Archive for August, 2012

JTV Now Offers ‘StretchPay’ For Purchases, Just Like Every Other Home Shopping Network

August 29, 2012

Well, we’ll be hog-tied: Jewelry Television is offering some merchandise on what QVC calls “Easy Pay,” HSN calls “Flex Pay,” and ShopNBC calls “ValuePay.”

JTV even has a trademarked name for it: StretchPay.

For the uninitiated, StretchPay, ValuePay, etc., all mean that you get to pay for your item in several installments, which are charged to your credit card each month.

So instead of having to fork over $500 for a diamond ring in one shot, you may have five Flex Pays of $100. It makes it easier to make those big-ticket purchases. Of course, if you are like us, you lose track of all your Flex Pays and Easy Pays, and you wind up with a whopping AMEX or Visa bill.

JTV hosts have always pooh-poohed Flex Pays and Easy Pays. Their advice was always to divide the cost of a big-ticket item and put it on several credit cards. But JTV changed its tune.

On Tuesday for the first time we heard about StretchPay on JTV. Here is what the network’s website says about it.

What is StretchPay™?

StretchPay™ is a program offered by Jewelry Television® that allows you to purchase certain items in installments over a specified number of months.

When you’re shopping online, any participating product will show the StretchPay™ logo or graphic on the product detail pages and in your shopping cart. If you’re shopping through our broadcast, our show hosts will indicate which items are eligible, and you’ll see a StretchPay™ logo or graphic displayed with the item.

When purchasing with StretchPay™ we will charge your method of payment for the first installment on the day your item ships. Any additional installment(s) will be charged every 30 days thereafter until the price of the item is paid in full.

The first installment will include the product price divided by the number of installments. Shipping and handling, applicable taxes and all services (such as Jewel Safe™ warranties, appraisals and sizing) are added to the first installment. Because of this, your first installment will always be higher than any subsequent installment(s).

Accepted methods of payment include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card and the JTV Preferred Account.

It looks to us like JTV customers were getting reluctant to pay for merchandise in one lump sum, and JTV saw the light.

We like that StretchPay name. Cute.

QVC’s Rachel Zoe And HSN’s Todd English Featured In Page Six Gossip Column

August 28, 2012

The New York Post’s addictive gossip column, Page Six, had two juicy tidbits about home shopping celebrity vendors on Monday.

The lead item was about QVC vendor and red-carpet stylist Rachel Zoe, and its headline was “Label’s doing not Zoe well.”

The column claimed that the upscale clothing line that razor-thin Zoe has debuted with Li & Fung is flopping. Page Six also claims that Zoe’s show on Bravo, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” may not get a fifth season pickup.

Playboy chef Todd English

The column asserted that Zoe’s fancy apparel line is not selling well at the kinds of places where we can’t afford to shop, such as Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s.

And a Page Six perennial favorite, celebrity chef and HSN vendor Todd English, may be getting his own reality show on E! Entertainment Television. The show would center on English and his restaurant kingdom, which includes Olives, Ca Va and the Plaza Food Hall, according to Page Six, which calls English “the playboy chef.”

The column also noted that English’s ex-fiancee, the woman he left at the altar, Erica Wang, has been charged with shoplifting from Sephora and Ralph Lauren.

Celebrity Stylist June Ambrose Joins Giuliana Rancic For HSN’s Fall Fashion Event

August 24, 2012

Celebrity stylist June Ambrose is the latest fashionista to join HSN’s lineup Sunday as kicks off its fall fashion series, “Ultimate Trunk Show,” the home shopping network said Thursday.

“June Ambrose has elevated the style of some of today’s biggest celebrities,” said Anne Martin-Vachon, HSN’s chief merchandising officer. “We are thrilled to have June join HSN and offer her unique perspective on style during our biggest fashion event of the season.”

We hope June Ambrose doesn’t wear this hat on HSN

HSN’s roster for its event includes Louise Roe, Giuliana Rancic and “how-to” videos from respected beauty experts Trish McEvoy, David Evangelista, Deborah Lippmann, Philip B. and Vincent Longo — all on, HSN mobile and HSN’s social platforms on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

HSN’s Fall Fashion Series highlights the season’s newest trends in fashion, footwear and accessories including the launches of G by Giuliana Rancic, the first ever apparel collection by Rancic exclusively for HSN, and top industry make-up artist, Trish McEvoy.

There will be items from Badgley Mischka, Carlos Falchi, Carol Brodie, IMAN, Louise Roe, Adrienne Landau, Robert Verdi, Serena Williams, Stefani Greenfield and Queen Latifah as well as new on-trend jewelry from designers R.J. Graziano and Iris Apfel; and beauty products from some of the world’s best known artists including, Deborah Lippmann, David Evangelista and Philip B.

HSN is giving amateur stylists a place to curate their ultimate wardrobe for Fall with the ‘Pin to Win: Dream Wardrobe’ contest on the social pinboard, Pinterest. Running from Sept. 10 to 17, “pinners” will be asked to submit their pinboard by picking at least 10 items — a minimum of five items from and five or more from anywhere on the web – and tag boards with #HSN and #FallFashionElle.

Pinboards will be judged by Rancic, Roe and Ambrose on their originality, continuity, thoughtfulness and attention to detail. The grand prize winner will receive $1,000 in merchandise from HSN to help them create their dream wardrobe for Fall.

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.

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,” 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.

HSN Jewelry Queen Carol Brodie Underwent Surgery For Skin Cancer

August 19, 2012

God bless HSN vendor and upscale jewelry expert Carol Brodie.

We just learned that Brodie, whose HSN Rarities line sold out of a white topaz necklace we loved yesterday, was diagnosed with skin cancer recently.

You would never had known that she recently under went surgery to have the cancerous tissue removed from her face. She
looked gorgeous, as usual, on-air.

Carol Brodie still lovely post surgery

Here is a link to Carol’s Blog on about her cancer scare, and an excerpt from it.

My summer was not about fun in the sun – actually most of the trips that I have taken since June have been to Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan. I found out on June 13th that I had a malignant melanoma on my right cheek. It was a tiny freckle that had been biopsied a week before. Well, that freckle turned out to be CANCER.

Many scans and tests later, it was determined that a one-inch area would need to be removed from the right side of my face. The tests ultimately proved that the cancer had not spread – that was great news.

Carol then described that when she woke up from surgery, her face was badly bruised and cut up. She has been wearing silicon strips to protect that area of her face.

“I will preach all day long to wear sunscreen and a hat and that everyone reading this needs to get a melanoma checkup if you have not had one in the past 12 months,” Carol blogged.

In her moving missive, Carol said that she had worried about how her surgery and cancer would affect her looks, and that this horrible experience made her realize that beauty comes from within.

All the best to you, Carol. You are beautiful inside and out.

And your rocks rock, too, girlfriend.

Tune In Here For HSN Blooper Reel, Guess Who Is The Biggest Ass

August 19, 2012

While we were on HSN’s Facebook page reading on celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s antics, we saw this clip of the home shopping network’s bloopers.

The best is at the end, when host Colleen Lopez loses it and can’t stop laughing at a certain vendor’s gymnastics.

Can you guess who?

Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck Has Egg On Face After Temper Tantrum On HSN

August 19, 2012

We missed it, but apparently celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck had a hissy fit on HSN Saturday, and wound up with egg on his face — and an omelet on the home shopping channel’s floor.

Our Facebook friend Kathy tipped us off to this tamper tantrum on the part of “Wolf,” as his best friends call him. Apparently, ol’ Puck didn’t think that the HSN cameraman was moving fast enough to get a closeup of the egg dish he was whipping up on air-air to hawk one of his kitchen products. So here is what went down.

Kathy posted this to HSN about Puck:

“Okay, did anyone else see Wolf just throw a tantrum? what a jerk! imagine what he’s like in the kitchen. if i had just ordered this today, i would have cancelled the order. what a big baby!

“I agree and rude to the cameraman!” another HSN viewer posted.

“OMG! I can’t watch him anymore, he’s is Sooooo rude pitching eggs across the room because the camera wouldn’t zoom in fast,” wrote a third viewer. “I feel so sorry for the host. Wolfgang won’t shut up and she seems to be freaking out a little.

Wolfgang Puck egged on an HSN cameraman

“What exactly happened?” someone asked.”I missed it.”

“He kept telling the camera man to zoom in on his eggs and he didn’t do it fast enough so he just pitched the eggs on the floor,” someone else posted. “He’s a real nut case. You’ll notice how fast the camera zooms in now on his cooker.”

“Yikes… I have seen him bang on the back of the pan to get the camera man to zoom in on something but never throw the food.. class. I do hear him keep cutting Marlo off though,” another person posted.

HSN saw these posts and tried to make light of the situation, saying that Puck was just being playful. Our reporter’s bullshit detector, as the late John Higgins would say, went off.

“Hi fans! Don’t worry,” HSN posted. “Wolfgang Puck and our cameraman were joking back and forth; it was all in good fun. Thanks for joining us!”

Our tipster Kathy, who has a reporter’s instincts, wasn’t buying it, either.

“Yeah, I’m sure the cameraman was joking,” she posted.”Sorry hsn, don’t buy it. Wolf had a little meltdown and he should apologize. i’ll bet that little clip will be on E channel’s ‘The Soup’ this weekend.”

And she wasn’t the only HSN watcher who was skeptical.

“Ah uh okay, right 😉 Don’t believe it for a minute!” she posted. “Did you see how fast the camera has been zooming in since. I’ve watched him before and know he wasn’t kidding, but thanks for trying.”

Here some of the other posts about Puck’s antics from HSN’s Facebook page.

“Question? Was Wolfgang playing when he just threw the omelet on the floor at the camera man? I sincerely hope so cuz I really like watching him and that was a little odd?”

Again, HSN denied the tantrum.

“Oh, yes, Wolfgang was just joking around with our camera man. It was all in good fun. Have fun with those recipe ideas!”

“Wolfgang was NOT KIDDING when the threw the eggs on the floor!!!!!!” someone posted. “Customer service received MANY complaints…So disrespectful & disgusting!!”

Added another viewer, “I was also turned off by the egg-throwing stunt this afternoon. Love WP’s cookware but he was acting like a spoiled celebrity. An apology would have helped his image.”

Temper, temper, Wolf.

Reality TV Fixture Sharon Osbourne To Pitch Jewelry Line On HSN Tonight

August 19, 2012

We were “down the shore,” as we say in Jersey, and a load of crap happened on the home shopping scene when we were away.

Here’s the first item: “America’s Got Talent” judge reality-TV fixture Sharon Osbourne is debuting a line of fashion jewelry on HSN tonight from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Here the link to her items:

Here’s how described the items:

A collection of eclectic, modern jewelry

Reality TV star Sharon Osbourne has taken inspiration from her favorite things and combined it with her love of jewelry in this HSN-exclusive debut.

The jewelry incorporates a lot of simulated moonstone, and features a lot of crosses and angel wings in its design, which we like. The price range is $30 to $130.

Bare Minerals Creator/QVC Vendor Leslie Blodgett Uses The F-Word

August 17, 2012

Imagine our surprise when we saw Leslie Blodgett, creator of Bare Escentuals mineral makeup and a QVC vendor, staring up at us from a full page ad in The New York Times Thursday.

“I’ve never liked using the F-word,” the provocative headline said. Do tell, Leslie.

But it wasn’t what we thought. The F-word she was talking about was “foundation,” which the doe-eyed Blodgett described as “cakey” and “pore-clogging.”

Leslie Blodgett New York Times ad

“Now, do you want to know why I’ve always been obsessed with natural-looking skin?” she asked in the ad. “Back in the 80’s when I was living in Manhattan, I was on a first date and the guy tells me he can see my ‘face makeup.’ Seriously, he said that. I was humiliated. And I would never want anyone to hear those words.”

Sounds like some of the cornholes we’ve dated, Leslie.

This was all a lead-in for her to announce that her Bare Minerals line was introducing Ready SPF20 Foundation. It is in a compact, looking like powder.

“It’s creamy, it’s hydrating … You’ll be getting compliments on your skin (not your makeup),” she said.

It launches Sept. 1, and but we think QVC has already had it.

In the ad, Blodgett also said that the first 100 people to email her Thursday would receive her new retractable precision face brush. But we think we’re a little late on that one, girls.