Martha's Magazine Lowers Her Profile

09/10/2003 at 01:00 PM EDT

The new issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine is missing a feature that has been a mainstay of the publication since its founding 13 years ago: Martha's Calendar.

The New York Times interprets the move as an attempt by the magazine's parent company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, to play down the name and personality of the lifestyle guru, who is currently involved in an insider stock-trading scandal.

Stewart, 62, speaking to The Times, downplayed the replacement of her bylined monthly guide to deadheading flowers and other domestic duties with a feature now called Gentle Reminders.

"When we started the magazine in 1990," she said, " there were very few calendars in other magazines offering that kind of gentle reminders that I wanted to offer our readers."

But with other magazines picking up her calendar idea (her printed list also included the birthdays of friends and her daughter, Alexis), "we believe it is time to evolve our calendar to something different."

Stewart emphasized that the magazine was simply looking for a way to do something better. "That's what it's all about," she tells The Times. "It's not about anything else."

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