Who will inherit Martha's crown? - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Who will inherit Martha's crown?

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Posted: Saturday, March 13, 2004 6:58 am | Updated: 5:20 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

If Martha Stewart trades her Connecticut-based kingdom for a rustic prison jumpsuit, other media divas would tear out each other’s eyes for her crown. Who will be the next Lord of the Napkin Rings? The Tribune examines the field.

KATIE BROWN

CLAIM TO FAME:

Author of two books on homes and entertaining; host of TV shows, including "The Katie Brown Show" on E!’s Style Network and "All Year ‘Round with Katie Brown" on A&E. Appearances on "Oprah" and "Good Morning America."

ASSETS: Younger, sweeter. Plays the entire food/fashion/ decorating field. Known to take reasonable shortcuts on craft projects. Her smile does not have the Clint Eastwood aftertaste of Martha’s.

LIABILITIES: "All Year Round" on hiatus at A&E. Bills herself as a Generation Xer but in reality is a boomer. (Gen X doesn’t do wicker.) Actually claims to like Martha.

ACID TEST: Did the Martha friendship extend to stock tips? Does Robert Blake come over?

LOOK FOR. . . :

Future CNN headline: "Will Feds Take Katie Brown Downtown?"

JAN D’ATRI

CLAIM TO FAME:

Flaxen-haired champion of Arizona high life appears in two newspapers, a local television program (KPNX-TV’s "Arizona Midday") and on radio stations Valleywide.

ASSETS: Perky, genial. Skilled in the kitchen, at the workbench or on the Arizona trail. Has her own restaurant and merchandise line. Near-mythic knowledge of sausage products.

LIABILITIES: Health officials found a goat hanging out in the back of her Scottsdale restaurant in 1999.

ACID TEST: Needs a national platform. Must be photographed with Terri Ouellette, to prove they aren’t the same person. Goat must say he liked the restaurant.

LOOK FOR. . . :

Upcoming line of "Jan Brand Products," staple gun shoot-out with Ouellette.

LYNETTE JENNINGS

CLAIM TO FAME:

21-year career of writing, touring and appearing on camera, including four Discovery Channel programs. North American design and decor spokeswoman for Home Depot.

ASSETS: Easy manner and chatty style guides viewers through affordable home improvement projects without condescending. Always elegant and well-dressed, even when wielding a chainsaw.

LIABILITIES: Can design, construct, paint and decorate a kitchen, but can she cook something once it’s finished?

ACID TEST: Creme brulee. Stroganoff. Manwich. Anything.

LOOK FOR. . . : A show set to air on the Travel Channel; airline in-flight TV network and licensed products such as a wallpaper line and area rugs.

CHRISTOPHER LOWELL

CLAIM TO FAME:

"The Christopher Lowell Show" and "It’s Christopher Lowell" on The Discovery Channel; three decorating books; signature lines at Office Depot, Burlington Coat Factory and 3 Day Blinds.

ASSETS: Already mastered books, TV and merchandising. Tips save his fans space and money, and "can-do" personality is bubblier than a caffeinated Miss America.

LIABILITIES: Weak in cooking and gardening. Afflicted with strange and disturbing facial hair.

ACID TEST: Can a man walk in Martha’s sensible shoes? Does "You can do it!" have the stuff to be the next "good thing"?

LOOK FOR. . . : A radio show and a "Queer Eye" intervention on the beard.

TERRI OUELLETTE

CLAIM TO FAME:

Onetime KTVK-TV (Channel 3) "Good Morning Arizona" personality parlayed local notoriety into weekly half-hour program "On the Go With Terri O." Spokeswoman for National Crafts Month.

ASSETS: Energetic and positive. Distinctly un-Marthalike ability to keep proceedings lighthearted.

LIABILITIES: Stint as host of infomercial for Oreck vacuums ("the pet hair—it’s gone!") may come back to haunt her like Lori Davis hair care did for Cher.

ACID TEST: Can Terri O cook as well as she crafts? May require a cook-off: Terri and Lynette, grilled cheese sandwiches at 10 paces.

LOOK FOR. . . :

"Terri O" brand glue guns and companion instructional video.

B. SMITH

CLAIM TO FAME:

One of the first black runway and magazine models of the ’70s, her celebrity-studded television show runs the gamut from food, entertaining and home and garden to fashion and travel.

ASSETS: Jazzy, elegant and urbane — a deep purple Jaguar to Martha’s staid Mercedes — Smith is already a brand name, with Bed, Bath & Beyond merchandise, a syndicated TV show in 200 markets and high-end eateries in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

LIABILITIES: Nationally, her show usually airs in the wee hours — making her popular with burglars, bats and people passing kidney stones. Her magazine fell faster than a bad souffle.

ACID TEST: Needs a "Dr. Phil" time slot to succeed with viewers who watch voluntarily.

LOOK FOR. . . : A newer, fluffier B. Smith magazine; B. Smith frozen meals.

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