Posts Tagged ‘Dan Dennis’

Roy Speer, HSN Co-Founder And Home Shopping Pioneer, Dies In Florida

August 23, 2012

We learned through a Facebook post by former HSN host Dan Dennis Wednesday that the pioneer who co-founded HSN, Roy Speer, had passed away,

Speer died Sunday after a long illness, according to The Tampa Bay Times. He lived in New Port Richey, Fla.

“Today ends a day of sadness for me, as I mourn the death of Roy Speer, co-founder of the Home Shopping Network,” Clifton, N.J.-native Dennis wrote. “As one of their original hosts, I had unprecedented access to Roy and all I can say is that if it wasn’t for Roy Speer, there wouldn’t even be a Dan Dennis. Roy always treated me like a son, and I will always be proud to call him ‘dad’ as well. God Bless and keep, Roy. It’s your old friend Discount Dan sayin’ ‘Bye bye for now.'”

The Tampa Bay paper did an excellent obit on Speers, who was quite a character. Here’s the link to it, and it is well-worth reading.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/obituaries/home-shopping-pioneer-roy-speer-dies-at-80/1246908

Apparently Speer, a lawyer, was a a pretty ornery character, tight-fisted and brash.

The legendary story about Speer and the co-founder of HSN, the broadcaster Lowell “Bud” Paxson, was that they started the network with pretty unsexy merchandise: 112 can openers. Speer and Paxson owned a local radio station, and they accepted the electric can openers in lieu of cash from an advertiser who couldn’t pay his bill, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

First, Speer and Paxon sold the can openers through their radio station. Then they took the business to the next step by buying local access time on cable, forging a TV home shopping channel.

The network secured national distribution in 1985. Over the years, its name went from Home Shopping Channel to Home Shopping Club to Home Shopping Network to HSN.

“The interactive shopping that Mr. Speer pioneered began almost by accident, multiplied beyond all expectations and turned the once-kitschy purveyor of star-shaped ice cube trays and racy playing cards into an industry standard,” The Tampa Bay Times wrote.

Yes, HSN is a multi-billion company now.

Speer at one point made the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. Guess he sold a lot of cubic zirconia.

Former ShopNBC Host Libby Floyd Has Penned A Romance Novel

August 21, 2012

Former ShopNBC host Libby Floyd has a brand new bag: She’s a romance writer.

Via LinkedIn, we learned that Floyd has published her first romance novel, called “Sparkelicious,” on Chardonnay Press.

“It is now available on Amazon.com,” she said. “I also have several other novels in the works.”

Libby Floyd

In addition to ShopNBC, Floyd has appeared on Food Network, The Shopping Channel and Shop at Home.

She joins a growing list of home shopping hosts who have intruded onto our turf: writing.

That group includes QVC’s Rick Domeier, Kathy Levine and Lisa Mason, as well as HSN vets Dan Dennis and Paul Deasy.

Former HSN Host, And New Jersey Native, Dan Dennis Drops Us A Line

June 18, 2012

Sorry we’re behind in our posting, but things have been nuts.

When we were away for a weekend in Newport to attend our friend Deb’s daughter’s wedding, we missed a Facebook message from veteran home shopping host and fellow rock hound Dan Dennis.

Dan Dennis

First of all, Dan took us to task a bit for failing to list him as host on our blog. We would have given him more ink if we had known he is from Clifton, N.J., and that he attended Montclair State, which we drive past every day now. Dan just told us that.

Anyway, we don’t think we telling tales out of school if we let you read part of Dan’s message.

I was one of the three hosts that launched HSN nationwide in 1985 and 27 years later still going on. I spent 13 years as HSN’s prime time show host, written a book that sold over 100,000 copies worldwide and spent time in Brazil learning what life is like in the mines…

I also have an e-commerce site that has done quite well for itself, and that one is http://www.shopdandennis.com. My legion of followers has stayed with me all the way … My second gem book will be out before the holidays.

Dan said he’s looking for a home shopping network to sell his book, and that he first one sold 60,000 copies on HSN alone.

Looking forward to it Dan.


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