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Martha Stewart taps 2 J.C. Penney picks for board

NEW YORK (AP) -- Martha Stewart Living on Tuesday named two directors to its board who were selected by J.C. Penney, which has the right to fill the positions based on its ownership of the company's Series A stock.

The New York company said Robert Peterson and Michael Zacharia are "Series A Designees" named by the department store chain. They replace Dan Walker and Mike Kramer, who left at around the time former J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson was ousted from the company, said Dawn Bridges, a spokeswoman for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.

In 2011, Martha Stewart's non-employee directors were paid annual retainers of $40,000, plus $1,500 for each meeting attended and $1,000 for each meeting participated in by telephone, according to regulatory filings. Additional fees are paid to committee chairs and finance committee members. Members had the option of receiving all or a portion of the retainer in stock. They also received restricted share units valued at $50,000 upon election or re-election to the board, the filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission said. The company has not yet filed details of its 2012 director compensation.

The company said Peterson is an investment executive who serves as senior vice president of corporate strategy on J.C. Penny's executive board. Zacharia is an executive coach and consultant.

Johnson was booted from the top spot at J.C. Penney after his push to do away with sales in favor of everyday low prices alienated shoppers and sent sales plunging.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has also been trying to turn its business around. It announced late last year that it would downsize its magazines and cut publishing jobs to focus on online video and other digital content.

Meanwhile, its deal with J.C. Penney Co. to sell Martha Stewart-branded products was also at the center of a court case. Earlier this year, a New York appeals court judge decided to let J.C. Penney sell the products while Macy's Inc. filed an appeal. Macy's was seeking restraining order to block Penney from selling the products, saying it violate its exclusive contract with Martha Stewart for a broad array of products.

The judge barred Penney from using Stewart's name in promoting the collection.