The New York Times Reveals QVC’s Secrets: Not, But Honchos Mike George And Greg Maffei Surface

First The Wall Street Journal, now The New York Times, have woken up and figured out that home shopping is a booming business. And there was not one mention of cubic zirconia in either story.

While The Journal recently wrote about HSN with a trip to Florida, The Times headed out to West Chester, Pa., to do its take on QVC. The headline on the story this weekend is “Can QVC Translate Its Pitch Online.”

As a veteran journalist, we found that this story didn’t quite gel because although it’s supposed to be about QVC’s online strategy — and its growing online sales — much of the piece reports on the home shopping network’s TV side.

QVC CEO Mike George dissed a gift box with Santa's face on it, to the horror of a QVC PR person

Our guess is that when The Journal wrote about home shopping networks booming and attracting names like celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and others, The Times had to find a different angle for its story. And it made its angle about QVC.com.

A big thesis of The Times story is that people thought the Internet might hurt home shopping channels. Why would you think that? The Web lets QVC, HSN and ShopNBC sell their vast inventory 24 hours a day, not just a few items every day. But what do we know.

And once again, as we read in The Journal, home shopping hosts and vendors — via those pesky earpieces — are coached by producers about when items are selling, and when they are duds and it is time to move on. Big whoop!

Lisa Robertson says QVC viewers don't want polished professionals

You have the link so you can read The Times story yourself, but here are some points that stood out for us:

— QVC CEO Mike George finally came out of the woodwork and was interviewed for the story.

— George dissed one of QVC’s products, prompting “an anguished sound” from a QVC PR person.

— Greg Maffei, CEO of QVC parent Liberty Media, came out of the woodwork and was interviewed for the story.

— Host Lisa Robertson’s quote, “They (QVC viewers) don’t want to see a bunch of polished professionals. They want to see the real people.” So Lisa, what are you saying? That you and your fellow hosts are a bunch of unpolished amateurs?

— Zoe has brought a ton of new customers to QVC.

— Milinda Baker Weldon from Graham, Texas, is a self-admitted QVC addict who has the network on six hours a day.

— Rachael Ray sold $350,000 worth of cookware on QVC in 12 minutes.

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4 Responses to “The New York Times Reveals QVC’s Secrets: Not, But Honchos Mike George And Greg Maffei Surface”

  1. Sue Says:

    Interesting article. What Lisa is referring to is the unscripted aspect of QVC, where everything is ad-lipped and mistakes happen.

    From the article:
    “THE sales may be minutely managed, but the on-the-air presentation is still purposefully folksy. There are no cue cards or teleprompters, in part because QVC is live 24 hours a day — it runs taped programming only on Christmas — and scripts would require hundreds of writers.”

  2. Daphne Says:

    Well, I watch more than I shop as I live in a city that’s big enough to have better deals on high end stuff I can touch before buying, but, as for what Lisa said, she along with Colleen on HSN are two of the ones I find too fake and phony.

    That said, I do have wonder just who these people are buying all this stuff, which to be honest is junk. And, just how many pots and pans are in Americans homes???

  3. QVC Finesses Its Multimedia Offerings | Uncategorized | Information about Careers Says:

    […] The New York Times Reveals QVC’s Secrets: Not, But Honchos Mike George And Greg Maffei Surface… […]

  4. cookware buy Says:

    cookware buy…

    The New York Times Reveals QVC’s Secrets: Not, But Honchos Mike George And Greg Maffei Surface « Homeshoppingista's Blog By Linda Moss…

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