QVC’s Courtney Cason: We Say You Shouldn’t

September 16, 2014

We’ve been so busy at our day job, and covering the sad passing of Joan Rivers, that we hadn’t seen QVC’s “Courtney Says I Do” promotion.

http://www.qvc.com/CourtneySaysIDo.content.html

We know people will disagree with us, but we find it a tad tacky to be discussing every detail of your impending nuptials the way host Courtney Cason is.

But then again, if the deal included getting our wedding dress designed by Mark Zunino, maybe we would change our tune.

The wedding is this Saturday, by the way. And Cason’s groom-to-be is adorable.

Here is what she blogged on QVC.com last week:

I can’t believe my wedding is just one week away. It’s weird to even type that out. It’s crazy to think that almost a year ago I wasn’t sure that I was going to be engaged anytime soon. Now it’s full on crunch time to marry the man of my dreams!

As an ex-QVC host pointed out, it’s a little risky to promote a host’s wedding. What if the marriage goes sour?

You may recall when then-QVC host Judy Crowell wed a fellow host, whose names escapes us now. It was a very short marriage, let’s put it that way.

We’re glad Crowell finally found the man of HER dreams, fellow QVC alum Paul Deasy (now on SHopHQ).

We also remember when one of our favorite bloggers wrote a lot about her coming fancy wedding to “Mr. Wonderful,” as she called him. Two years later, she was blogging about going on a date.

Needless to say, all her readers were asking her what the heck was up. She sounded a bit annoyed when she explained that she and Mr. Wonderful had divorced, and would people stop asking about her personal life.

Girlfriend, when you put your personal life out there, people are going to ask about it.

Any way, best of luck, Courtney. Seriously, God bless.

Ivanka Trump Comes To QVC To Fight Breast Cancer

September 12, 2014

Ivanka Trump, the very savvy businesswoman and entrepreneurial daughter of The Donald, is helping to fight breast cancer through her involvement with QVC Presents “FFANY Shoes on Sale.”

A charitable collaboration between QVC and the Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY), the sale has generated more than $44 million to date.

During the month of October, shoes donated by more than 80 brands will be offered at special prices to benefit breast cancer research and education.

The event is scheduled to air live on QVC Oct. 16 from 6 PM to 9 PM (ET), and Trump will appear in both print and television public service announcements supporting the cause.

“I am honored to be part of this important initiative, and I find it incredibly rewarding to help women come together for this significant reason, through something we all love … shoes,” Trump said. “Breast cancer, unfortunately, impacts so many lives, but it is liberating and comforting to know that we can help fight back and tackle it one step at a time.”

During the three-hour event, shoppers can choose from more than 200 styles being offered at half the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

In addition, each weekday from 7 AM to 9 AM (ET) during the month of October, buyers can shop the Shoe of the Day on air, online or on the QVC apps.

A minimum of 80 percent of the purchase price will benefit various breast cancer research and education institutions. Select styles from the Ivanka Trump footwear collection are scheduled to be included in the assortment.

“Ms. Trump’s dedication and enthusiasm both inside and outside of the boardroom are outstanding,” said Ron Fromm, FFANY’s president and CEO. “We are thrilled to have her as our spokesperson and know that she will help draw people to the cause.”

Beneficiaries for the 2014 QVC Presents “FFANY Shoes on Sale” event include: The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, The Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Breast Oncology Program, The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, The Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, and The Margie and Robert E. Petersen Breast Cancer Research Program at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.

“In addition to success in both the business and fashion worlds, Ivanka’s philanthropic spirit is admirable,” QVC President and CEO Mike George said.

“As someone who routinely gives back through various charities, she brings a unique perspective to this year’s event. I think her passion will be contagious, allowing shoppers to feel even more empowered by their purchases knowing that they can help make a difference.”

The Jacobs’ ‘Offerings’ Jewelry Returns To ShopHQ

September 11, 2014

ShopHQ jewelry vendor Sonia Bitton gave us a little scoop on Facebook today: The married silver-jewelry designing team of Richard and Marianna Jacobs are coming back to the No. 3 home shopping network.

The Jacobs, whose collection of handmade jewelry is called Offerings, were originally on ShopHQ, when it was ShopNBC. Then they left and went on HSN.

But they are coming back to Minnesota, according to Bitton.

“OK get ready all. ‘Offerings’ will be back at SHOPHQ on October 7 at 9AM and 7PM CT and I am so excited I am the first to be announcing!!!>” Bitton wrote on Facebook.

We love their jewelry, and can’t wait to see what they have cooking for ShopHQ.

ShopHQ Paying Out $5 Million In Severance To Execs

September 10, 2014

The house cleaning that ShopHQ’s new management did was rather pricey for the No. 3 home shopping network, to the tune of about $5 million.

The company had previously reported that ShopHQ CEO Keith Stewart was getting
a $2.5 million severance package for his exit.

http://homeshoppingista.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/ex-shophq-ceo-keith-stewart-gets-2-5-million-severance-package/

And in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, we got an update on Stewart’s final package, and also learned a bit about how much the departures of Chief Operating Officer Carol Steinberg and Chief Merchandising Officer Annette Repasch are costing the network.

http://hsprod.investis.com/site/irwizard/vvtv/ir.jsp?page=sec_item_new&ipage=9797150&DSEQ=&SEQ=&SQDESC=

“In conjunction with Mr. Stewart’s resignation and separation agreement, the Company recorded charges to income totaling $2,620,000 for the second quarter ended Aug. 2, relating primarily to severance payments,” the filing said.

ShopHQ eliminated Steinberg’s position is looking for a replacement for Repasch.

As for their packages, “in conjunction with the terminations, the affected executive officers are eligible for severance amounts which are expected to be paid in February 2015. At this time, the Company estimates severance charges totaling $2,300,000 to be recorded in the third quarter of fiscal 2014,” the SEC filing said.

ShopHQ Picks Vendor For Kentucky Distribution Center

September 10, 2014

ShopHQ has chosen Manhattan Associates Inc. to help the network increase throughput and the capacity of its distribution and fulfillment operations in Kentucky.

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/globenewswire/10097398.htm

The software deployment is part of a $25 million expansion of the Bowling Green distribution center, which will more than double in size — going from 260,000 to 600,000 square feet — by the end of 2015.

“The expansion of our fulfillment operations is an indicator of our continued focus to enhance the customer experience and strategically invest for long-term growth,” ShopHQ CEO Mark Bozek said in a canned statement Monday. “We are pleased to work with industry-leading partners like Manhattan Associates as part of this strategic initiative.”

In fiscal 2013, ShopHQ shipped 7 million units. In the first half of this year, the company as already shipped 5 million units.

“Our platform will create exceptional value, and contribute to ShopHQ’s goal of top notch customer service and greater efficiencies to enhance order and shipping processes,” Manhattan Associates Vice President David Landau said. “We look forward to playing an important role in the execution of fulfillment as an engine in ShopHQ’s growth strategy.”

Jewelry Queen Joan Rivers Said ‘QVC Is Holy Work’

September 8, 2014

QVC Queen Joan Rivers got a fine final send-off from her friends Sunday, including a large contingent from West Chester, Pa.

Home shopping host Lisa Robertson posted a photo on Facebook of her and QVC colleagues Rick Domeier, Mary Beth Roe, Jane Treacy, Jill Bauer and alum Kathy Levine at Rivers’ Manhattan service, where they rubbed shoulders with the like of Howard Stern and Hugh Jackman.

The QVC crew at Joan's memorial

The QVC crew at Joan’s memorial

But for you QVC addicts, our favorite tidbit was a column that New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams wrote Sunday about Rivers, who was a close friend.

Here’s her kicker sbout the late and great, Joan:

And hawking jewelry on a home shopping network she considered religious: “Anybody buys from me, they’re sacred. QVC is holy work.”

She really loved you guys.

http://pagesix.com/2014/09/06/cindy-adams-remembers-her-friend-joan-rivers/?_ga=1.222433375.597115624.1410134609

Joan Rivers Gave QVC Jewelry To Her Thanksgiving Guests

September 6, 2014

One of our favorite stories about the late and great Joan Rivers, QVC vendor extraordinaire, was in the New York Post today. And of course it had a QVC angle.

Post columnist Paula Froelich wrote about how she many times she celebrated Thanksgiving dinner at Rivers’ gorgeous East Side apartment. Froelich got invited to the holiday dinner because she was a friend of Rivers’ niece.

“She had me at ‘jewels,'” Froelich wrote, which was the first line of a story headlined “Giving thanks for my friend — and my idol.”

http://pagesix.com/2014/09/04/giving-thanks-for-joan-rivers-my-friend-and-my-idol/

When Froelich and the niece arrived, Rivers would tell them to “run upstairs and get some jewels.” They did and found piles of jewelry from Rivers’ QVC collection, and picked some.

“We felt like 5-year-olds,” Froelich wrote.

When they came back down, Rivers told them, “You look beautiful, great taste!”

Froelich noted that Thanksgiving dinner with Rivers was always served late, because in the morning she and her daughter Melissa would bring food to the needy for God’s Love We Deliver.

Froelich got one little fact wrong, but we’ll forgive her. She pointed out that Rivers was always busy, either flying to L.A. “or Florida for her Joan Rivers Classics Collection line for QVC.”

HSN, not QVC, is the home shopping network that’s in Florida. But we’ll forgive you, Froelich, because you offered such a wonderful memory of Joan.

How QVC Queen Joan Rivers Brought Us To Tears

September 5, 2014

In the early years after Joan Rivers launched her jewelry line on QVC, she had a signature piece: a bee pin.

She designed these small bee pins in every combination of crystals and enamel, with all kinds of themes, even the American flag. And Rivers often told the story of the bee, and why it had become emblematic for her.

Joan wearing one of the fabric flower pins she sold on QVC

Joan wearing one of the fabric flower pins she sold on QVC

Rivers explained that if you looked at aerodynamics, at science, the bumble bee should not be able to fly. Physically, it was just not anatomically equipped to soar. Yet it did, defying gravity, defying logic. The bee was a creature that defied and beat the odds, a miracle.

Rivers identified with these creatures. But this time, she could not pull off the miracle. We were so sad to hear that she had passed away today.

Now let’s not sugarcoat the truth. Rivers could sting just like a bee, too. Her humor could be polarizing and shocking. We’re not Jewish, but we cringed when she made a joke about German-born Heidi Klum and the Nazi ovens.

Yet she could also make us laugh so hard we cried. We remember one night watching her on QVC with host Rick Domeier, and she was talking about some topical sex scandal, making comments about hookers, and Rick lost it.

He couldn’t stop laughing, and we couldn’t stop laughing. We laughed so hard we cried. We had to get a tissue to wipe the tears from our eyes. That’s how we’d like to remember Rivers.

We think we spot a piece of QVC jewelry

We think we spot a piece of QVC jewelry

One of the things we like about watching celebrities on home shopping networks is that the programming is live, and you can often get a real sense about what the celeb is like. If they get impatient or nasty with a host or caller, you see it, unfiltered.

One of the things we liked about Rivers is that this tough-talking New Yorker would always be gracious and kind when talking to QVC viewers, even the ones who were obviously from small towns in the South and Midwest, women who you would think would have very little in common with her. She found ways to relate to them.

Rivers obviously had a passion for jewelry, which of course we could identify with. You could tell she was very hands-on in terms of the design of the jewelry — and later the accessories, clothing and beauty products — that she sold on QVC, where she built a multimillion business.

We got a kick watching Rivers on her E! show “Fashion Police,” and even in the film documentary on her, “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” wearing jewelry from her QVC line.

When we heard the circumstances leading up to Rivers’ hospitalization, we were not optimistic. We used to blog for a TBI lawyer on brain injury, and we can tell you more about traumatic brain injury, concussions, CTE and dementia than you’d ever want to know. Rivers’ circumstances did not sound good to us.

We don’t know how long Rivers’ brain was without oxygen when she went into cardiac arrest, but she had to be transported from her the clinic where she was having her vocal-cord procedure to the hospital. To us, that sounded like it would add up to a lot of time without precious oxygen getting to her brain.

Still, we prayed for her, as we do now for her daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper.

It’s been a bad couple of weeks. We were shocked by Robin Williams’ suicide. We are jarred by Rivers’ death.

And when we went to New York Sports Club tonight, one of the attendants told us that a woman who lived in a condo above the gym had committed suicide earlier in the night.

So many souls have left here much too soon, as far as we are concerned. We hope that Rivers and Williams are trading jokes tonight.

QVC U.S. CEO Claire Watts Exits Network

September 4, 2014

Wowser — there’s trouble in West Chester, Pa.: Claire Watts has resigned as chief executive officer of QVC’s U.S. network, effective Friday, “to pursue other opportunities.”

That last couple of words is a catch phrase that reporters interpret as “it was not her choice.”

Gone baby gone Claire Watts

Gone baby gone Claire Watts

Just last week The Wall Street Journal published an interview with Watts, who compared to HSN CEO and blonde glamor puss Mindy Grossman has been an absolute media wallflower. We suppose that QVC’s rather lackluster performance in the U.S. helped pave the way for Watts’ departure.

http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2014/08/15/qvc-exec-how-i-learned-to-work-backwards/

QVC announced Watts’ exit Wednesday.

“Claire has played an instrumental role in QVC’s evolution to a leading multichannel retailer since joining the company in 2008,” QVC Inc. President and CEO Mike George said in a canned statement.

“Under her leadership, we’ve deepened our customer relationships and significantly expanded our e-commerce, mobile, and social platforms,” George said. “I want to thank Claire for her many contributions to QVC, including helping to build an experienced, dedicated U.S. leadership team and a stronger, more agile U.S. business. Everyone at QVC wishes her the best in her future endeavors.”

ANd here’s the spin from Watts:

“While the decision to move on from QVC was not an easy one, I am proud of what the U.S. team has accomplished over the past six years,” she said. “As I look forward to taking on new challenges, I know QVC has a strong and seasoned team in place to build upon the momentum that we have achieved in the U.S. business.”

With Watts’ departure, the senior U.S. leadership team, including Doug Howe, executive vice president merchandising & planning, Mary Campbell, executive vice president commerce platforms, and Rob Muller, senior vice president U.S. Strategic planning & analytics, will report to George on an interim basis as QVC seeks to revamp its long-term management structure.

Former HSN Vendor/Chef Todd English Arrested On DWI

September 1, 2014

Well, former HSN vendor and disgraced celebrity chef Todd English is in hot water again.

Mug shot

Mug shot

The noted restaurateur who has, or had, boites in several cities was arrested early Sunday morning, 3:30 a.m. to be precise, on charges of driving while intoxicated in tony Southampton.

http://www.aol.com/article/2014/08/31/celebrity-chef-todd-english-charged-with-intoxicated-driving/20955067/?ncid=webmail1

Maybe this is all bad karma from when he ditched his would-be bride at the altar in Manhattan a few years back.

English, whose antics have included getting amorous with his two female friends at a Manhattan restaurant, and jumping in a hot tub with two others, posted $1,500 bail on Long Island and was released.

The cops released a mug shot of English, whose steel gray eyes look glassy.

The gentleman needs help.

QVC Queen Joan Rivers’ Fate And The Home Shopping Net

August 30, 2014

The New York Daily News did an update Saturday on QVC Queen Joan Rivers’ condition, reporting the obvious, really: That her daughter Melissa may have to make some hard choices about her mom’s future.

Rivers suffered cardiac arrest Thursday while having a procedure done on her vocal cords, and was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Doctors don’t know how long her brain went without oxygen, and according to the News they are trying to determine if she sustained brain injury.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/joan-rivers-daughter-melissa-distraught-source-article-1.1921362

Physicians put Rivers in a medically induced coma.

The story also claimed that one of Rivers’ close friends said QVC and E! Entertainment, home of “Fashion Police,” “are anxiously awaiting an update.”

Jeanne Bice’s Quacker Factory continued on QVC even after her death from cancer.

Let’s just hope it’s all a moot point and that Rivers recovers.

sh

QVC Queen Joan Rivers Remains In Medical Coma

August 29, 2014

We’re saying prayers for QVC Queen Joan Rivers, who remained at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan Friday.

Rivers has been placed in a medically induced coma after a near-death incident Thursday. The comic was undergoing a treatment on her throat at en endoscopy center in the Yorkville section of Manhattan when her heart stopped.

She was rushed to Mount Sinai, where her daughter Melissa is now at her side. It’s unclear if, or for how long, Rivers’ brain was deprived of oxygen when she underwent cardiac arrest.

Ironically, the night before her medical emergency Rivers was performing and joked that she “go” any minute now.

She was scheduled to perform in our home state of New Jersey tonight, in Red Bank, but obviously that gig was cancelled.

Emma Fox Debuting With Kelly Osbourne On HSN

August 28, 2014

HSN’s annual fall fashion series, “The Fashion Edit,” will be the event where Kelly Osbourne and Emma Fox handbags will debut on the home shopping network, according to a press release Wednesday.

That was pretty much the only news, folks, in the release.

“‘The Fashion Edit’ is HSN’s ultimate shopping event,” HSN Chief Merchandising Officer Anne Martin-Vachon said in a canned statement.

“This year we have curated an exciting collection of brands and merged seasonal trends with essential classics to help our customer revive her fall wardrobe. We are excited to share the collections of all our eminent brands and thrilled to be the exclusive launch partner for Stories … by Kelly Osbourne!”

Here’s the description of Osbourne, whose mother Sharon, one kind reader reminded us, briefly had a jewelry line on HSN.

Celebrity fashion icon, Kelly Osbourne, will make a splash this fall on HSN with the launch of her debut ready-to-wear collection, Stories … by Kelly Osbourne.

Made to combine Kelly’s unique Brit-influenced style with her desire to “make fashion fair,” the line offers an assortment of trend-driven designs for woman of all ages, shapes, and sizes at accessible prices.

Stories…by Kelly Osbourne will feature a wide array of selections, from tops and bottoms to jackets and dresses, all offered in sizes 0 to 24 and constructed with quality fabrics and impeccable fit.

From vintage-inspired to Brit-eclectic designs, the HSN customer will be delighted to mix and match her pieces to create endless styling options. Watch Kelly live on HSN Thursday, September 25th, at 10 pm EST and Friday, September 26th, at 1pm and 2pm EST.

The handbag brand Emma Fox will also make its debut during The Fashion Edit, with an assortment that ranges from $24 to $299. The handbags feature drum-dyed leather with signature gold hardware.

Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett On HSN?

August 23, 2014

Lady Gaga, one of our favs, and music legend Tony Bennett have teamed up and sung together in the past. They have a mutual admiration society. And they have collaborated on a new album, “Cheek to Cheek.”

LADYGAGA

HSN is getting a piece of this action. The network posted on Facebook and its website that it will be offering viewers a behind-the-scene look at Gaga’s and Bennett’s new album on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14.

From that description, it doesn’t sound like there will be an live performances, just sales of the CD.

Lady Gaga, by the way, is an HSN viewer. She once talked on Facebook about using her My Little Steamer.

JTV Rolls Out ‘Girlfriend Friday’ Show With Nikki, Misty

August 22, 2014

Jewelry Television is taking page out of QVC’s and HSN’s books by creating a destination show with steady hosts.

Just as QVC has its Lisa Robertson show on Fridays (we think), and HSN has host “Beauty Report with Colleen Lopez” and “Beauty Report With Amy Morrison” on Thursday nights, JTV is doing “Girlfriend Friday.”

The show with Nikki Rouleau and Misty Mills airs 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., and focuses fashion and jewelry,”while encouraging women to share their jewelry stories and favorite trends on Facebook and Instagram,” according to JTV’s press release Thursday.

Nikki and Misty Mills on the set of their new Friday night JTV show

Nikki Rouleau and Misty Mills on the set of their new Friday night JTV show

The show’s catchphrase is “Thank Goodness It’s Girlfriend Friday,” with the accompanying “#TGIGF”.

“Not only do I get the joy of hosting this show with my best friend, Misty, but she and I also get to interact with a larger sisterhood and share our love of all that sparkles and shines,” Rouleau said in a canned statement. “Every Friday night will be a new experience, with lots of viewer stories and questions to make it really personal and fun.”

The hosts will use social media to converse with their fans and customers by sharing their own jewelry stories, pictures and lifestyle tips. By using the “#TGIGF”, pictures and comments from fans and viewers can be shared on-air to connect this community of jewelry lovers together.

The show will also have a segment called “Girl…Tell Me About It!” that identifies news and current events as they relate to fashion and jewelry.

The hosts will do a Q&A segment regarding styles, colors and jewelry that will feature a question of the day submitted by a fan. These segments will also incorporate responses on social media from JTV expert hosts and guests.

Fashion Cop Kelly Osbourne Debuts HSN Line Next Month

August 21, 2014

Kelly Osbourne, of the lavender-dyed mohawk, will debut her clothing line on HSN next month. Yes, what a surprise, another celebrity collection on the No. 2 home shopping channel.

HSN announced on its Facebook page that the Stories by Kelly Osbourne clothing line will premiere Sept. 25.

Kelly Osbourne

Kelly Osbourne

Osbourne is following two of her co-hosts on E!’s “Fashion Police” show into the home shopping realm. Joan Rivers, of course, is a staple on QVC, and was one of the first celebs to take the plunge and appear on a home shopping network.

The clothes

The clothes

And Giuliana Rancic, that skinny thing, hawks a clothing line on HSN.

Osbourne already had a Facebook Page for her HSN line.

https://www.facebook.com/storiesbyKO

And she says that her clothes will fit the tiniest to the largest women.

“I believe fashion should be fair,” Osbourne wrote. “My line comes in sizes 0-24. No woman should feel like she can’t be beautiful and look amazing! XO Kelly.”

ShopHQ Records 5 Percent Sales Hike, To $156.6 Million

August 21, 2014

ShopHQ, recently under new management, posted second-quarter net sales of $156.6 million, up 5 percent compared with the year-ago period, the No. 3 home shopping network said Wednesday. The Minnesota-based channel has new offices in Manhattan now, by the way.

http://shophq.mwnewsroom.com/press-releases/valuevision-reports-second-quarter-2014-results-nasdaq-vvtv-1138859

ShopHQ’s growth in the second quarter was greater than QVC’s, but less than HSN’s. Industry leader QVS saw a 3 percent jump in revenue, to $1.4 billion. HSN’s net sales rose 6 percent, to $556.5 million.

ShopHQ CEO Mark Bozek

ShopHQ CEO Mark Bozek

ShopHQ’s quarter was boosted by strong performances in the fashion and accessories, beauty, and health and fitness categories.

The CEO who replaced Keith Stewart, HSN vet Mark Bozek, had this to say.

“The company delivered solid second-quarter results with strong growth in total customer counts and increased order volume on mobile devices,” Bozek said in a canned statement.

“I am excited to be leading the company into a new phase of growth while working alongside our newly formed board and a dedicated and re-energized employee base.”

At ShopHQ gross profit dollars increased 9 percent to $60.4 million, as gross profit as a percent of sales for the quarter improved to 38.6 percent, compared to 37.5 percent a year ago.

Adjusted EBITDA increased to $5.5 million in the second quarter versus $3.8 million last year, driven by the company’s sales and gross profit improvements.

Adjusted net income was $800,000, or one cent a share, compared to an adjusted net loss of $800,000 in the second quarter last year.

“Our commerce platforms, led by our reach into 87 million TV homes in the U.S., are unique assets that provide us with tremendous potential,” Bozek said. “Driving growth will largely be centered around attracting and building a diverse portfolio of proprietary brands and products with the goal of growing our customer base.”

“We will be focused on supporting the growth of these proprietary brands with immersive, personality-driven programming that is designed to drive greater engagement and social commerce on all our platforms,” ShopHQ’s new honcho said.

“Our process is all about an evolution of the business — not a revolution,” Bozek said. “Our recently established office in New York City should aid us in all these efforts. I plan to elaborate more on our new vision for the company in the coming months, as we begin to execute on our strategy of a more fully leveraged multichannel commerce platform.”

Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President William McGrath, who seemed to have escaped the ax under the new regime, had this to say.

“We ended the quarter with $23 million in cash and restricted cash compared to $27 million at the end of Q1’14,” McGrath said. “Net use of cash includes $5 million in working capital and $3 million in capital expenditures, partially offset by Adjusted EBITDA of $6 million in the quarter.”

Two More ShopHQ Execs Exit The Network

August 20, 2014

More heads have rolled — we mean executives have left — ShopHQ.

The No. 3 home shopping network said that Chief Operating Officer Carol Steinberg and Chief Merchandising Officer Annette Repasch were “no longer” with the channel, effective this past Monday, according to a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

http://hsprod.investis.com/site/irwizard/vvtv/ir.jsp?page=sec_item_new&ipage=9765997&DSEQ=&SEQ=&SQDESC=

Both executives are eligible to be paid a severance in accordance with ShopHQ’s change-of-control provisions, the filing said.

“The company will be commencing a search for a new Chief Merchandising Officer utilizing the services of a nationally recognized search firm, Karen Harvey Consulting,” ShopHQ said.

CEO Keith Stewart was the first to leave once a dissident shareholder group won control of the network.

N.Y. ‘Housewife’ LuAnn de Lesseps Back At ShopHQ In Fall

August 17, 2014

It looks like the countess from “Real Housewives of New York City” will be heading back to ShopHQ with a fall fashion collection.

The New York Daily News reported Friday that LuAnn de Lesseps, in the wake of the end of the sixth season of Bravo’s “Real Wives,” was spotted dining out at Indochine in Manhattan.

“Spies” heard her telling friend that the No. 3 home shopping network had ordered a fall batch of clothes from her apparel line, Countess LuAnn Dress Collection, according to the News. The clothes will premiere in October.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/williams-death-hits-home-reiner-article-1.1904290

Mike Ditka’s Steakhouse Coming To ShopHQ

August 15, 2014

The new management at ShopHQ has another surprise up its sleeve, and it’s a big one: Mike Ditka.

The ex-NFL great will be coming to the home shopping network Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. with Mike Ditka’s Steakhouse.

Ditka has five restaurants, with three in the Chicago area, one in Arizona and one in Pittsburgh.

Earlier this week ShopHQ debuted a show with billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, one of the judges of ABC’s “Shark Tank.” That was a surprise that came out of nowhere.

We didn’t get a chance to see it.

QVC Host Shawn Killinger Discusses Her Miscarriage

August 13, 2014

We’re not sure if this is the right term, but condolences — and prayers — to QVC host Shawn Killinger on her recent miscarriage. We wish her all the best and hope her pain is eventually eased.

Killinger talked about her experience on Facebook and on her blog on QVC.com. We applaud her for her honesty and willingness to open up about what happened. She will be returning to the air Sept. 2.

The entire, heartfelt blog is here:

http://community.qvc.com/blogs/beauty-banter/topic/464033/shawn-killinger-a-personal-story.aspx?cm_ven=FB&cm_cat=HOSTS&cm_pla=SHAWNKILLINGER&cm_ite=BLOG_APERSONALSTORY\\

Here is an excerpt from it:

I have always shared ‘my everything’ with you, always been humorously over-honest, unapologetically the over-sharer. I’ve always wanted to keep things real between us, because otherwise what’s the point?

I’ve been slow to do that with something recently, something very painful and private, something I wanted to keep to myself to keep it protected, and untouched by public consumption. But my need for privacy is causing worry, speculation, uncertainty, and in a few isolated cases, fueling some rumors.

My heart doesn’t have the energy for that stuff, so after talking to Joe, we wanted to reach out and explain why you have not seen me.

A few weeks ago, Joe and I lost a baby, a beautiful baby girl. We were almost 5 months pregnant. That is why I had been sitting down during shows, and took a break from Saturdays. I was very close to announcing my pregnancy.

I know you probably wonder why in these situations “we” wait so long, “It’s so wonderful and obvious, why doesn’t she just tell us she’s pregnant already?!”. This is why…………because having to undo the greatest joy with news of a loss, on a very public stage, is even more painful.

Killinger also requested that when she comes back to QVC, viewers not call in to offer their best wishes, condolences, etc.

She is mourning, but wants to be able to move on. And those calls will not help. Please heed her wishes.

‘Shark’ Mark Cuban Debuts On ShopHQ Tuesday Night

August 12, 2014

The new management at ShopHQ is finally making a dramatic programming move on the home shopping network: billionaire, TV personality and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will debut on the channel Tuesday night.

Cuban, of “Shark Tank” fame, will be on live at 8 p.m. hosting “Mark Cuban’s American Dream.” The two-hour premiere will feature on ShopHQ for an exciting two-hour premiere showcasing nine entrepreneurs and items produced by companies in which Cuban has personally invested.

MARKCUBAN

During our career covering the cable TV industry, we once met and briefly interviewed Cuban at a conference for small cable operators out in the Midwest. He wore a tight T-shirt, boy did he wear it, which we guess you can get away with when you’re a billionaire CEO. He owns his own cable network, HDNet, as well.

Of course, we met him long before he became a household name through his appearances on the reality competition show “Shark Tank” on ABC. Maybe his chats with his fellow judge on that show, QVC Queen Lori Greiner, convinced him to try the home shopping route.

“Over the years I have invested in over 170 companies, all of which I wholeheartedly believe in,” Cuban, CEO of Mark Cuban Cos., said in a canned statement.

“Each of the entrepreneurs I am bringing with me to ShopHQ has an interesting and personal story to share about their company and products and the passion and extreme effort it takes to make their dreams come true. I’m excited for ShopHQ’s viewers to get an inside glimpse on what it really takes to capture the American Dream, and then to have the unique opportunity to support these entrepreneurs through their purchases.”

The products from nine Cuban-backed brands include: Writey Board, a product that turns any surface into a dry erase board; Breathometer, a portable device that transforms any smartphone into a breathalyzer; and Simple Sugars, handmade and all-natural skincare products safe for sensitive skin.

http://www.shophq.com/SearchM/Default.aspx?&prop=Mark%20Cuban%27s%20American%20Dream|4377&stop_mobi=yes&ecid=mktgposts-_-vanity-_-markcuban

“We are excited to give our ShopHQ audience a front row seat on the stories and innovative products produced by entrepreneurs hand selected and funded by Mark Cuban,” ShopHQ’s new CEO Mark Bozek said in his canned statement.

“Mr. Cuban’s charisma and passion for these products and their creators should make for an exciting blend of live entertainment and shopping accessible to ShopHQ’s viewers across our TV, online, mobile and social media platforms.”

QVC Host Gabrielle Kerr Back From Maternity Leave

August 11, 2014

QVC host Gabrielle Kerr returned to work from maternity leave, and she’s blogging about it and discussing it on Facebook.

“Now to answer the question I seem to be getting a lot lately, ‘Sooo… how is the adjustment??'”

GABRIELLEKERR

Here is her answer:

http://community.qvc.com/blogs/momblog/topic/463466/a-kerr-family-update.aspx?cm_ven=FB&cm_cat=HOSTS&cm_pla=GABRIELLEKERR&cm_ite=BACKATTHEQBLOG

“I’m baaaaaaaaack! These past three months on maternity leave just flew by but I must admit I was excited to return to work. Coming back felt like the first day of school. You’re excited to see all your friends and to get back to your routine.

Everyone has been asking how my family is doing and adjusting and the short answer is not too bad! We definitely have our hands full with our daughter Jericho (who is now 19 months) and our infant son Jace. Jericho is fantastic with her brother. She kisses him all the time and tries to pick him up when he cries.

Read the rest on her blog.

Ex-QVC Host Lisa Mason’s Plea After Cancer Diagnosis

August 9, 2014

We slept late today, Saturday, and found this disturbing news when we checked Facebook. Former QVC host Lisa Mason is apparently up against a life-threatening situation: cancer.

Mason, who has been acting as the the rep for Supersmile (we think that’s what it was) on QVC, said that we won’t be seeing her on the home shopping network again.

LISAMASON2

Here is the rest of her FB post:

My life has taken an abrupt turn. Please, please pray for me and Gino. We are facing the fight of our lives with a sudden diagnosis of cancer.

I believe in the power of medicine and great doctors. But, I mostly believe in the power of our great and mighty Heavenly Father, whom Gino and I serve and trust. Please pray for Gino and Lisa and please pass this on. Much love to you always.

Mason and her husband Gino, who she would always mention on-air, live in Manhattan. When she left QVC, there was talk that she was going because of an illness she reportedly had, lupus.

Anyway, we loved her on QVC. She was a funny, warm sometimes racy Southern Belle of a host. Prayers to her and Gino.

HSN Posts 6 Percent Gain, To $556.5 Million, In Second Quarter

August 8, 2014

HSN’s net sales rose 6 percent, to $556.5 million, in the second quarter compared to the prior-year period, the No. 2 home shopping network reported Thursday.

That growth outpaced industry leader QVC, which earlier in the week posted a 3 percent jump in revenue in the second quarter, to $1.4 billion.

At HSN in the quarter, digital sales were up 11 percent, with penetration increasing 180 basis points to 37.2 percent.

Mindy Grossman

Mindy Grossman

Sales grew in beauty, home design, health and culinary, offset by lower sales in electronics and jewelry. Units shipped increased 4 percent and the average price point increased 2 percent.

Gross profit increased 5 percent to $196.5 million, with gross margin decreasing 30 basis points to 35.3 percent primarily due to an increase in shipping promotions. Operating expense leverage (excluding non-cash charges) improved 80 basis points to 24 percent.

Adjusted EBITDA increased 10 percent to $62.7 million. GAAP operating income increased 11 percent to $52.1 million.

Consolidated sales for HSN Inc., which includes the home shopping network and the company’s Cornerstone unit, were $855.2 million, a 5 percent increase.

“Our focus during the second quarter remained on engaging our customers, emphasizing our unique content and proprietary products, and strengthening our digital platforms,” HSN CEO Mindy Grossman said in a canned statement.

“HSNi sales increased 5 percent and digital sales grew 9 percent with mobile now representing 15 percent of our total sales. During the quarter, we saw a bifurcation within our business,” she said.

“HSN had strong results with sales up 6 percent, digital sales up 11 percent and Adjusted EBITDA up 10 poercent. While Cornerstone maintained top line growth of 4 percent, margins were impacted by a highly promotional marketplace,” Grossman said.

“Our customer file metrics at both HSN and within the Cornerstone portfolio were at record highs,” she said. “We also returned $63 million to our shareholders through our capital return plan.”

Jewelry Maker John Hardy Sold, What Happens To QVC Line?

August 7, 2014

We should be in bed sleeping but we were surfing the ‘net (just using that phrase shows how old we are) and we saw this story.

One of our favorite jewelry designers, John Hardy, has been sold. The company must have some kind of financial issues, so maybe that’s why so much of its jewelry is winding up at TJ Maxx. And a new CEO has been appointed, FYI.

We wonder if the new owners will put the kibosh on the lower-priced silver line that QVC has, JAI by John Hardy.

Here is the press release from last week:

John Hardy Acquired by Catterton, the Leading Consumer Focused Private Equity Firm

NEW YORK, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — John Hardy, a leading luxury designer jewelry brand, today announced that it has been acquired by Catterton, the leading consumer-focused private equity firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

John Hardy's gorgeous silver jewelry is handmade

John Hardy’s gorgeous silver jewelry is handmade

Founded in 1975, John Hardy is a luxury designer jewelry brand known for its handmade craftsmanship, and iconic designs within its collection. The Company is a pioneer in sustainable luxury and uniquely positioned as the leading designer brand for which each piece is intricately handcrafted and one-of-a-kind.

John Hardy’s recognizable and distinctive jewelry enjoys a loyal customer base and a top-tier, multi-channel distribution footprint, with collections available at more than 600 retail locations across 27 countries and regions, including world-renowned department stores such asNeiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue,Bloomingdale’s, Harrods and Lane Crawford and stand-alone stores in Hong Kong, Jakarta and Bali

John Hardy recently signed supermodel Cara Delevingne to be the face of its new jewelry campaign.

The Company has appointed Robert Hanson as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Hanson brings more than 25 years of brand development and retail experience to John Hardy, including with American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., where he served as Chief Executive Officer, and Levi Strauss & Co., where he served as Global President of Levi’s.

Damien Dernoncourt, who has served as John Hardy’s Chief Executive Officer since 2007, will retain an equity stake in the Company and has been named Non-Executive Chairman, to which he will devote his full professional time.

Guy Bedarida will continue to serve as Creative Director and Head Designer and Miles Graham will continue to serve as President and Chief Operating Officer.

“John Hardy is pleased to partner with Catterton, which will provide the support and resources to continue building our brand and accelerate our growth on an international scale,” said Mr. Dernoncourt.

“I am confident that under Robert’s leadership and together with Catterton, we will enhance our status as a leading designer of unique handmade jewelry while maintaining our Company’s strong core values and luxury positioning. I am excited to be working with Catterton, Robert, and the entire John Hardy team as we grow and build on our success.”

Mr. Hanson said, “John Hardy is an iconic luxury brand with a loyal customer following, and I have been impressed with the strength of the brand under Damien’s leadership. I look forward to leading the Company and building upon its tradition of creating truly unique, authentic designs and providing outstanding customer service.

“John Hardy is well known for its distinctive style, extraordinary quality and commitment to handcrafted sustainable luxury. These key pillars will continue to be the cornerstone of our Company and our future success. With Catterton’s well-established track record for partnering with leading brands to help them capitalize on growth opportunities, I believe that John Hardy has significant potential and a bright future.”

Michael Chu, Managing Partner at Catterton, said, “Catterton is excited to partner with a differentiated brand with a strong heritage and a top-tier, multi-channel distribution footprint. With Catterton, John Hardy will have a robust platform to enhance its already exceptional brand and accelerate its growth trajectory. We are confident that John Hardy offers substantial upside through multiple paths for expansion, and look forward to working with Robert and the entire team at John Hardy to capitalize on new market opportunities and realize the Company’s significant potential.”

Catterton has partnered with luxury brands including Restoration Hardware, Baccarat, PIRCH, and Frederic Fekkai to name a few.

HSN Embarks On ‘One Hundred-Foot Journey’

August 7, 2014

HSN Wednesday kicked off another one of its movie-tied promotions with its “The Hundred-Foot Journey” event, celebrating the new film starring Helen Mirren from Dreamworks.

The movie, produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, opens theaters on Friday.

“HSN is an entertainment channel that inspires consumers with unique retail experiences,” our buddy HSN President Bill Brand said in a canned statement.

“‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ is an incredible story and we are honored to bring it to life through an impressive assortment of product and rich content that will engage and attract new consumers to HSN. Disney is a world-class brand and has been a tremendous collaborator for our movie events. We are already looking forward to our next endeavor with ‘Cinderella’ in 2015.”

“‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ movie event on HSN embraces different flavors and cultures from around the world with an exclusive collection of culinary items, jewelry and products for the home…all created in the spirit of the movie,” HSN said in a press release.

Chef Ludo Lefebvre and global food and lifestyle expert Nirmala Narine will bring French and Indian cuisine to HSN’s viewers as they present cookbooks and a variety of exotic spices.

An LA restaurateur, Lefebvre “challenged the definition of what a restaurant is by creating his uber-popular LudoBites concept, a multi-city restaurant tour.”

Ludo’s eatery in Los Angeles is Trois Mec, and has recently opened his new “Bar a la carte” concept, Petit Trois. He also stars in the ABC hit cooking competition show, “The Taste,” of which he was the winning Chef mentor last season.

During the event, the chef present culinary products such as six Essential Spices, Manitou Trading Company Legumes and Grains, White Toque Croissants, and Bonne Maman Preserves.

Narine is executive producer and host of “Nirmala’s Spice World” on Veria Living Network and the founder of Nirmala’s Kitchen, a specialty food company.

Narine will talk about the power of spices and how to use them when she presents her travel memoir cookbooks “In Nirmala’s Kitchen Everyday Kitchen Cookbook” and “Nirmala’s Edible Diary.”

She will also present her Nirmala’s Kitchen Exotic Rice Blends kits and Nirmala’s Kitchen Spice Set featuring three tins of Thai Curry Blend, Guyanese Garam Masala and Moroccan Tagine Blend.

Entertaining expert David Tutera will show HSN viewers how to best present these bold new dishes via an assortment of tabletop decor and serve ware, including carafes, serving trays and stoneware tableware.

But that’s not all folks. Fern Mallis and Nicky Butler will round out the exclusive movie collection with jewelry pieces “that represent the disparate cultures featured in the film.”

Here is a thumbnail on the movie:

In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingenue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai.

That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin-starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren) gets wind of it.

Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate into a heated battle between the two establishments until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine — and for Madame Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) — combine with his mysteriously-delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Madame Mallory cannot ignore.

At first Madame Mallory’s culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan’s gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.

HSN Queen Joy Mangano’s Daughter Weds In Napa

August 6, 2014

A big HSN family wedding in Napa Valley last weekend, and we weren’t invited? We’ll have to burn our Huggable Hangers in protest.

Joy Mangano, her daughter and the wedding party

Joy Mangano, her daughter and the wedding party

HSN Mother of Invention Joy Mangano gave away her daughter Christie in marriage in what appeared to be a gorgeous Napa Valley setting. And guess what? She married an HSN producer!

We’ve been to Napa twice, many years ago, and can say it is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been in the ol’ USA. And the wine’s pretty good, too.

Colleen Lopez, Joy Mangano, Suzanne Runyan and Amy Morrison

Colleen Lopez, Joy Mangano, Suzanne Runyan and Amy Morrison

We learned about the nuptials from HSN host Colleen Lopez’s posts on Facebook, so thanks for the heads-up girlfriend. There were a number of HSN hosts and vendors at the wedding, not only Lopez and hubby Carlos but also Amy Morrison, Suzanne Runyan and Beverly Hills jewelry designer Victoria Wieck.

We have posted some of Colleen’s photos here, but here’s the link to the rest of her gallery of the wedding.

https://www.facebook.com/colleen.lopez.589/media_set?set=a.10152666159618169.1073741829.576113168&type=1

QVC Posts 3 Percent Growth, To $1.4 Billion, In Second Quarter

August 6, 2014

QVC saw its second-quarter revenue rise 3 percent, to $1.4 billion, but operating income slipped 2 percent, the home shopping network’s parent reported Tuesday.

QVC attributed its second-quarter growth primarily “to strength in all categories except electronics and jewelry,” the network’s parent, Liberty Interactive Corp., said in a press release.

Average selling price per unit (“ASP”) increased 1 percent to $57.05 from $56.39 and units sold increased 3 percent.

Returns as a percentage of gross product revenue increased 35 basis points.

E-commerce revenue increased 7 percent to $588 million and rose slightly to 43 percent from 42 percent as a percentage of total U.S. revenue. And QVC U.S. mobile penetration was 37 percent of QVC.com orders.

Adjusted OIBDA increased 2 percent to $325 million and adjusted OIBDA margin decreased 35 basis points. The adjusted OIBDA margin decreased primarily due to continued investment in commerce platforms and e-commerce marketing, which were partially offset by higher product margins.

Liberty released 2Q results for not only the U.S. QVC network but the company’s international home shopping channels. Overall, including those networks, QVC’s consolidated revenue increased 3 percent, to $2 billion in the quarter.

Adjusted OIBDA increased a hair, 1 percent to $439 million, and operating income was essentially flat at $284 million.

“Our second-quarter performance reflects the strategic actions we are taking to extend our highly differentiated retail model across geographies and commerce platforms,” QVC President and CEO Mike George said in a canned statement.

“We generated solid results, with strong gains in Europe and China and improved growth in the U.S., partially offset by macro challenges in Japan,” George said.

“As we re-imagine the worlds of shopping, entertainment and social as one, we continue to deliver a high-quality value proposition to our customers, as evidenced by our strong e-commerce and mobile penetration and excellent customer retention.”

QVC’s Parent Sells E-Commerce Unit To Florist FTD

July 31, 2014

QVC’s parent, Liberty Interactive Corp., did a big deal Wednesday. And it smells like a good one.

Liberty and FTD Cos. struck an agreement for the floral company to buy Liberty’s Provide Commerce floral and gifting businesses.

Under the terms of the $430 million transaction, Liberty will receive 10.2 million shares of FTD common stock representing 35 percent of the combined company and $121 million in cash. FTD and Liberty expect to complete the transaction by the end of the year.

How does this affect QVC?

Liberty plans to create two different tracking stocks, namely QVC Group as the umbrella for the home shopping network,Liberty’s stake in HSN; and Liberty Digital Commerce to represent e-commerce businesses such as Provide Commerce.

That stock split will now be delayed.

“Liberty Interactive still plans to create the QVC Group tracking stock, which will be comprised of its interests in QVC and HSN,” the company said in a press release.

“In light of the pending Provide Commerce transaction, and other factors, Liberty is reevaluating the optimal structure and best alignment of the Liberty Digital Commerce Group assets. As a result, the timing of the transition to the QVC Group has been delayed.”

Here is part of Liberty’s statement on its FTD deal.

The strategic combination of FTD’s brand and floral network with the Provide Commerce collection of established and highly recognizable consumer gifting e-commerce brands, which include ProFlowers, Shari’s Berries and Personal Creations, will further FTD’s vision to become the world’s leading and most trusted floral and gifting company.

The transaction will unite two highly complementary businesses, generate material cost synergies and create a team with “best-in-class” operating strategies.

Together, FTD and Provide Commerce, each with over $600 million in annual revenues, will offer consumers innovative and expansive floral and gift products and an enhanced shopping experience.

The combined company will also allow FTD to provide greater support for the overall floral industry by expanding resources to create new programs and services to support member florists in their local businesses.

“This transaction provides the opportunity to create significant value for our stockholders and offers immediate benefits for consumers and our premier network of member florists. The combination of these businesses will expand the breadth of our brands, provide opportunities to further diversify our revenue streams and open up additional avenues for growth and innovation,” said Robert S. Apatoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of FTD.

“We expect the combination with Provide Commerce’s highly recognizable and successful portfolio of brands to enhance our already robust consumer product offerings. In addition, we expect the transaction will provide us with greater resources to further develop new product and service categories and broaden our consumer demographic through complementary customer bases. We are excited about the opportunities this combination will create for consumers, member florists and our stockholders.”

“We are excited to become the largest shareholder in the complementary businesses of Provide Commerce and FTD,” said Gregory B. Maffei, President and CEO of Liberty. “FTD has an extensive florist network while Provide Commerce has a proven ability to source their flowers directly from top growers. The combined company will be able to offer comprehensive and unique gifting services in the U.S. and around the world.”

“FTD and Provide Commerce share a common mission and vision,” said Chris Shimojima, CEO of Provide Commerce. “Together we will create outstanding and delighting gifting experiences for our customers for all of life’s most important moments.”

Summary of Strategic and Financial Benefits

The transaction is expected to create one of the most diversified, established and trusted floral and gifting companies in the world. FTD believes the combination will provide the following strategic and financial benefits:

Deepens Consumer Gifting Category: The combination of Provide Commerce’s collection of respected and highly recognizable e-commerce brands, including ProFlowers, Shari’s Berries and Personal Creations, with FTD’s iconic brands, FTD and Interflora, and Mercury Man logo is expected to enhance FTD’s already robust consumer floral and gifting category.

Strengthens Floral Network: The expected efficiencies and greater resources of this combination will enable FTD to further invest in new products, services and technology that are expected to directly benefit its vast network of florists and the floral industry as a whole.

Enhances Consumer Shopping Experience: FTD will immediately be able to offer a wider selection of floral and gifting products, providing consumers with greater convenience and choice.

Provides Significant Cost Synergies: The combination is expected to generate more than $25 million in annual synergies within 36 months of closing, with a goal of creating incremental value for FTD stockholders over time.

Thursday Expect A Shaq Attack At HSN

July 31, 2014

Yikes! Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal has joined the HSN family, set to appear on-air for Monster Products Thursday.

He will present two products at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The Monster Superstar Speaker, at $129.95, is the world’s smallest audiophile Bluetooth speaker. This pocket-sized speaker features big sound, is lightweight and can fit into your pocket, briefcase, or backpack.

The speaker has a built-in microphone for crystal clear speaker phone conversations, and pairs with Bluetooth 4.0.

“This splash resistant speaker is really the party that fits in your pocket,” HSN said in a press release Wednesday.

Yeah, right.

The Monster Powercard, at 39.95, is a credit-card sized smartphone charger. It is super slim and can fit in your wallet.

The Powercard has a universal USB port to charge anything from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy.

HSN’s Joy Mangano Sells Record-Breaking 216,000 Pillow Sets

July 29, 2014

We posted a blog awhile ago when HSN mother of invention Joy Mangano introduced her line of pillows. We got a lot of comments from customers who bought them, and hated them. And a lot of people may be about to be disappointed.

Mangano broke a record on HSN this weekend when she brought back her Comfort and Joy MemoryCloud pillows and sold nearly half a million of them, or over 216,000 sets, the network said Monday.

That performance shattered HSN’s previous record, also set by Mangano, for the most units of a single item sold in a single day on the home shopping network.

Mangano beat her own prior record of 174,000 units sold in one day of her Forever Fragrant Odor Eliminating, which she set in 2010.

JOY

“All I can say is WOW!” Mangano said in a canned statement. “This was a hallmark day in my career and I am blessed to be able to share my products through the power of HSN. I pride myself on offering products designed to make people’s lives a little easier. Days like these make me so thankful for the incredible loyalty my fans have shown me over the years.”

The “Summer Comfort Home” event was part of HSN’s month-long 37th birthday celebration, which also featured collections rom two Bravo “Housewives”: NeNe Leakes of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and Melissa Gorga of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

At the gym, when we’re on the elliptical machine, we often watch Bravo at night. Just last week we were watching “Housewives of New Jersey” and saw Gorga wearing a striking gold collar-type necklace.

Well, it is from her HSN jewelry line, the “Grecian Goddess” collar, for $30, item number 354-423.

http://www.hsn.com/products/melissa-gorga-grecian-goddess-17-12-collar-necklace/7471543

We were unimpressed with NeNe’s cold-shoulder top.

Alex And Ani Bracelets Come To QVC Saturday

July 24, 2014

A red-hot jewelry brand is coming to QVC Saturday for its super sale at the Hamptons, which will benefit ovarian cancer research. It’s Alex and Ani, the American designers of those ubiquitous expandable metal bracelets that young women are piling on their wrists.

We actually have four of the bangles, three in brushed gold and one in silver. We got our first one from our friend Diane as a birthday gift more than a year ago, before the bracelets with their dangling charges showed up everywhere and on everyone.

Some may say the trend has peaked, but we still like the bangles, so lightweight that you forget you’re wearing them.

You can find a large selection at Nordstom, and TJ Maxx has also had them at times at a nice discount.

For its Saturday sale, QVC is promising to offer merchandise at 50 percent its MSP, so we’re waiting to see what the Alex and Ani bracelets sell for. They normally retail at $30 to $40.

Interesting enough, QVC is also hawking its own knock-off of the Alex and Ani bracelets. The home shopping network calls its version “The Extraordinary Life Expandable Charm Bangle,” item No. J296024. Unlike the Alex and Ani originals, which are made of base metal, QVC’s version is sterling silver.

And even made of that precious metal, it’s on advance order for $40, just $10 more than the base metal originals.

As with the Alex and Ani bracelets, you have a choice of QVC bracelets with different charms that have inspirational messages.

QVC, Ovarian Cancer Research Team Up On Hamptons Sale

July 23, 2014

QVC and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) are joining forces once again for “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE,” an annual “designer charity sale” scheduled to be broadcast live from the Hamptons this Saturday.

During the two-hour shopping gala, premier fashion, beauty, jewelry and more will be offered for half the manufacturer’s suggested retail price with 80 percent of the purchase price of donated merchandise benefiting OCRF’s research programs.

These proceeds will also benefit Woman to Woman, OCRF’s nationwide patient program designed to support women currently undergoing treatment for gynecologic cancers.

The live broadcast will feature a variety of designer deals from top brands including philosophy, Alex and Ani, JAI by John Hardy, Amrita Singh, Honora, orYANYand many others.

The “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE” broadcast will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the soiree with celebrity interviews straight from the red carpet.

To help promote QVC’s efforts, Kelly Ripa, a longtime supporter of OCRF’s Super Saturday and co-star of “LIVE with Kelly and Michael,” is featured in both the print and television public service announcements for “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE.” Ripa will also lend her voice once again as the host of the charitable event.

“QVC is dedicated to spreading OCRF’s message in the hopes that we will one day find a way to eradicate this deadly disease,” QVC U.S. CEO Claire Watts said. “This year, we are excited to incorporate our new toGather initiative which makes it easier than ever to raise awareness for such an important cause.”

Adding a new twist to the power of social media, toGather, QVC’s discovery shopping experience, and Lisa Robertson, QVC host of the “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE” broadcast, will launch a new Super Saturday collection featuring this year’s designer goods. Shoppers will be encouraged to “Heart for Hope” by hearting and sharing items and social stickers to help spread awareness for ovarian cancer research.

“Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest diseases women face, and more needs to be done to raise awareness and funds to support both research and women undergoing treatment,” said Audra Moran, CEO, OCRF. “QVC’s Super Saturday broadcast has been a tremendous help in spreading OCRF’s message beyond the Hamptons community and into millions of homes across the U.S.”

HSN To Report Second-Quarter Earnings Aug. 7

July 18, 2014

HSN Inc. will release its second-quarter results on Aug. 7 at 8 a.m. before the market opens, the home shopping network said Thursday.

CEO Mindy Grossman and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Judy Schmeling will hold a conference call at 9 a.m. to review the results.

Those interested in participating in the conference call should dial 877-307-0246 or 224-357-2394 at least five minutes prior to the call.

There will also be a simultaneous audio webcast available via the company’s website at http://www.hsni.com.

A replay of the conference call can be accessed until Aug. 21 by dialing 855-859-2056 or 404-537-3406, plus the pass code 72340808, and will also be hosted on the company’s website for a limited time.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman Turned Down J.C. Penney Slot

July 15, 2014

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman had a chance to become the head of J.C. Penney Co., but couldn’t come to terms with the troubled brick-and-mortar retailer, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/hsn-chief-turned-down-top-job-at-j-c-penney-1405263904?mod=asia_home

The headline on the story was “Penney CEO Search Drags On: Board Works Through Small Slate After HSN’s Mindy Grossman Turns Down Job.”

Mindy Grossman

Mindy Grossman

The Journal reported that Grossman had “advanced” talks to take the Penney job, but that those chats broke down “after both sides couldn’t agree on terms.”

As for Grossman, The Journal was very flattering to her. It said that Grossman, a former Nike executive, was “seen as a rising star.” In 2012, Grossman was approached by Avon Products about becoming its CEO, The Journal reported.

The financial paper also said that Grossman “is credited with crafting a more upscale image for the Home Shopping Network.” It’s HSN, dummies!

Hip-Hop Star Nicki Minaj Hops Onto HSN

July 11, 2014

Hip-hop star Nicki Minaj, on her best behavior and without the rainbow hair and booty-shaking, is on HSN right now, touting her new perfume.

Host Colleen Lopez is fawning all over her, but we guess that’s her job.

Here is the official press release on Ms. Minaj:

Nicki Minaj To Premiere Latest Fragrance During Live HSN Debut Tonight At 12:01 A.M. (EDT)

– International Superstar to Unveil MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition and Give Fans Sneak Preview of New Onika Fragrance as part of HSN’s Month-long Birthday Celebration –

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., July 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Fashion and beauty vanguard, global entertainer and multi-platinum recording artist Nicki Minaj has partnered with leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer HSN to launch her latest fragrance, MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition tonight! The superstar will unveil her new Eau de Parfum exclusively on HSN during her first-ever live appearance July 11 at 12:01 A.M. (EDT).

Also during the debut, Minaj will give an exclusive sneak-peek of Onika Nicki Minaj, the next endeavor in her fragrance collection, making this live appearance an absolute must-see event.

“I am so excited to debut my new fragrance on HSN for the first time. I adore my fans and want to share this experience in a unique way – live, on TV. I hope this fragrance inspires my Barbz to feel positive and fearless. Every girl loves the thrill of adventure. Exotic to me, represents that crazy feeling you get from taking a risk and getting out of your comfort zone.” – Nicki Minaj

THE INSPIRATION

Drawing upon her glamorous evolution, MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition is the next doll to reign in Minaj’s fragrance empire, bringing new excitement to the MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj brand. MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition inspires Minaj’s fans to bring out their outrageous side, and have fun with life – especially by taking risks, trying new things, and traveling outside their comfort zone.

An upbeat celebration for life and spontaneity, this brand inspires Minaj’s fans to feel exotic, flirtatious and glamorous. EXOTIC represents the outrageous experience of trying something new, FLIRTATIOUS represents a girl’s bright and breezy readiness to flirt when she knows she’s cute and stylish, and GLAMOROUS is the positive and fearless commitment to oneself.

THE FRAGRANCE

An exotic fruity floral musk that reigns with mouthwatering fruits and a luscious floralcy, glimmering in the sensuous warmth of sheer musk.

TOP

The fragrance opens with the bright, sparkling nectar of Bergamot, Orange Squeeze and Mango for a luscious, mouthwatering sensation.

HEART
The heart blossoms with Tiger Lilies, as Lavender Blossom and Dewy Petals wrap the senses in a floral oasis.

DRYDOWN
The sensuous drydown glows with the exotic warmth of Creamy Musk and Cedar Wood.

THE PACKAGING
Minaj’s transformation into a spontaneous, blonde bombshell takes center stage in the MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition design. Donning a blonde, wavy wig and a playful, black bustier, the newest “doll” in Minaj’s fragrance portfolio is vibrant, magnetic and full-on glam.

HSN US EXCLUSIVE OFFER WITH BONUS GIFT*
Eau de Parfum Spray, 3.4 fl. oz $63.50

*With purchase of the MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition Eau de Parfum Spray 3.4 fl. oz., fans will also receive TWO EXCLUSIVE items from Minaj’s never-before-seen, upcoming fragrance:

Onika Nicki Minaj Eau de Parfum Rollerball .34 fl. oz.
Onika Nicki Minaj Scented Wardrobe Freshener

Smashbox Cosmetics Skips From QVC To HSN

July 10, 2014

Well butter our buns and call us a biscuit: Smashbox Cosmetics has defected from QVC to HSN!

Well, let’s put it this way: Smashbox will now be selling its wares on HSN. Whether that was the cosmetics maker’s decision, or QVC didn’t renew its deal with it, is unknown. But HSN trumpeted the company’s debut on its airwaves Wednesday.

Smashbox will premiere today, Thursday, at 7 p.m., and again throughout the day on July 14 and 15.

“Smashbox Cosmetics is a leader within the makeup industry and I am thrilled to welcome them to our growing portfolio of top-tier beauty brands,” Anne Martin-Vachon, HSN’s chief merchandising officer, said in a canned statement.

“Our customers are extremely savvy when it comes to beauty and constantly searching for products that will help them achieve their perfect look. I am confident they will find it when Smashbox debuts on HSN in July.”

Smashbox will give HSN shoppers a two-day exclusive preview of its new Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer and Be Legendary Longwear Lip Lacquer on July 14 as part of HSN’s month-long 37th birthday celebration.

“HSN is an incredible platform in the beauty industry and our new partnership creates endless possibilities to grow our business,” said Smashbox founder Davis Factor. “We’ve admired HSN for many years and look forward to building a robust relationship while sharing the Smashbox story with customers nationwide.”

“Admired HSN”? Is that a dig at QVC?

HSN will offer an assortment of products at launch, featuring Smashbox favorites, exclusive configurations and exciting new additions to the line.

The full launch assortment will include:

Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer ($39)
Be Legendary Longwear Lip Lacquer ($24)
Liquid Halo Foundation with Travel Classic Primer ($42)
Full Exposure Mascara Duo ($24.50)
Always Sharp Eyeliner Duo ($30)
Always Sharp Lip Liner ($20)
Full Exposure Shadow Palette ($49)
Brow Tech To Go ($27)
Photo Finish 24-hr Eye Shadow Primer ($20)
Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder ($59)
Telephoto Brush ($39)

Marketing Guru Bill Brand Promoted To HSN President

July 9, 2014

Our buddy Bill Brand, an HSN honcho, got a big promotion Tuesday. Hope Mindy is giving you a big raise, friend.

Brand, 48, was named president of the home shopping channel HSN, effective immediately. Brand will also keep his post as chief marketing officer of HSN Inc., the parent of the TV network and the Cornerstone unit.

Brand, who is also an executive officer of the company, will continue to report directly to HSNi CEO Mindy Grossman.

Mindy Grossman, you-know-who and Bill Brand

Mindy Grossman, you-know-who and Bill Brand

“Eight years ago, Bill was the first person I hired to join the HSN team and has been one of my key partners in transforming HSN into the full network of experiences that it is today,” Grossman said in a canned statement.

“As we continue to innovate, collaborate and leverage the power of technology to create a compelling experience for consumers, Bill’s leadership, talent and unbridled passion will help ensure HSN remains the leading experiential retailer.”

Brand, a veteran of Lifetime Television and VH1, created an integration strategy at HSN that “has resulted in unique partnerships with major film studios, the production of world-class events, the launch of global brands and innovative content across all our platforms,” the network said in a press release.

“Recent partnerships such as Univision, AOL, Disney and Toyota as well as new marketing and CRM capabilities have all contributed to HSN’s highest customer file growth, now exceeding 5 million active customers,” the statement said.

In his new role as president, Brand will look to forge new strategies for the growth of HSN as well as continue to position HSNi as a leader in the retail industry.

He will assume responsibility of merchandising, programming, planning and HSN2 in addition to his current responsibilities.

“HSN is uniquely positioned to transform the retail industry by creating new ways for consumers to experience and interact with their favorite brands through content and commerce across all platforms,” Brand said.

“I am extremely gratified to lead a world-class team at HSN and continue to work with Mindy Grossman and our exceptional partners to develop inspiring events for our loyal television, online, social and mobile customers.”

Brand joined HSN in 2006 as senior vice president of Programming. He has continually taken on increased areas of responsibility, adding marketing and new business development followed by TV operations, creative and digital. In 2013, Brand was promoted to chief marketing and business development officer of HSNi.

Prior to joining HSN, Brand spent more than 10 years holding senior executive positions in programming with Lifetime and VH1, contributing to rapid growth and development of both entertainment networks.

He spent the first decade of his career in news management at regional television stations nationwide and has received numerous awards for his work in journalism.

QVC Host David Venable Pens Second Cookbook

July 4, 2014

That sly puss David Venable, QVC’s kitchen king, has a new cookbook coming out.

David Venable’s second cookbook is called “Back Around the Table: An “In the Kitchen with David” Cookbook.

The new tome, which follows his 2012 best-seller, is scheduled to launch Sunday at noon during QVC’s most popular cooking show “In the Kitchen with David,” which the Southerner hosts twice weekly.

David Venable

David Venable

Venable’s fans will be able to order the cookbook during an exclusive three-month pre-sale. The book will be published on Oct. 7.

“I was overwhelmed by the positive support I received for my first cookbook,” Venable said in a canned statement. “Working with Random House once again provides me with the opportunity to bring my latest and greatest comfort food favorites to foodies across the country. My new recipes in ‘Back Around the Table’ aspire to bring families and friends together and keep them coming back to the table for more mouth-watering food and memorable times.”

Venable’s cookbook from Ballantine Books features more than 100 brand-new recipes, as well as 30 fan favorites.

The book is arranged like a collection of “mini” comfort-themed books including chapters, such as “Mix and Mingle,” “Quick and Easy” and “Gather and Share.”

America’s Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond (who the hell is she?), a frequent guest on “In the Kitchen with David,” wrote the cookbook’s foreword.

QVC will feature a special edition of the cookbook, which will contain the bonus chapter “Comfort & Joy” with 10 additional holiday-themed recipes.

“David’s infectious love for food and passion for cooking for his family and friends has made ‘In the Kitchen with David’ one of the most popular and well-regarded programs in the country,” said Karen Fonner, QVC’s vice president of content marketing and programming.

“’Back Around the Table’ perfectly captures David’s enthusiasm and is sure to bring families together as they enjoy their favorite comfort foods.”

Venable joined QVC as a program host in 1993 and has since helped establish and build the multimedia retailer’s gourmet food business.

There are more than 350,000 copies in print of his 2012 cookbook, In the Kitchen with David: QVC’s Resident Foodie Presents Comfort Foods That Take You Home.

Over the years, Venable has welcomed some of the most prominent chefs and food celebrities to “In the Kitchen with David” such as Giada De Laurentiis; Lidia Bastianich; Emeril Lagasse; Rachael Ray; The Chew’s Michael Symon; Carla Hall and Daphne Oz; TLC’s Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and many more.

Minaj, NeNe And The Shaq: What Do They Have In Common?

July 2, 2014

HSN is going to party-hardy for its 37th birthday, bringing us such polarizing celebs as hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” reality star NeNe Leakes and Melissa Gorga of the Jersey “Housewives.” Shaquille O’Neal will even be in the house.

We don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

The month-long home shopping shindig will include a $50,000 jewelry giveaway, which sounds like a great idea to us. Hundreds of baubles, ranging from fine gold and gemstones to fashion statement pieces will be awarded weekly via the HSN Arcade at HSN.com, the network said in a press release Tuesday.

On July 11, “fashion and beauty vanguard, global entertainer and multi-platform recording artist Nicki Minaj will once again push beauty industry boundaries with the exclusive launch of her latest fragrance MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition on HSN,” the network said.

A  new version of the Nicki Minaj fragrance is coming to HSNio

Here is something we will be sure to miss: a 24-hour Craft Event featuring Martha Stewart.

On July 28, “your favorite housewives will make HSN their new home for style,” according to HSN’s press release.

Leakes will introduce NENE LEAKES, her exclusive new fashion line for HSN. Gorga will also make her official debut on HSN with an exclusive line of fashion jewelry.

NBA great turned entrepreneur Shaquille O’Neal will cap off the month on July 31 with a special appearance on HSN to present new innovations from Monster.

Jewelry TV Holds Jewel School Designer Challenge

June 30, 2014

Jewelry Television invites jewelry designers is holding its annual Jewel School Designer Showcase Challenge, with more than $10,000 in cash and prizes are up for grabs for 60 winners.

Competitors can enter their one-of-a-kind creations until Aug. 17, according to the network.

“Jewelry-making complements us as a retailer of loose gemstones,” Trisha Condra, JTV’s vice president and general merchandising manager of gemstones, said in a canned statement. “Each year, the Designer Showcase brings the individuality of our customers to the forefront. We love providing a platform to celebrate their creativity.”

Contestants may enter into the following categories:

- Mixed-Up Media: Finished jewelry must feature Kumihimo, leather, concrete or polymer clay using any technique.

- Metal-Art Play: Finished jewelry must feature metal and wire using techniques of metal smithing, wire work, viking knit, art clay or chain maille. This includes the use of cold and hot connections, metal forming, weaving wire or firing plates.

- Blissful Beading: Finished jewelry must feature beads from the smallest seed bead to the largest focal bead or any size in between using techniques such as knotting, beading wire, bead weaving or looming.

A panel of judges will review the entries from Aug. 18 to 31 and select 20 finalists from each category.

On Sept. 1, the finalists will be announced and online voting will commence. A grand prize winner, fan favorite and three category winners will be announced live on air Sept. 22.

The grand prize winner and fan favorite will receive Jewel School products and cash totaling $3,500. All category winners and finalists will receive prizes with Jewel School products, gift cards and/or cash totaling $6,650.

For more information and to enter the Jewel School Designer Showcase Challenge, visit jtv.com/challenge.

About Jewelry Television®

Grammy Winner Jason Mraz To Perform Live On HSN July 1

June 28, 2014

We’re getting old: Things are blending together and we don’t know all the names of popular musical artists. A case in point is Grammy Award-winning Jason Mraz.

This guy, who we are sorry to say that we are not familiar with, will be performing live on HSN next Tuesday, July 1, at 9 p.m. He will be hawking his fifth album, “Yes!”

Mraz and his band Raining Jane will perform tracks from “Yes!”

JASON

He joins the growing list of performers who have done live concerts now on the home shopping network, such as Mary J. Blige, Tony Bennett, Josh Groban, Lionel Richie and Rod Stewart.

“Jason’s partnering with Raining Jane has resulted in an intimate journey of acoustic splendor,” Andy Sheldon, chief creative development officer for HSN Entertainment, said in a statement. “This night will be a special one for HSN viewers as we create a visual and audio experience that truly showcases the artistry and brilliance of Jason.”

The singer’s global hit was “I’m Yours.”

HSH’s exclusive “Yes!” CD bundle includes:

YES! Track List:
1. Rise
2. Love Someone
3. Hello, You Beautiful Thing
4. Long Drive
5. Everywhere
6. Best Friend
7. Quiet
8. Out of My Hands
9. It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday
10. 3 Things
11. You Can Rely On Me
12. Back To The Earth
13. A World With You
14. Shine

Bonus Tracks, available exclusively at HSN.com:
1. I’m Yours (Live)
2. I Won’t Give Up (Live)
3. You & I Both (Live)
4. 93 Million Miles (Live)

Hip-Hop Singer Nicki Minaj Coming To HSN With Fragrance

June 27, 2014

Look many female singers before her, hip-hop star Nicki Minaj is coming to HSN next month to hawk her new fragrance.

Minaj, who has apparently toned down her Technicolor hair, will be on the air July 11 with Minajesty: Exotic Edition.

Here’s the scoop from an HSN.com blog:

http://community.hsn.com/t5/HSN-Blogs/Nicki-Minaj-Shares-Inspiration-Behind-Her-New-Fragrance-Exotic/ba-p/612754?cm_mmc=social-_-facebook-_-blogs-_-nickiminajexoticinspiration

Fragrance is a woman’s best accessory because it makes you feel more confident. It’s sexy and it makes you feel unique.
Nicki Minaj

With the launch of her new fragrance, her new album, and more natural look, Nicki Minaj is revisiting her roots. We got the chance to learn a little bit more about Nicki, her background and success with a recent Q&A.

Q: You’ve been speaking about going back to your roots. What does that mean to you?

A: “As it relates to music, it just means to make sure I remain in a place where the music always comes from my heart and that nothing else but passion is driving what I do. The PinkPrint will be a very passionate album.”

Q: Can you tell us one person you admire or look to as a mentor, and why?

A: “I admire and feel mentored by Lil Wayne. I’ve always loved his work ethic & unique talent. He’s been my biggest teacher in rap music.”

Q: What does a “Day-in-the-Life of Nicki Minaj” look like?

A: “It looks like long hours in the studio, tons of calls and emails all day, lots of laughs with my best friends, approving photos, approving mixes to songs that will make the album, trying on clothes for upcoming events, and always less sleep than my body needs.”

Q: What one piece of advice would you give to a woman who is struggling with self-confidence?

A: “I’d tell her that she was beautiful whether she realizes it or not and that the moment she begins to believe in herself, the possibilities in life are endless.”

Minaj follows in the footsteps of singers such as Mary K. Blige and Jennifer Lopez, who have also hawked their scents on HSN.

Ex-ShopHQ CEO Keith Stewart Gets $2.5 Million Severance Package

June 26, 2014

Don’t shed any tears for Keith Stewart, who exited as CEO of ShopHQ last weekend after a long proxy fight. He’s leaving with a nice severance package.

The network filed a copy of his severance agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

http://hsprod.investis.com/site/irwizard/vvtv/ir.jsp?page=sec_item_new&ipage=9670635&DSEQ=&SEQ=&SQDESC=

Here’s the bottom line: He will get severance pay of $1,427,108, which represents twice his annual base salary as well as severance bonus pay of $1,070,331, which represents twice his target annual incentive bonus of 75 percent of his annual base salary “for a period of 24 months.”

Keith Stewart

Keith Stewart

Under the “separation agreement,” ShopHQ will also pay Stewart all accrued and earned (but unpaid) base salary, vacation and other accrued amounts, as well as all outstanding expense reimbursements. The figure for all that is unspecified.

As for benefits, Stewart and his family will continue to receive group health, dental and life insurance.

According to the SEC filing, Stewart resigned as a member of the network’s board and as CEO last Sunday.

“Mr. Stewart did not resign due to any material disagreement with the Company, known to an executive officer of the Company, on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices or otherwise<' the filing said.

Stewart left after dissident shareholders, The Clinton Group, waged a successful battle to get four of its nominees voted onto ShopHQ's board.

Under the separation Agreement, Stewart and ShopHQ agreed that his resignation would be treated as a result of an “event” and for reasons other than “cause.”

There are conditions for Stewart to get this golden parachute.

He must "deliver to the Company a customary release of claims in favor of the Company in an agreed form; (ii) Mr. Stewart must not revoke such release; (iii) the rescission periods provided by law for such release must have expired; and (iv) Mr. Stewart must be in substantial compliance with the material terms of the Separation Agreement and the Employment."

The agreement also includes "customary non-competition, non-disparagement and confidentiality and non-disclosure provisions." In other words, he can't badmouth ShopHQ.

New Sheriff In Town At ShopHQ, Boots Should Be Shaking

June 25, 2014

So ShopHQ’s dissident shareholders have succeeded in their quest, and dethroned CEO Keith Stewart. The new sheriff in town is Mark Bozek, a former HSN chief. Now what?

In their many regulatory filings and letters to shareholders, The Clinton Group made it clear it was unhappy with ShopHQ’s product mix. We don’t think you’ll be seeing hours and hours — and days — of Invicta watches in the near future.

Meet Mark Bozek

Meet Mark Bozek

The Clinton Group told other shareholders that it didn’t make sense to sell merchandize that consumers can readily purchase in a brick-and-mortar store.

Next, the president of ShopHQ under Stewart, Bob Ayd, should probably be sending his resume out, unless he has a prior relationship with Bozek that we don’t know about.

The dissidents also criticized the No. 3 home shopping network’s location in remote, and freezing, Minneapolis. The network will likely open up, at the very least, an office in Manhattan.

If we were a ShopHQ vendor, we’d be worried right now. We don’t have the sales figures to know how Chuck Clemency or Paul Deasy’s jewelry sells, but the new ShopHQ leadership will give it a close look, we’re sure.

The Clinton talked about creating proprietary brands, but we assume they will want to launch their own. We don’t know how loyal they will be to the old ones.

And as for the network’s hosts, we suspect Bozek will give them a close look to decide if they should stay or not.

Here’s the 411 on Bozek:

Mr. Bozek is the former CEO of Home Shopping Network (HSN). Mr. Bozek generated over $6 billion in sales and $1 billion in profits while managing 6,000 employees at HSN. Mr. Bozek transformed HSN’s merchandising through innovation and strategic leadership.

Mr. Bozek built multiple $100+ million proprietary brands while running the company, including Ingenious Designs. He also was responsible for the development and growth of HSN’s current top selling brands including Andrew Lessman, Diane Gilman, Wolfgang Puck and Serious Skin Care.

In 1998, Bozek launched HSN.com. He grew this online business to over $100 million in 18 months. Mr. Bozek was also responsible for the international launches of HSN in Japan, Europe and China.

Mr. Bozek’s merchandising and media success began as a producer at Fox Television and then as a Senior Vice President at QVC. Mr. Bozek was at Fox Television at its inception in 1998, where he was a three-time Emmy nominee. Bozek has previously served as a director of Sykes Enterprises.

Dissident ShopHQ Shareholders Oust Keith Stewart, Bozek In Charge

June 24, 2014

ValueVision Media Reconstitutes Board of Directors to Include Five New Members; Mark Bozek, Former HSN Chief, Named Chief Executive Officer; Bob Rosenblatt Named Chairman of the Board

In other words, Keith Stewart was essentially shit-canned.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN–(Marketwired – Jun 23, 2014) – ValueVision Media, Inc. (NASDAQ: VVTV), a multichannel electronic retailer operating as ShopHQ via TV, Internet and mobile, today announced it has reconstituted its Board of Directors and has unanimously appointed Mark Bozek Chief Executive Officer and Bob Rosenblatt Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately.

Mr. Bozek succeeds Keith Stewart, who has resigned as Chief Executive Officer and as a director of the Company. Mr. Bozek has more than 20 years of senior executive experience in the multi-channel commerce, electronic retailing and entertainment industries, including having served as CEO of HSN, Inc., Senior Vice President of QVC, Inc., and as a producer at Fox Television.

ValueVision also announced that IVS Associates, Inc., the independent inspector of elections, has certified the voting results at the Company’s Annual Meeting, held on June 18, 2014. Four ValueVision nominees and four nominees of the Clinton Group, Inc. were elected to the ValueVision Board of Directors. ‘

The Board has appointed former President of Saks Fifth Avenue, also a fifth Clinton Group nominee, Ronald Frasch, as a director following Mr. Stewart’s resignation.

Accordingly, the Board will consist of: Thomas Beers, Mark Bozek, John Buck, Ronald Frasch, Landel Hobbs, Lowell Robinson, Bob Rosenblatt and Fred Siegel. The newly reconstituted Board will focus on further strengthening the Company’s financial and operating performance and delivering meaningful returns for all ValueVision shareholders.

John Buck said, “We are pleased to welcome Mark Bozek, a pioneer and innovator in the retail and electronic retailing industries, as our new CEO. Mark has a proven track record of building consumer brands and driving revenue at both HSN and QVC, and we expect to leverage his expertise as ValueVision embarks on its very exciting next stage. As the Board’s longest tenured director, I welcome the energy and fresh perspectives of Mark and our other new directors, and look forward to working closely with them to transform the ShopHQ brand into the preeminent commerce and media franchise we know it can become.”

Mark Bozek said, “I am thrilled to join the team at ShopHQ and humbled by the opportunity to work with a talented Board and dedicated employees. ValueVision has great assets and our vision of all that comes next is ambitious; we plan to evolve the business, creating more robust platforms that enable us to become a far more relevant player in the multi-channel worlds of TV, online and mobile commerce and entertainment.

“By instilling a culture of accountability, respect and passion for the unique world of a ‘dollars per minute’ business, we believe ShopHQ has boundless potential. We will work tirelessly in the coming months to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for growth — one that includes employees, our loyal customers, as well as our valued product and brand creators — enabling ValueVision to create long-term shareholder value.”

Mr. Buck concluded, “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Keith Stewart, along with the other outgoing directors — Jill Botway, William Evans, Sean Orr and Randy Ronning — for their many contributions to ValueVision. We wish them all good things in their future endeavors.”

ValueVision shareholders also approved all proposals submitted for a vote at the Annual Meeting, including the approval of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2015. The results of the Annual Meeting have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

http://nypost.com/2014/06/24/mark-bozek-to-succeed-keith-stewart-at-shophq/

http://nypost.com/2014/06/24/mark-bozek-to-succeed-keith-stewart-at-shophq/

QVC Honcho Mike George Got $1.2 Million In Comp In 2013

June 24, 2014

QVC Inc. President and CEO Mike George received $1.2 million in executive compensation last year, way down from the prior year’s $18.2 million.

That was the dish from the proxy statement that QVC’s parent, Liberty Interactive Corp., filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

http://ir.libertyinteractive.com/secfiling.cfm?filingid=1047469-14-5802&CIK=1355096

We’ve read the filing several times, and our thick head still can’t figure out exactly why George’s comp took such a hit. We’re not sure if it is related to stock options he has coming, or what.

We do know that the CEO of QVC’s parent, Greg Maffei, also had a significant drop in his executive compensation in 2013. It nosedived to $2.7 million from $45.3 million in 2012.

George’s base salary was just about flat this year, at just over $1 million. The biggest change in his comp was for option awards: He had none in 2013 but $16.1 million in 2012.

Of anyone can make sense of the filing, please enlighten us.

QVC’s Video Tribute To Joan Rivers

September 10, 2014

QVC did a great video tribute to Joan Rivers.

We had forgotten those goofy promos that she used to do for the network.

Enjoy!


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