NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia denied Wednesday that the company may be looking to replace embattled Martha Stewart as CEO.
In a brief statement, the company refuted a report in the New York Times that said the publishing company is looking for a new CEO during a time when allegations of insider trading by Stewart have helped push the company's shares down 53 percent this year.
The Times said that bringing in a new leader could refocus attention on the company strongly associated with the homemaking diva.
But Stewart's company took the unusual step of commenting on a media report, "categorically" denying that "any search for a new chief executive officer has been initiated."
Stewart continues to face scrutiny over her sale of almost 4,000 shares of ImClone Systems stock. Those shares tumbled the day after Stewart's sale amid a regulatory setback for an ImClone drug.
Stewart sold ImClone (IMCL: up $0.10 to $7.67, Research, Estimates) stock on Dec. 27, when its shares closed at $58.30. They began tumbling the next day when the Food and Drug Administration declined to consider the company's application for Erbitux, ImClone's much-anticipated cancer drug.
Stewart has denied she had any inside knowledge of the news, saying she had a long-standing agreement with her broker to sell ImClone shares when they hit a certain price.
The sale has attracted the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which are investigating Stewart.
House investigators will brief the committee's chairman, Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., on details of Stewart's phone and e-mail records, and the panel will decide within a week whether or not to subpoena Stewart, spokesman Ken Johnson told CNNfn on Wednesday.
But the probes aren't the only problem for Martha Stewart Living. The company's third-quarter profit is now expected to be less than half of what Wall Street had expected.
Martha Stewart Living (MSO: up $0.05 to $7.70, Research, Estimates) shares were little changed Wednesday afternoon.
The Times, citing unnamed sources, pointed out that removing Stewart as CEO would do little to dilute her power over the company she founded. Stewart controls all 31 million of the company's Class B shares.