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KSDK Channel 5 drops Martha Stewart's show

March 9, 2004

KSDK (Channel 5) has dropped "Martha Stewart Living" in the wake of Stewart being found guilty of obstructing justice and lying to the government in a stock-trading case.

The daytime series had continued during the trial. The station's general manager, Lynn Beall, called the decision to take it off the air after the jury's verdict on Friday "consistent with our standards from issue to issue."

KSDK took the action independent of owner Gannett Broadcasting, Beall said. Viacom-owned CBS and UPN stations, considered crucial affiliates of the series, dropped it collectively after Stewart was found guilty.

King World, which syndicates "Martha Stewart Living" and also is owned by Viacom, reportedly is considering whether to continue the show.

About 42,000 St. Louis households typically tuned in to "Martha Stewart Living" each day. The show ranked second in the 10 a.m. time period, after "Judge Hatchett" on KDNL (Channel 30).

Temporarily, KSDK has been airing reruns of "Show Me St. Louis" in the 10 a.m. weekday slot. But Beall said the station would look at moving another show, such as NBC-owned "Starting Over," now seen at 3:30 a.m., into the time period.

KSDK already had decided against renewing "Martha Stewart Living" for fall, Beall said. The station recently acquired "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," now airing on WRBU (Channel 46), for the fall season.