairwoman of her company in June 2003, after her indictment. Following her conviction, she stepped down as chief creative officer and resigned from the company's board, but remains as founding editorial director.

Rebuffed twice in her attempts to obtain new trials, Stewart opted to enter prison early rather remain free.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.