NEW YORK -- Martha Stewart told shareholders yesterday that she misses her old position at her namesake company and hopes the domestic empire she founded functions as usual while she deals with her legal woes.
''I miss my old job terribly," said Stewart, who resigned as chief creative officer and from the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. in March after she was convicted of lying about a stock sale.
Stewart, who now is founding editorial director and remains the majority shareholder, said she is still involved in the multimedia company she created.
Addressing about 100 shareholders, Stewart declined to talk specifically about her legal problems. She did say the past year has been ''fraught with real sorrow."
Stewart, who has asked for a new trial, is scheduled to be sentenced July 8. She is expected to get 10 to 16 months in prison.
Stewart signed autographs and chatted with shareholders after a meeting that was full of supporters.
But the overall advertising and business climate has been less than forgiving of her legal troubles.
Martha Stewart Living, which has been struggling with losses, disappointing sales, and a battered stock for the past two years, last month reported a wider-than-expected loss for the first quarter.
It also said advertiser defections will probably push losses for the second quarter beyond Wall Street's expectations.
The New York company revealed in May that its floundering ''Martha Stewart Living" television show will be put on hiatus after the current season, eliminating 40 jobs in the television division. The company recently signed a multiyear agreement with the Style Network to air repeat episodes of ''Martha Stewart Living."
Shares in Martha Stewart Living fell 8 cents to $8.97 on the New York Stock Exchange. They were trading at more than double that before Martha Stewart was tied to an ImClone Systems Inc. trading scandal two years ago.
Struggling with the fallout of Stewart's conviction, the company moved to bolster its management.
Shareholders elected four new executives to the board yesterday, creating a total of nine directors. They are: Rick Boyko, managing director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Adcenter and former co-president and chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather; Michael Goldstein, former chairman and chief executive of Toys ''R" Us; Susan Lyne, former president of ABC Entertainment; and Wenda Harris Millard, chief sales officer of Yahoo Inc.