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Stewart stock jumps on Burnett deal
Shares soar to 2-year high after the company confirms collaboration with creator of 'Survivor.'
September 23, 2004: 2:03 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. stock jumped to its highest level in more than two years on Thursday, a day after the company confirmed a much-anticipated collaboration with leading reality television producer Mark Burnett.

Martha Stewart's company confirmed late Wednesday it has struck a deal with reality-show guru Mark Burnett.  
Martha Stewart's company confirmed late Wednesday it has struck a deal with reality-show guru Mark Burnett.

Shares of Martha Stewart Living (MSO: up $2.42 to $17.40, Research, Estimates) rose nearly 18 percent to their highest levels since June 2002, right around the time reports surfaced about its namesake founder's controversial stock sale in ImClone Systems Inc. (IMCL: down $0.49 to $54.42, Research, Estimates).

Stewart's company stock has jumped more than 50 percent since Stewart said last week that she wants to begin serving her prison term as soon as possible instead of waiting for an appeal of her conviction to be heard.

The 63-year-old entrepreneur asked the court to let her serve the 5-month sentence soon so she could put her "nightmare" behind her and her company.

On Tuesday, the court granted her wish and ordered Stewart to report to prison by Oct. 8.

Stewart was sentenced in July to 10 months for obstruction of justice related to her sale of ImClone Systems stock before damaging news about that company was made public.

The company officially confirmed the deal with Burnett late Wednesday, saying it has reached an agreement with the reality-show producer to create a new prime-time TV series featuring the domestic diva.

Burnett is widely seen as the creator of the current reality-television genre that has become a major new force in network television. His first major hit was the CBS show "Survivor," which debuted in 2000.

Among his shows is "The Apprentice," the hit show on NBC in which another famous business figure, Donald Trump, each week fires a different contestant who is attempting to win a job with his company.  Top of page

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