NY Post’s Keith Kelly says “speculation is swirling” over the future of Martha Stewart Living CEO Susan Lyne, whose long-term contract expired Dec. 31. A one-year renewable option clause is keeping Lyne at the company, but Kelly wonders why she hasn’t signed another long-term deal.
Perhaps it’s the money: she collected $4.4 million in total compensation last year running MSO; could she make more elsewhere? Kelly says yes — particularly with a big equity stake in fast-growing company. MSO, meanwhile, is under pressure, in part because of the housing crisis: The company cut Q4 guidance due to a shortfall in expected revenue from its deal with KB Homes, and MSO shares drop 58% in the last year.
One possible landing place: Hollywood, where her combination of Web and entertainment experience would be highly valued. Lyne was dumped publicly and unceremoniously as president of ABC Entertainment in 2004 right before two shows developed on her watch–“Lost” and “Desperate Housewives”–became monster hits.
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