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She's hired! Job with Martha is prize

Published December 22, 2005

Dawna Stone, a St. Petersburg magazine publisher, did not receive a handwritten letter of appreciation after her stint on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.

She got a job offer instead.

Stewart, who wrote each contestant a letter after they exited her reality TV series on the NBC network, chose Stone over Bethenny Frankel of New York on Wednesday to be her apprentice.

Stone, 37, publisher of Her Sports magazine, gets a yearlong job with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and a $250,000 salary.

She will be development director of the company's newest magazine, Body+Soul, and work in its offices near Boston.

During the live announcement of Stone's hiring, Stewart said she was a good manager and "we can always use someone with your business acumen."

Stone was the frontrunner among the 16 contestants who started the show after leading her team to a win in its first task.

She organized two more wins, and though she had a rougher time organizing a charity fundraiser in the final than Frankel, 34, a New York chef, her overall track record and management skills won over Stewart.

Stone will leave Her Sports in the care of her staff and her husband, Matthew Dieter, who owns an advertising firm in St. Petersburg.

Stewart's Apprentice will not return to TV.

It didn't score with viewers, ranking 72nd among 136 network prime time shows and averaging 6.5-million viewers.

Times TV critic Chase Squires contributed to this report.

[Last modified December 22, 2005, 00:58:15]

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