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Tuesday, March 9, 2004
Can Anybody Replace Martha?

Martha Stewart’s self-made empire is crumbling. Her Emmy-winning TV show has been pulled off the air in cities across the country, and her multi-million dollar deal with K-Mart is over.

As the fallen homemaking heroine prepares for a very possible prison sentence, Scott Donaton, editor of Advertising Age, says there’s a full menu of Martha-wanna-be’s vying for her tarnished crown.

"Her brand is irreparably damaged," Donaton tells "Extra." "Her name and her brand have been forever tainted, and whether it's Nigella Lawson, Emeril, Rocco DiSpirito, or B. Smith, who've been positioned at different times, they could possibly be the next Martha Stewart."

Katie Brown, host of A&E's "All Year Round with Katie Brown" is flattered by the Martha comparisons, but says no one could possibly fill Stewart's sensible shoes.

"It wouldn’t be a bad thing to be the next Martha Stewart," Brown says. "I think there's room for her and I. Don't count her out. She invented the genre so I owe a lot to her. Without her there would be no me."

Even lifestyle gurus like Sandra Lee of the Food Network, who have devoted followings around the world, will find it difficult to recreate Stewart's remarkable success because potential business partners will fear being burned.

"I don't think we're going to see the next Martha Stewart," Donaton admits. "I think we're going to see a new brand that's not tied to a person, but is tied to ideas."

"A lot of partners are going to be wary of what if you're the one who ends up in the back of a police car next," he adds. "Nobody wants to do business with people who are the next Martha Stewart right now."

Don’t miss "Extra’s" Tuesday edition for more on those who would be Martha.

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