Martha, Martha, Martha! RR Donnelley Hauls Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Into Court
NEW YORK—Chicago printing giant RR Donnelley is not so impressed with the crafty skills of home enhancements queen Martha Stewart. In a lawsuit filed by the printer, Stewart's media company did not live up to the terms of a 2006 agreement, which RR Donnelley contends has cost it at least $7.7 million, Crain's Chicago Business reported.
Stewart is the majority owner of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which publishes Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings—both of which are printed by RR Donnelley. Last October, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia agreed to outsource certain functions—including advertising, circulation and production—to Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith.
However, while Meredith was interested in having RR Donnelley continue to print the magazines, it reportedly did not agree to the terms that had been hammered out by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the printer. The deal called for $28.6 million in revenue for printing and production services between 2006 and June 2017.
Of the $7.7 million RR Donnelley is seeking, more than $5.6 million is revenue lost from the production of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's titles, according to Crain's. The balance is revenue lost from the Meredith printing jobs. Meredith is not named in the suit.
Meredith has also reportedly demanded price discounts for other Meredith titles that Donnelley prints. To that end, Donnelley has been forced to provide Meredith with discounts for both the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Meredith publications "in order to mitigate its damages and retain its work printing the magazine," Crain's reported, citing the lawsuit filing.
A Meredith representative told Crain's in an email that its company "has its own existing printing contracts with (Donnelley) under which Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines are being printed."