Archive for January, 2011

QVC Jewelry Designer Barry Cord’s Bitter Divorce Leads Off Page Six

January 31, 2011

Home-shopping-network vendors keep popping up in the gossip pages of the New York tabloids, with the latest being upscale jewelry designer Barry Cord.

Cord, who does a jewelry line for QVC, lead Page Six in the New York Post Sunday with this headline: “Designer Divorce Gets Uglier.”

The divorce that is getting nastier is that of Cord and his third wife, Karen Cord. She claims that she faces eviction from her $5,400 a month Manhattan digs because Cord is not paying her court-ordered monthly alimony of $10,800, the Post reported.

Cord sold a Manhattan townhouse for $23 million in 2006, but according to the Post, “now says he’s broke.” Well, $23 million doesn’t go as far as it used to these days.

And Karen has a lot of bills to write out each month — such as $5,000 for clothes, $1,600 for psychotherapy and $3,000 for personal grooming, the Post said.

She complained that the $2,000 a month that Cord had been forking over to her barely covered her cell phone and cable bills. Wow! Time Warner Cable must have really jacked up its rates!

And who said — was it F. Scott Fitzgerald — that the rich are different than you and me.

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Van Totaled, Chatting Up ‘Jerseylicious’ Tracy DiMarco, Robert Lee Morris Meet-And-Greet, Back At The Spotted Donkey, Max Gone, Fall In Sheboygan: The Second Anniversary Of Our Layoff

January 27, 2011

Recently we’ve had dealings with some of the folk we knew when we covered the cable TV industry — before we were laid off exactly two years ago today.

We have to chuckle to ourselves when they say, “Oh, Linda Moss. Where have you been?”

We want to answer back, in our best Jersey accent, “Yo, where have you been?”

This summer our lovely BFF Ann McGettigan (left) and The Homeshoppingista visited QVC and rubbed shoulders with famed jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris (did we run this photo large enough?)

Here’s where we’ve been since Jan. 26, 2009:

• Writing 850 blogs for this site, The Homeshoppingista, which some say has become a must-read for the home shopping industry — and sometimes a thorn in the side of QVC, HSN and ShopNBC.

• Writing about New Jersey-related TV programming, such as “Jerseylicious,” and cable-vs.-programmers spats in the Garden State for NewJerseyNewsroom.com.

The Homeshoppingista interviewing Tracy DiMarco of Jerseylicious

• Writing about health care and telecommunications for a fantastic website on public policy, NJSpotlight.com, run by two of our former colleagues at The Herald-News, Lee Keough and Tom Johnson.

• Writing blogs on dementia for a website.

• Writing and breaking stories for TVNewsCheck.com, which is run by a great newspaperman and gent, Harry Jessell.

• Writing market profiles for Harry’s NetNewsCheck.com, which is run by my former colleague Eric Smith, another smart and talented – and blessedly un-anal — editor.

• Crafting blogs for nearly a dozen websites, with most of those pertaining to traumatic brain injury, for a chap, Gordon Johnson, we went to Medill (as in J-school) with. But he was smart, he became a lawyer. “American Idol” candidate Chris Medina got across the heartbreak of TBI lasr night when he told the story of his now-wheelchair bound fiancee.

• Doing a bit of volunteer work for the corporate public relations department of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, New Jersey’s largest hospital chain, as well as its affiliate, Clara Maass Medical Center.

• Going on dates, with more men in the past two years than we had in the prior 10, when we were working 10 to 12 hours a day, and some weekends and vacations.

• Learning how to use a Mac.

• Traveling to Chicago for a TBI conference for lawyers.

• Going to Wisconsin to see a brain injury survivor, Lethan Candlish, perform a remarkable one-man show about his recovery. Lethan is a master storyteller.

TBI storyteller Lethan Candlish

We must say, it’s a breath of fresh air to in many cases be interviewing and writing for people who don’t have a clue who John Malone or Brian Roberts is. Malone, oh non-cable people, is head of Liberty Media, which owns QVC.

You see, the cable TV industry is a close-knit cabal. That has its pluses and negatives. Some cable folk – and we adore many of them — only see the world through the prism of that industry, as if nothing exists outside it. Maybe it’s just natural for people in an industry to have such tunnel vision.

A year ago we blogged about the first anniversary of our layoff today. The past year has had a lot of ups and downs, personally.

Pet lovers will get this, but it was traumatic when our parents had to put down their dog of more than a dozen years, the min pin Max. Our father many a time threatened to kill that mutt, when he would jump on the table and run off with food, etc. But we were all in the vet’s office, and all cried, when Max was put to sleep.

Our nephew Evan (who told us to buckle up), our dad and niece Sydney at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, seven months before our Columbus Day accident

Just weeks later our dad tried to cheer everyone up by taking us to Atlantic City for Columbus Day weekend. On the way back on the Garden State Parkway my sister’s van – with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew and us in it – was T-boned by a car that came out of nowhere and flew across several lanes of traffic to crash into us.

We can still remember the shock when we were hit, and had no idea what was happening.

Luckily, we all had our seatbelts on (after our 6-year-old nephew Evan had reminded us to buckle up). But the other car hit the side of the van right next to our dad. The jaws of life got him out, but he fractured several vertebrae. He was in and out of the hospital so many times than we lost count, for both his back and his rotator cuff. He was taken by ambulance to the ER many times.

It truly is a miracle that we weren’t killed. Unfortunately our dad was hurt, but no one else was.

At Thanksgiving dinner, our dad always would say grace. This year, he said something like, “Thank you, oh Lord, for our health. Sort of.”

And we all laughed. Our father is nothing if not honest.

But there was plenty of good during the past year. After more than two years away from our beloved Arizona, we finally returned in December, with a guy. Thanks BJ!

It’s much better watching the sunset in Cave Creek, sucking down a prickly pear margarita at the Spotted Donkey Cantina, when you are sharing it with someone. We also enjoyed huckleberry margaritas, and the famous “Big Ass Burger,” at the Roaring Fork.

Watching the sunset from the patio of the Spotted Donkey Cantina, while sipping a prickly pear margarita, is glorious

We and our bud Ann McGettigan got to meet famed jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris when we visited QVC this summer.

And we’ve enjoyed the writing we’ve done during the past year, as we’ve become mini-experts on topics such as TBI, concussions, Obama’s health reform, Alzheimer’s, heparin, malpractice, nursing and plane crashes.

Our clips are now links to dozens of stories that we’ve written since being shoved out the door at Multichannel News. And there is a light at the end of the tunnel for us. More on that later.

And we still have this quote from Louis L’Amour on our bulletin board: “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.”

You were right, Louie.

HSN ‘Food Fox’ Padma Lakshmi Is Sued For Saying ‘Go Daddy’ To Her Baby’s Father

January 26, 2011

When sexy HSN vendor and “Top Chef” judge Padma Lakshmi was pregnant, she was totally mum about the paternity of her baby. Now the whole world knows.

Lakshmi made the gossip columns Wednesday after the father of her baby Krishna filed suit against her.

Lakshmi sells teas, and her books, on HSN

The New York Post’s Page Six reported that venture capitalist Adam Dell, the brother of Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell, had filed suit against Lakshmi seeking custody of their 11-month-old baby. Lakshmi, who the Post dubbed “the food fox,” has only been permitting Dell to spend seven hours a week with their baby girl.

The Post dug up the legal papers Dell filed against Lakshmi, and they don’t paint a very pretty picture of the very pretty Lakshmi. The two apparently started hooking up in November 2007 and were still intimate until the summer of 2009, when Lakshmi was suddenly not so into Dell.

According to the suit, Lakshmi was being bitchy because she was pregnant, and she was hoping that Dell wasn’t the father of the baby. She had also been sleeping with zillionaire financier Ted Forstmann, and was banking that he was the Popi.

But a DNA test found out otherwise: Dell, not Forstmann, was the father. Yet Dell’s name is nowhere to be found on the baby’s birth certificate.

Have you got all this? We wish were we fooling around with two guys with a lot of bucks.

To add insult to injury, the Post reported that Forstmann had said he wished Dell would “f–king disappear.”

Lakshmi, for those who care, sells exotic teas and some of her books on HSN.

HSN Launches Mobile HSN ID On Sprint ID Devices

January 26, 2011

HSN has launched HSN ID, which will allow consumers to access HSN’s special offers, live broadcast and more on their Sprint ID Android phone, the home shopping network said Wednesday.

“The new service allows HSN customers to watch, discover and shop for their favorite HSN brands — such as Wolfgang Puck, Twiggy London, Jonathan Adler, Mariah Carey and Lancome — anywhere they choose,” the press release says.

As part of the new Sprint ID technology, which offers consumers instant personalization with apps and other content tailored to their interests, Sprint customers can now watch and shop for HSN products in real time on the following Sprint ID-enabled devices: LG Optimus S, Sanyo Zio and Samsung Transform.

HSN ID, developed by Motricity, includes the following features available in a single download:

HSN’s Today’s Special: HSN’s best value of the day displayed with product information details and a direct link to purchase that item.

Live Video: Customers will never miss their favorite HSN brands and personalities with a 24-hour live video feed that includes a window displaying the product currently airing live on HSN.

Last 15 Aired: The three most recently aired items on display, with arrows to scroll through all 15 of the most recently aired items.

New Arrivals: A scrollable list of all the latest new discoveries from HSN’s portfolio of high-quality brands.

Social Media: Customers can stay connected with the latest HSN Facebook updates appearing on their Sprint-ID enabled device.

“HSN ID is perfect for on-the-go shoppers because it puts all of their favorite HSN products right in the palm of their hand,” John McDevitt, HSN’s vice president of advanced services, said in a canned statement. “Our new Android capability is the latest development in our efforts to remain at the forefront of transactional innovation by providing our customers with their own ‘ID’ full of content specifically tailored to their needs.”

HSN ID users are still free to search more than 100,000 apps in Android Market and download additional apps to their phone to add even further personalization.

“A personalized phone with a rich HSN experience makes it extremely easy and convenient for shoppers to find what they need no matter where they happen to be,” said David Owens, Sprint’s vice president of consumer marketing. “Sprint ID is all about making it easy for customers to have access to content that’s most relevant to them on their mobile device.”

Needless to say, Motricity had to get its two cents in.

“Delivering content the consumer wants, when they want it, is at the core of Motricity’s technology platform,” said Jim Ryan, Motricity’s chief marketing and strategy officer. “We are thrilled to partner with Sprint and HSN on the development of the HSN ID pack, which enhances the HSN customer’s ability to tailor their mobile shopping experience.”

HSN ID is free to download. Users can download up to four additional ID packs, in addition to HSN ID, such as MTV Music ID, ESPN, Socially Connected, or Fashion and Beauty and easily switch back and forth depending on which apps they’d like to access at any given time. For more information about HSN ID, visit http://www.sprint.com/hsn or visit http://www.sprint.com/sprintid for more about Sprint ID.

The LG Optimus S smartphone featuring the HSN ID pack is currently available at http://www.hsn.com for $149.95.

QVC Jewelry Queen Joan Rivers’ New Reality Show Debuts In An Hour On WE

January 26, 2011

Joan wearing one of her QVC pins

No one can accuse QVC jewelry queen Joan Rivers of being lazy, just crazy.

The documentary about her, “A Piece of Work,” showed the world that she is a workaholic. And in that vein, comedian Rivers is doing a new reality show with her annoying daughter Melissa. “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?,” that debuts in about an hour, at 9 p.m., on WE.

This work is on top of Rivers’ show on E!, “Fashion Police,” shepherding her QVC jewelry line, doing stand-up appearances and — news to us — making an infomercial for Great Hair Day, a product that covers up female baldness.

The reviews for “Joan Knows Best?” were mixed, but usually brutal TV critic Alessandra Stanley cut Rivers some slack in her review today.

HSN To Report Fourth-Quarter Results Feb. 23

January 24, 2011

HSN will release its fourth quarter and fiscal 2010 results Feb. 23, the home shopping network said Monday.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman and Judy Schmeling, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will hold a conference call at 9 a.m. to review these results.

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 March 9 by dialing 800-642-1687 or 706-645-9291, plus the passcode 38796288 and will also be hosted on the company’s website for a limited time.

FX’s Boxing Drama ‘Lights Out’ Takes A Shot At Home Shopping Networks

January 23, 2011

We get review DVDs from FX, and last night we watched the third episode of “Lights Out,” which airs this Tuesday. And the boxing drama, which we love, pokes fun at home shopping networks and even mentions QVC this week.

The show, which unfortunately has posted disappointing ratings, features Holt McCallany as Patrick “Lights” Leary, a former heavweight champ whose $12 million fortune has been mismanaged and squandered by his brother. Leary is broke, and he needs to raise cash.

As Episode 3, “The Shot,” opens we see a row of Leary bobblehead dolls. Leary is selling the tchotchkes on a home shopping network named CCN, Collectors Corner Network, where viewers bid on items.

The screen is set up just like it would be on QVC or HSN, with the item name, price, and network phone network listed in a box on the left side of the TV screen. We believe the bobbleheads were going for $57.50.

Learny is also selling signed boxing gloves, including a pair from one of his most famous bouts. The starting bid for the special set of gloves is $2,000.

Later in the episode, an up-and-coming boxing chides Leary about his home shopping stint. The young boxer takes a towel from around his neck, throws it at Leary, and says, “Sell this on QVC when I’m the champ. Make yourself some real money.”

“Lights Out,” by the way, is set in New Jersey, which is another reason we’re partial to the show. Nice job, John Landgraf.

Chef/HSN Vendor Todd English Eyes Blond Rump Roast At Party, As His Main Squeeze Looks On

January 22, 2011

It used to be that only the New York Post picked on celebrity chef and HSN pot peddler Todd English, but the New York Daily News jumped on that bandwagon Friday.

Horndog celebrity chef Todd English

English, who made tabloid headlines when he left his bride-to-be at the altar, was out breaking another woman’s heart this week. On its gossip page The News reported that “playboy chef” English got his current squeeze, 27-year-old Candice Sonneman, in a teary-eyed tizzy when he started making a play for a blond model right in front of her.

The scene played out at a party given by Ne-Yo and real estate developer Avi Oster at the Carlton Hotel in Manhattan.

“English sidled up to a tall blond model and — placing his hand on her lower back as if he was seasoning a succulent cut of veal — began whispering in her ear in full view of his gal pal,” the News wrote.

Sonneman left, followed by English. She must be a forgiving soul, because Sonneman returned to the party later that night with English.

If it was us, we would have hit him upside the head with a big watch, which is what his ex-fiancee did. Or better yet, we’d use one of his HSN GreenPans to whack him.

Big Whoop, Luddite QVC Host Lisa Robertson Is Finally On Facebook

January 21, 2011

We were busy blogging with QVC on the TV behind us when we heard host Antonella Nester saying that Lisa Robertson was finally on Facebook, and that she already had more “friends” than Nester, who has been on the social media site for six months.

Naturally, we had to jump on Facebook to “friend” Robertson. We saw she already has about 3,700 friends.

Lisa Robertson says please friend me

Here is what she posted nine hours ago:

Lisa Robertson QVC Hi Everyone! Welcome to my official Facebook page! I’m very excited to finally join and have the chance to say “hi” to all of you. I am new at this and will be learning as I go, so please bear with me! Look forward to sharing all the great beauty, fashion, jewelry news and more from the Q!

Robertson also posted some photos from her recent vacation in Dubai.

‘Gossip Girl’ Kelly Rutherford’s Handbags Debuting On QVC Feb. 25

January 21, 2011

Claire Watts

QVC’s PR department finally got back to us Thursday about “Gossip Girl” Kelly Rutherford’s new handbag line for the No. 1 home shopping network.

QVC said that Rutherford will be launching a line of handbags for QVC during its “The Buzz on the Red Carpet – Live from L.A.” programming Feb. 25. But there was no additional information available, according to the network.

We also finally got a photo of Claire Watts, who was just promoted to the new position of president of QVC U.S. Here she is.