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Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, still reeling from the legal woes of its founder, has named board member and former ABC entertainment president Susan Lyne as its new chief executive and president, replacing Sharon Patrick, a chief architect of the multimedia empire.

Lyne, who has served as a director of Martha Stewart Living since June 2004, has had a 25-year career in creative and business positions in the television, publishing and film industries.

"For personal and professional reasons I have decided to leave MSO and pursue other dreams, turning over the leadership of the company to others," Patrick said Thursday in a statement.

Patrick oversaw the buyback of Time Inc.'s magazine and media interests to form with Stewart Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and helped establish a partnership with discounter Kmart as its exclusive retailer for mass merchandise, catapulting Stewart into a household name.

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