Transcript: Martha Stewart on 'Your World'

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 7, 2006, that was edited for clarity.

DAVID ASMAN, GUEST HOST: Well, if you thought Martha Stewart was down for the count, think again. Since her release from prison, her business is back, and so is her stock, scoring deal after deal, with Sirius Satellite Radio, a new magazine, designing upscale homes, also grabbing six Emmy nominations for daytime TV.

Now the Martha Stewart brand will be in Macy's, inking a deal to stock a line of home furnishings. Well, she told Neil Cavuto all about it, a lot about more, in an exclusive one-on-one interview. Here it is.


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, with Martha Stewart.

Now Macy's.


CAVUTO: I think you are invading all the stores. What's so unique here?

STEWART: Well, we are very excited that we now have the opportunity to offer uniquely designed, wonderfully made merchandise at the department store level of the retail pyramid.

There is going to be 810 Macy's stores by September. Our contract starts immediately. We start the design process. But the merchandise will be in the stores in 2007. But this is a big deal for Martha Stewart, for our shareholders, and for the public in general, because we are going to be able to provide everyone with great product at the department store.

CAVUTO: Well, obviously, I mean, the stock, on news of this, popped up 12, 13 percent last time.

STEWART: Excellent.


CAVUTO: So the Street seems to be feeling that your company is back with a vengeance. But the Street is fickle on your stock. Do you pay much attention?

STEWART: Well, it's funny. I am no longer the CEO. Susan Lyne has taken over the reins. She is doing a wonderful job. I know you have...

CAVUTO: You own a few shares.


I know you have talked to her a few times.

CAVUTO: Right.

STEWART: And I am really working with the creative teams to do these fantastic things that we are doing creatively.

CAVUTO: But you never peek at the stock?

STEWART: I do peek at the stock.


STEWART: Of course I peek at the stock.

But I'm not worried about it. I think we are well on our road to a very fine future and a full recovery from any of the problems that we experienced in the past couple years. And I am very pleased with the way everything is going.

To partner with people like Bruce Karatz of KB Home, our homes are fantastically successful so far. I mean, we have just started, but a big, big success.

To do that, to have Terry Lundgren of Federated understand the brand and want the brand in such a big way for Macy's, to be able to partner with EK Success on a craft business that is going to change, I think, the world of crafts.

CAVUTO: But you just mentioned all over the income map, right? I mean, the stuff you do with Kmart obviously is going to be very different than the stuff you do with Macy's, right?

STEWART: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. And that's the plan. It should be different.

CAVUTO: But do you think, then, you confuse folks?

STEWART: No, I don't think so, because when you think of designer goods, other designers have things in various places. And there's not really a confusion.

Martha Stewart Everyday brand is Kmart. It is wonderful merchandise. We are very proud of what we have done with Kmart over the years. And now we are able to move up to a little bit more affordable luxury at the department store level. We are able to offer...

CAVUTO: Is Neiman Marcus, Saks next? What?

STEWART: Well, you never know.


CAVUTO: You never know.


STEWART: Could I ask you this? I mean, since you came out of prison, you have had no shortage of offers, no shortage of folks who want to hook up with your business, want to offer you shows, magazine joint projects. Are you surprised at that?

STEWART: I'm pleased. I'm really pleased, because I think that, underneath everything, people understand that what we stand for is excellence in the products that we produce.

The magazines — oh, we just had, I think, five nominations for the ASME Awards this year, two for general excellence, one for Martha Stewart Living, and one for Everyday Food, and three design awards out of six.

CAVUTO: But the point is, Martha, you are still a hot product. I have talked to a lot of big company types who, if they have run afoul of the law, something has gone wrong, or even worse, gone to jail, coming out, they're persona non grata. Not you? Why?

STEWART: I think there was not much clarity in the situation that I was involved in. It was very confusing to a lot of people, even to me. I'm still...

CAVUTO: You're still fighting that, right?

STEWART: I'm still confused.

No, we are finished, except for the SEC, which I don't belittle. But that is not a criminal action. So, that's at least a good thing.

CAVUTO: But do you think you will be totally vindicated, when all is said and done?

STEWART: Well, no. I lost my appeal. And I'm not...


CAVUTO: But I mean, just in the eyes of the public, which matters the most.

STEWART: I think people realize that I have paid my due, I have suffered enough, I hope. There are still some naysayers out there.

But, for the most part, what I see out on the street, what I see when I go to an event is only a lot of very nice, shake your hand, I want to take your picture, my mommy loves you, I love you, from young people, as well as older people.

CAVUTO: So, does it bug you when the media likes to takes potshots at you and call you the decorating diva or any of that nonsense?

STEWART: No, decorating diva is a good...


STEWART: That is a good term.


STEWART: There have been worse.


STEWART: There's much worse than that.

CAVUTO: But people seemed to relish your misery for a while.

STEWART: Well, they did, because I was, you know, poster child. And, you know, being a poster child is not fun, not fun.

CAVUTO: Well, did your time in prison change your attitude?

STEWART: I'm the same person as I was before I went to Alderson.

CAVUTO: But you seemed deeply moved, coming out.

STEWART: Well, I was moved for a variety of reasons, realizing what incarceration does to a lot of people, how unfair it is for a lot of people, that's not good for a lot of people.

There are other ways to deal with people's personal problems, I think, than incarceration.

And for a long time — some people are serving very, very long sentences that will not help them in any way.

CAVUTO: When you were in prison — I don't want to dwell on this — I apologize, Martha, but...

STEWART: It's always fascinating.


CAVUTO: Did a lot of people hit you up and say, hey, help when you get out or remember me when you get out?

STEWART: Oh, sure. But I'm not allowed to. I'm on probation.

And I'm not to allowed to have any dealings whatsoever with anybody that is another convicted felon. So, that is one way to deal with it. And, yet, there are people in there of great worth, who I would love to see again, and maybe will in the future.


ASMAN: Coming up, Donald Trump blasted Martha for her "Apprentice" flop.

Well, after this, Neil asks her about that. And, boy, does Martha ever strike back.


ASMAN: Welcome back, everybody.

In part two of Neil's chat with Martha Stewart, the domestic diva dishes on everything from Katie Couric's big move to CBS to her very public spat with Donald Trump.

Take a look.


CAVUTO: You and Donald Trump, you breaking bread now, or what happened?


STEWART: Donald went off his rocker, I think.

You know, I have not really remarked on it. I don't understand the situation at all. And I really haven't made any public statements about the Donald. I thought he was my friend. And, obviously, he thought otherwise. So, it is a closed matter, as far as I'm concerned.

CAVUTO: Do you think he is your friend?

STEWART: I have no idea. And, yet, we are both in Macy's.

CAVUTO: Yes. That's right.

STEWART: Guest what? And he has suits and ties and sweaters and stuff. And I will have...

CAVUTO: Do you like him?

STEWART: Donald? I did like Donald.


CAVUTO: Not now?

STEWART: I think Donald has Donald in mind.

CAVUTO: So, he just threw you overboard?

STEWART: Who knows? It seems like that, doesn't it? Did you read the letter?

CAVUTO: I did.

Your sales are up. The activity is up. I am wondering if it is just a story that is not covered, as far as the economy is concerned, that maybe all these naysayers, that we are going to hell in a handbasket, this economy, are wrong.

STEWART: Well, maybe they don't understand the company and what it does. This is a complex company. It's not simple. We are involved in many businesses that are all sort of convoluted and intertwined. It is a very interesting company.

When Susan Lyne came aboard as CEO, she was quite astonished at the complexity of our company that we have built.

CAVUTO: You hired her because she looked like you, right?

STEWART: I hired her because she is a talented woman.


CAVUTO: I'm kidding. She is. She actually is a very talented...

STEWART: And that she looks like my sister is great.

CAVUTO: It didn't hurt. It didn't hurt.



CAVUTO: The way you see the sales environment right now, do you see that continuing? You know, there are a lot of people worried that interest rates moving up, it's going to be...

STEWART: I think it is a problem in certain areas. I think, in our world, it is less of a problem. I think that people need things to enhance their homes.

It's been the same story for the last 15 years, since I started the magazine. People want inspiration. They need good information. They need education. They go to us. Now, they can learn from us on television. They can learn from us on radio now at Sirius. We have a great 24-hour-a-day channel, 112, which is really a good channel.

CAVUTO: Do you sleep?

STEWART: No. I never sleep.

CAVUTO: I didn't think so.

STEWART: We have our magazines. We have our books. We have our daily show, which is, I think, gaining in popularity. And it's a fun show to do, and it's a fun show to attend. And then we have our products. And our Internet site, which is becoming more and more lively.

CAVUTO: You are relentless, Martha.

STEWART: No, no, but it's our business.

CAVUTO: It is your business.

Finally — I know you're busy — a lot of powerful woman making powerful inroads. Katie Couric is going to "The CBS Evening news."

STEWART: I'm very excited.

CAVUTO: Meredith Vieira is going to "The Today Show." Hillary Clinton, widely touted as maybe the first female president.

What do you make of any of or all the above?

STEWART: It's a little late.


STEWART: It's not too late. It's a little late.

And I think that, finally, women are understanding that we have an equal place, that women should work hard to gain recognition for their talents. And I think that we have some very, very talented women in America, many talented women, who are finally getting their due, and the attention that they deserve. And that makes me very pleased.

CAVUTO: There are a lot of serious old-timers, Martha, at CBS who don't welcome the perky Katie Couric coming over.


CAVUTO: Including Andy Rooney.

STEWART: Well, I'm sorry for that, because, you know, change is good. And, without change, it is an uninteresting world.

CAVUTO: Is there anything wrong with being perky?

STEWART: Perky? I don't think so.


STEWART: I don't think so.

CAVUTO: More men should probably be perky, right?

STEWART: Yes. You are perky.

CAVUTO: There you go.



ASMAN: We are all perky around here.

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