Keith Naughton

Stories by Keith Naughton

  • Road Test: Vw Touareg

    The worst thing about Volkswagen's new SUV is its name: Touareg (rhymes with "do-rag"). The company says it named its first SUV after a tribe of sub-Saharan nomads. Whatever. Once you climb inside this refined SUV, however, all is forgiven. On the highway, a nifty air suspension (a $2,300 option) lowers the Touareg for streamlining, or you can flip a switch and ride high for off-road. Though surprisingly surefooted, it lacks human-cargo capacity: there's no third row, and my kids gave the second row's middle seat a thumbs down. But the Touareg makes up for the tight interior with extra style--plenty of burled walnut, brushed aluminum and leather. That's why it's destined to become the hipster's SUV. Too bad about the name.Tip: To haul assets in this hefty Vee-Dub, opt for the burly V-8.
  • Road Test: 350Z Roadster

    Driving the new Nissan 350Z Roadster is like having your own rolling amusement park. When I brought home a "ticket me" red Z, the kids in the neighborhood lined up to go for a spin, and cruising with the top down elicited cries of "cool car." But the Z is more than just eye candy. Its beefy 287-horsepower V-6 engine lets out a chest-rattling roar with the slightest tap on the gas. I dare anyone to wind through its tight, six-speed manual transmission without breaking the law. My favorite maneuver: slamming it into second and squealing the tires. (Not that I would ever actually do anything like that, Officer.) Rube Goldberg would have loved the mechanical ballet that automatically folds the rag top beneath a racy cover behind the seats. There's very little not to like about this car. Sure, the cup holders are inconvenient and the trunk is laughably small. But who cares when you can hit the gas and carve turns like an Olympic skier?Tip: Forget the parade laps; open this baby up on the...
  • Bill Ford's Rainy Days

    As business trips go, this one should have been a pleasure for William Clay Ford Jr. The 46-year-old CEO of Ford Motor Co. has come to a political confab on Michigan's Mackinac Island (where, ironically, cars are outlawed) to speak about the company that great-granddad Henry Ford founded 100 years ago. But the evening before his talk, he's backed into a lace curtain in the governor's suite of Mackinac's Grand Hotel, graciously enduring the ritual of receiving admirers. There's Michigan's glamorous new governor, Jennifer Granholm, cooling her heels while Ford coos over a Detroit radio star's baby pictures. Waiting nearby is former senator Fred Thompson, now the gruff D.A. on NBC's "Law & Order," who's admiring a table of tiny white-chocolate Model T's. Most CEOs would revel in this adulation. Not Ford. After 90 minutes, he's had enough. He takes a pull from his water bottle, turns to a bystander and whispers: "How can I get out of here?"For Bill Ford, there is no escape. His...
  • Road Test: Pacifica

    So, is it a minivan, an SUV or just a plain old station wagon? In its new?Pacifica, billed as an upscale sport wagon, Chrysler has tried to capture the best characteristics of all three vehicles. But what I found in a week behind the wheel is that it comes up a little short: it really does serve as a set of luxury wheels, but leaves something to be desired as a family hauler. When my wife and I went out to dinner with another couple, we couldn't have been more comfortable in the roomy leather captain's chairs that make the car's first two rows feel like the first-class section of a 747. Our friends marveled at the nifty navigation screen embedded into the speedometer. The incredible surround-sound stereo made us feel as if John Mayer were playing live from the car's third row. We felt hip wrapped inside the Pacifica's rakish profile and we all enjoyed its smooth ride. Taking three kids to a soccer game the next day was another story, however. Piling them into the third row required...
  • Blondes: Trading Places

    The feds might still be hounding Martha Stewart, but Hollywood appears to have forgiven her. Lacking a real ending to the story, the producers of Monday's NBC biopic dreamed up a scene where adoring fans mob Stewart. "We decided that people in Middle America probably couldn't care less what's going on with her stock troubles," says executive producer Howard Braunstein. "People love her." The Feds aren't so easily charmed. Although Stewart's lawyers are trying to cut a deal for leniency, NEWSWEEK has learned that the U.S. attorney in Manhattan is still strongly considering indicting her for insider trading and obstruction of justice. The Feds have even contemplated going after Stewart on charges of manipulating the stock market by providing a bogus alibi to avoid tarnishing her company's image. Stewart, who declined to comment for this story, has long insisted she did nothing illegal by dumping $227,000 in ImClone stock a day before federal regulators rejected the company's cancer...
  • Cybill's Martha Moment

    As the Martha Stewart insider-trading scandal erupted last summer, Matt Lauer gave the "Today" show audience his picks for the perfect actors to play Martha in the made-for-TV biopic: Cybill Shepherd, Candice Bergen or Robin Williams. A friend of Shepherd's immediately called her and told her to pursue the part. Shepherd got her manager on the phone with the NBC brass that day. And now Matt Lauer's casting call will come to the small screen. On Monday, May 19, Shepherd will star as the domestic diva in "Martha, Inc.: The Martha Stewart Story" airing at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.Shepherd doesn't consider it typecasting, but she says she did draw on her own rage playing the famously temperamental Stewart. (The scene of her hurling a copper pot at her catering partner is particularly delicious.) Yet Shepherd also humanizes Martha, especially in a highly sympathetic ending that shows her being mobbed by adoring fans. (The producers had to dream up that scene--the real Martha story isn't over yet...
  • Out Of The Box Thinking

    Bob Cooper can't pass a Costco without stopping. The California wine connoisseur has filled his cellar with more than 1,000 bottles purchased off the wooden shipping pallets at the no-frills warehouse club. And he's not buying the cheap stuff. Pinot Bob, as his friends call him, favors full-bodied pinot noirs that can run $80 a bottle. And he buys them by the case. Last year alone, Cooper dropped $11,000 on wine at Costco. His says his wife is now trying to put him on "wine restriction." But it doesn't sound like it's taking. "When I find that key buy at Costco, my motto is 'clean 'em out'," he says. "You have to or somebody else will."Costco is overflowing with big spenders like Cooper. While most merchants struggle with the sluggish economy, Costco's cement aisles have shopping-cart gridlock. The big retailer has become America's No. 1 wine merchant and No. 3 grocer, and accounts for one fifth of sales on some best-selling books. Oh, and it's America's top seller of toilet paper-...
  • Road Test: Crossfire

    As I pulled up to a stoplight in a low-slung silver Chrysler Crossfire, a hulking black pickup beside me blasted its horn. For a minute I wondered what I had done to provoke such road rage. But when I looked over, the driver was sticking up his thumb, not his middle finger. The Crossfire, an elegant piece of art deco automotive sculpture, inspires that kind of emotional outburst. From its long, ribbed hood to its tapered boat tail, this coupe is a stunner. It conjures up a glamorous, bygone era of car styling--inside and out. The cockpit sports stylish chrome-rimmed gauges and hand-stitched leather seats. On the road, the Crossfire handles crisply, with a stiff European ride. That's no accident, since 40 percent of its parts are lifted from Chrysler's corporate sibling, Mercedes-Benz. The Crossfire also takes a cue from Porsche, with a rear spoiler that deploys at 60mph. But the Crossfire is no Porsche. Its 215-horsepower V6 is too tame for a car that looks fast standing at a...
  • Styling With Digital Clay

    Volvo chief designer Peter Horbury saw the inside of his own concept car for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show last month. In the past, Horbury would have had his hands all over one of his creations as it was coming to life in the studio. But the futuristic Volvo station wagon was designed in two places--Spain and Sweden. And Horbury was so busy overseeing the car's exterior at Volvo's headquarters, he didn't have time to troop down to Barcelona. Thanks to advanced software, Horbury could flip open a laptop and be in two places at once, fly-specking everything about the car's sleek aluminum and leather interior, even if he couldn't actually sit in it. "We knew here," Horbury says from his Goteborg office, "what was going on all the time in Barcelona."The car designer's studio, long a sanctuary of old-world craftsmanship, is going digital. In the first century of car design, da Vinci would have felt right at home. Start with a drawing, then sculpt a clay model, followed by wood...
  • Comeback, By Design

    Jimmy Parsons had no plans to buy a car when he accompanied a friend to a Nissan dealership last week. To Parsons, Nissan was always "kind of a joke, and boring." Then he got a load of the razor-sharp 350Z sports car in the showroom. "I thought of myself in that car and went, 'Wow!' " says Parsons, 38, who wheeled a $33,000 silver Z off the lot. "I don't really need more tickets, but I wanted that Z."If anyone should be pulled over for speeding, it's Nissan. Sputtering along a few years ago, the company has come roaring back by overhauling its lineup with racy automotive architecture. Ever since Renault took control in 1999, the Japanese automaker has reinvented itself by unleashing a blitz of 28 new models with a French eye for style. There's the arched roofline of the Maxima, with a soaring skylight suggesting an artist's loft. Then there's the quirky Quest minivan, with an orange interior and a shifter poking out of a center pod dash. And Nissan's cigar-nosed Infiniti G35 luxury...
  • Styling With Digital Clay

    Volvo chief designer Peter Horbury saw the inside of his own concept car for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show last month.IN THE PAST, Horbury would have had his hands all over one of his creations as it was coming to life in the studio. But the futuristic Volvo station wagon was designed in two places—Spain and Sweden. And Horbury was so busy overseeing the car’s exterior at Volvo’s headquarters, he didn’t have time to troop down to Barcelona. Thanks to advanced software, Horbury could flip open a laptop and be in two places at once, fly-specking everything about the car’s sleek aluminum and leather interior, even if he couldn’t actually sit in it. “We knew here,” Horbury says from his Goteborg office, “what was going on all the time in Barcelona.”The car designer’s studio, long a sanctuary of old-world craftsmanship, is going digital. In the first century of car design, da Vinci would have felt right at home. Start with a drawing, then sculpt a clay model, followed by wood...
  • Periscope

    HALLIBURTONCha-Ching CheneyThe stock market may be suffering, but Operation Iraqi Freedom has sure been good for business at Halliburton, the Houston oil-services company famous for its former CEO, Dick Cheney. And the vice president hasn't entirely severed his financial ties to the big Defense contractor. Even while Halliburton is scoring Army contracts that could top $2 billion, Cheney is still receiving annual compensation from the company he led from 1995 to August 2000, NEWSWEEK has learned.When Cheney stepped down from Halliburton to run for vice president, he sold his company stock and gave profits from his stock options to charity. But he still had more compensation coming. Rather than taking it in a lump-sum payment of about $800,000, Cheney opted for "deferred compensation," Wendy Hall of Halliburton tells NEWSWEEK. Cheney chose annual payments of "less than $180,000" from 2001 to 2005, says Hall, which offers a tax benefit. Cheney, through spokeswoman Cathie Martin,...
  • Moneymaker: Fanning The Flames

    The stock market may be suffering, but Operation Iraqi Freedom has sure been good for business at Halliburton, the Houston oil-services company famous for its former CEO, Dick Cheney. The vice president hasn't entirely severed his financial ties to the big defense contractor. Even while Halliburton is scoring Army contracts that could top $2 billion, Cheney is still receiving annual compensation from the company he led from 1995 to August 2000, NEWSWEEK has learned.When Cheney stepped down from Halliburton to run for vice president, he sold his company stock and gave profits from his stock options to charity. But he still had more compensation coming. Rather than taking it in a lump-sum payment of about $800,000, Cheney opted for "deferred compensation," Wendy Hall of Halliburton tells NEWSWEEK. Cheney chose annual payments of "less than $180,000" from 2001 to 2005, says Hall, which offers a tax benefit. Cheney, through spokeswoman Cathie Martin, contends he has no financial ties to...
  • Full-Metal Traffic Jam

    When all those limos pull up to the red carpet at the Oscars this month, some will be outfitted more elaborately than the stars. Beneath their shiny exteriors is the hottest new automotive accessory--bulletproof armor. Just ask David Seelinger, president of Secure Car Worldwide. He's struggling to keep up with calls from VIPs eager to pay $2,000 a day to ride in his steel-plated limos. CEOs are armoring themselves against terrorism, movie stars are getting death threats and rappers fear assassination. To keep up with demand, Seelinger has more than tripled his armored fleet to 10 cars. "This is absolutely a sign of the times," he says.With homeland insecurity rising, the car business is going ballistic. Ford is introducing the $140,000 Lincoln Town Car BPS--for Ballistic Protection Series--which can stop an AK-47 and block a grenade. Later this year GM will roll out an armored Cadillac Deville capable of deflecting bullets from a .44 magnum. At last week's Geneva Motor Show, BMW...
  • Pixels To Pavement

    When Mazda decided to bring back its legendary RX sports car a few years ago, it feared it would be eating the Nissan Z's dust. The resurrected Z would hit the streets a year ahead of the RX-8. To get a jump on the competition, Mazda considered running RX-8 teaser ads. But still, that didn't seem enough to overcome the deafening buzz the Z was generating. So Mazda tried something radical: it launched the RX-8 in Sony's Gran Turismo 3 videogame two years before the real car debuted at January's Detroit auto show. Mazda execs admit it was risky, revealing their shark-nose sports car in pixels so long before it hit pavement. But that's what it takes, they say, to get in the game.Automakers are beginning to think inside the Xbox. After all, games like GT3 and Need for Speed by Electronic Arts are turning millions of couch potatoes into living-room racers. Far from being a child's plaything, videogames are becoming the new virtual showroom and design studio for automakers. Videogame...
  • My Engine Is Bigger Than Your Engine

    Maneuvering among all the SUVs on the road used to be a white-knuckle ride for Judy Podkulski. Her car, with its puny four-cylinder engine, was no match for the monsters of the motorway. So Podkulski traded in her economy car and bulked up to a 240-horsepower engine--under the hood of a sensible Honda Accord. "I used to be intimidated by all those macho tailgaters," says the 45-year-old mother of two. "Now I can take 'em."America's horsepower arms race is escalating. And it's not just sports cars and SUVs. Tame family cars like the Nissan Altima and the Toyota Sienna minivan are packing power once found only in muscle cars. For all the overwrought talk of an SUV backlash and the rise of "green cars" like the Toyota Prius, Americans are actually pumping up the juice in all kinds of cars. But unlike politically incorrect SUVs, the traditional car with massive horsepower is virtually guilt-free, a stealth excess. And plenty of us are doing it. Sales of V-8 engines accelerated 15...
  • Fiat: After Agnelli, A Sale?

    Fiat patriarch Gianni Agnelli, 81, died last week just hours before a family meeting to decide the fate of his beloved but broken-down car company. Now it looks as though General Motors may reluctantly ride to the rescue of the debt-ridden Italian automaker. GM already owns 20 percent of Fiat, and the Italian automaker has an option to sell the entire company to the General in 2004. The strong-willed Agnelli, once a rival of Henry Ford II, fiercely opposed letting the Americans take the wheel. But now that younger brother Umberto is in charge, analysts expect him to turn the keys over to GM so he can focus on Fiat's more promising ventures in newspaper publishing, jet engines and soccer. A GM spokeswoman declined to comment, but the No. 1 automaker cannot relish the prospect. GM has already written off nearly all of its original $2.4 billion investment in Fiat, and repairing the automaker won't be easy in a country where strong labor unions resist U.S.-style downsizing. (Fiat...
  • Periscope

    TerrorismMan on the RunOne of the most wanted terrorists today is a 36-year-old Palestinian Qaeda leader known as Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, who has been linked to recent Qaeda activity and possibly even Iraq. Wanted by Jordan since 1999, when he allegedly plotted to bomb U.S. targets in Amman, Zarqawi is supposed to be one of Al Qaeda's top experts on chemical and biological weapons. Some investigators believe he is behind a recently foiled London plot to poison food at a British military base with ricin. Jordanian authorities believe Zarqawi was involved in the murder of a U.S. foreign-aid official late last year.Zarqawi evaded capture in Afghanistan after 9-11 by crossing the border into Iran, according to intelligence reports. After sojourning under what some Pentagon officials believe was the protection of Iranian "security forces," Zarqawi supposedly went to Baghdad, where doctors amputated his leg (injured in Afghan fighting) and replaced it with a prosthesis. Later, so the story...
  • The Fast And The Luxurious

    Detroit isn't known for its fashion shows, but this past Sunday it hoped to create a buzz machine that even New York would envy. To set the stage for a big coming-out party at this week's auto show, General Motors spent nearly $1 million converting the august Detroit Opera House into a trendy cocktail lounge for one night. The Italianate theater's seats were covered with a wood floor and redecorated with modular leather furniture and indigo lighting. As a string quartet played against a techno backbeat, the silhouette of a long, low-slung car appeared behind an opaque curtain and slowly revolved on a turntable toward the audience. Its engine roared to life and the dark sedan eased down a draped runway. It's the most outrageous car to come out of Detroit since tail fins flew: a $250,000 Cadillac made entirely of aluminum, with a steroidal 1,000-horsepower, V-16 engine. The car's driver--and driving force--is Bob Lutz, GM's vice chairman and chief of product development. "This car...
  • Ford's New Muscles

    Bill Ford Jr. desperately needs a hit. As the car company his great-grandfather founded prepares for its 100th anniversary, things have rarely looked worse. Sales are skidding, profits are nonexistent and its reputation has been sullied by the Firestone debacle. But at this week's auto show, the scion CEO hopes to show there's gas left in the tank when he wheels out a new racy Mustang and brawny F-150 pickup. This beauty-and-the-beast duo account for a quarter of the company's sales. And if Bill Jr. wants the family firm to be around for another century, he's got to get both of them right.The new Mustang doesn't go on sale for a year, but Ford is trying to build buzz. The retro fastback styling recalls the hot wheels Steve McQueen drove in 1968's "Bullitt.'' But Ford also hopes to attract the "Fast and the Furious" Gen Y crowd with a beefy 400-horsepower V-8 engine and edgier look. Its long, sharp snout is meant to evoke a shark on the attack. "It gives the feeling that this thing's...
  • The Ceo Party Is Over

    It's official. After all the perp walks, Martha's mess, Jack's divorce and implosions of companies like Enron and WorldCom, CEOs now rank below funeral directors and lawyers in a new Gallup poll. Worse still, they're even facing the wrath of what was once their biggest cheering section: their boards of directors. "Lousy performance won't be tolerated," says Barbara Franklin, who sits on five corporate boards. "Now we're trying to get ahead of the curve and make changes before you have an absolute crisis." Franklin should know. This month the Dow Chemical board she sits on canned its CEO after just two years on the job. She declines to discuss details, but the company said the board dumped the CEO because of Dow's "disappointing financial performance."The Year of Scandal in Corporate America is about to give way to the Year of Atonement. Wall Street brokerages just agreed to pay more than $1 billion in fines to settle charges that they misled investors. But that's just the beginning....
  • Kicking Hyundai Into High Gear

    Back in 1998, the wheels were coming off at Hyundai. Leno and Letterman regularly made the shoddy Korean car a punch line--to jokes about Yugo. The home office in Seoul couldn't even recruit a seasoned American to jump-start the faltering company. As a last resort, the Korean bosses turned to their corporate lawyer, Finbarr O'Neill, an affable Irishman with no experience running a car company. "We were a company looking over the precipice," says O'Neill. "I kept my law license intact as my insurance policy."O'Neill won't have to hang his shingle any time soon. He has engineered an extraordinary turnaround at Hyundai, where sales have roared ahead 400 percent since he became CEO and now outpace Volkswagen and BMW. How did he turn around Hyundai? With guile and persistence learned from toiling in New York courtrooms and on Irish cow paths. O'Neill concocted some marketing magic four years ago--a 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty to inoculate Hyundai from its rep for miserable quality....
  • Road Test | Lincoln Aviator

    If luxury SUVs had been around back in the days of the Rat Pack, they would have looked like the new Lincoln Aviator. As you slide into the Aviator's leather seats, you're transported back to the midcentury digs inhabited by those finger-snapping hipsters. The clean lines of the Aviator's cowled dash conjure up classic Eames furniture, with warm grainy leathers, walnut trim and satin-nickel-finish doors. You expect to find an atomic clock exploding from the dash, but instead there's a tasteful Swiss-watch-inspired timepiece with brilliant chrome hands. But the Aviator is more than just a stylish cockpit. Open up its burly 302-horsepower engine and you'll be singing "Come Fly With Me." And while the ride is a little floaty, it's cocoon comfy. It's hard to believe this cream puff is built on the chassis of the rugged Ford Explorer. The Aviator has much more in common with its big brother, the Lincoln Navigator. But the Aviator is a lot easier to navigate than its stout sibling, and it...
  • Tech Backlash: Start Me Up (Just Try)

    When you're driving a road rocket like the $70,000 BMW 745i, you need some good tunes to provide a soundtrack to your speed. But as I flouted traffic laws all over Detroit in a wild weekend ride of this new Beemer, I found myself trapped in classical-music hell. The person who test-drove this car before me preset the radio to all-NPR, all the time. And this isn't just any old radio. The 7's stereo is part of the high-tech iDrive system, an onboard computer displayed in the dash and operated by a fist-size mouse in the center armrest. But as much as I torqued and clicked that mouse, I just couldn't dial in my favorite alternative-rock station. Deflated, I finally pulled over, hauled out the owner's manual and spent 10 minutes decoding iDrive. If this is the future of driving, somebody direct me to the nearest exit.Why am I dishing dirt on this dreamboat? Because with the new 7, BMW is letting technology run roughshod. Oh sure, the 7 still drives like the best sports sedan on the road...
  • Living Room, To Go

    So you've had a stressful day at work and now you're bracing for the white-knuckle ride home. You slump in your car, clench the steering wheel and, through gritted teeth, say: "Calm me." Your car feels your strain, recognizes your fingerprint on the wheel and responds. Mood lighting fills the cockpit with a warm fireside glow. Your seat adjusts to a relaxing position and begins gently massaging and warming your aching back. Soothing jazz flows from the digital surround stereo. Your satellite navigation system checks for traffic snarls. And for the final touch, vanilla candle scent wafts from the vents. As you exit the parking garage, you leave the rat race behind and are transported back to the womb.This is no George Jetson commute. All these gizmos are now in the works inside carmakers' research labs. And some--like massaging seats and fingerprint recognition--are already on the road. With weary commuters spending an average of 82 minutes a day in traffic, twice as much as two...
  • Absolut On The Rocks

    For the past few years, Teresa Duke ordered her martinis with Absolut vodka and plenty of olive juice to make them "dirty." "I like them so dirty they're almost kinky," says the 38-year-old physician's assistant from Cleveland. Lately, though, Duke's drinks have a new ingredient--Grey Goose vodka from France. At $10 a pop in her local tavern, a Grey Goose martini is twice the price of the Absolut version. But Duke says she can taste the difference and feels "cool and a little edgy" ordering the priciest vodka. "If you have a chance to drive a Porsche," she says, "you're not going to say, 'Oh, no, give me the Chevette'."It seems like everybody is switching vodkas these days. Even James Bond is now ordering his shaken, not stirred, martinis with Finlandia instead of his old cold-war favorite, Smirnoff. More than 100 new vodkas have hit the market in the past four years and the tasteless alcohol is expected to surpass whisky this year to become America's hard liquor of choice. But...
  • Click Here For A New Sedan! (Not Yet, Alas)

    Buying cars on the internet seemed like such a good idea back in the go-go '90s. After all, most car buyers would rather have a root canal than go toe-to-toe with a car salesperson. And auto companies figured they could turbocharge their profits by wringing out some of the estimated $2,000 per car they spent on a distribution system dating to horse-and-buggy days. But now, several years after predictions of the death of every car salesman, the showrooms remain and the dream of pure, unintermediated online car buying is still just that.The typical Web-savvy customer is like Shekhar Raj of Toledo, Ohio. When the 48-year-old medical researcher set out to buy a new car on the Net, he kicked some virtual tires on a variety of Web sites, speccing out horsepower and creature comforts. Then he found his favorite model's invoice prices--those wholesale prices once known only to car dealers and manufacturers. Finally, Raj clicked a "purchase request" button on the Autobytel Web site. But the...
  • Jack's Toughest Deal

    For all the explosive tabloid revelations in the bitter divorce battle between Jack and Jane Welch, you'd think they would need security guards to keep them apart. First came the former GE chairman's admission of an affair with the editor of the Harvard Business Review. Then Jane made him the poster boy for excessive CEO pay by revealing in court papers the lavish perks-for-life deal GE gave him. But when the sparring partners finally got together last week in a tiny 15-seat courtroom in Bridgeport, Conn., the scene played out more like a board meeting than a title fight. Wearing a pinstripe suit, Jack Welch filed an affidavit that disclosed he is now worth nearly half a billion dollars, down one third from last year thanks to GE's stock plunge. And he expects to pocket $17 million a year in retirement, mostly from his generous GE pension and consulting business. Jane's filings stated her annual income is $136,320 and the additional $35,000 a month Jack pays her now is "patently...
  • Martha's Shrinking Act

    As Martha Stewart's legal troubles grow, finding her face in her magazine is like playing Where's Waldo? The former model was once splashed across the pages of Martha Stewart Living. But in the new Thanksgiving issue, Stewart appears only in an ad for her home-decorating products and a promo for her TV show. Even her signed "Letter From Martha" at the front of the magazine is Martha-free. Instead of her usual photo, we're treated to a shot of her antique rolling-pin collection.Martha's disappearing act might soon spread to her entire company. The investigations into her ImClone stock sale are coming to a head and could cost her her job. Last week sources close to the SEC investigation confirmed she had been served a "Wells notice," signaling the stock-market cops' intent to file civil charges. And the criminal probe into her activities also is heating up, law-enforcement sources say. Martha denies she had any inside info when she unloaded nearly 4,000 ImClone shares a day before...
  • Will She Be In Or Out?

    Can Martha Stewart still command the attention of Kmart shoppers? That's what Kmart CEO Jim Adamson is trying to figure out as the bankrupt retailer prepares to unveil a critically important new line of Martha Stewart holiday wares. Normally, Martha pitches her products in commercials for Kmart. But Adamson is so worried about how tarnished Martha is by the ImClone insider-trading affair, he told NEWSWEEK, he commissioned two versions of the commercial introducing her holiday goods--one starring Martha and one without her. And he says he still hasn't decided which will air when Kmart first offers Martha's wreaths, ribbons and snow globes in early November. "It will be a very difficult decision and I'll make it at the last minute," Adamson told NEWSWEEK. "If I feel that Martha the personality will adversely affect Martha the product at Kmart, then that's what will drive my decision. I'll do what's best for Kmart."Adamson has publicly backed Stewart since the Feds began investigating...