Archive for March, 2013

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman Made $5.6 Million Last Year

March 26, 2013

There’s nothing that delights a financial reporter more than seeing that a public company such as HSN has filed a proxy statement. That’s because these documents include executive compensation.

We usually read them and weep, regretting our decision to go into journalism instead of becoming a corporate bigwig like Mindy Grossman.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

HSN’s CEO last year received total compensation of $5,628,679, actually a drop down from her 2011 comp of $6,179,244, according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Grossman, 55, in 2012 received a base salary of $1.2 million, the same as the prior year. But her “non-equity incentive plan compensation” dropped to $1,140,000 from $1.8 million in 2011.

Grossman also received $288,667 in other compensation, which included $286,345 in relocation expenses.

Judy Schmeling, HSN’s chief financial officer, also took a small haircut on her pay.

Last year she received $1,601,332 in executive compensation, with a $650,000 base salary, up from $575,000 in 2011. Her non-equity incentive plan comp also declined, to $561,314 from $835,993.

Not too shabby, girlfriends.

Herkimer Diamonds: ShopNBC Versus HSN

March 24, 2013

For the first time in a long while, we spent a lot of time in front of the boob tube tuned to ShopNBC Thursday and Friday for its Gem Day festivities, and we caught a bit of jewelry doyenne Judith Ripka on QVC last night.

Actually, we were pleasantly surprised at the assortment of goodies that the Three Amigos — Jersey Boy Chuck Clemency, Paul Deasy and Michael V. (we’re to tired to look up the right spelling on his name) — trotted out for the Minnesota home shopping venue.

Deasy really got in our good graces by pulling two Herkimer diamond necklaces out of his bag of tricks. HSN vendor Deb Guyot brought a Herkimer necklace to that home shopping network as a TS some months back, and we are wearing it as we write. Apparently, she doesn’t have an exclusive on the market.

Paul Deasy not wearing his tan jacket

Paul Deasy not wearing his tan jacket

Herkimer diamonds, quartz crystals that come to points at both ends, are supposed to be powerful spiritually, helping foster creativity and opening a shitload of chakras. The stones come from Herkimer County in Upstate New York, which was in the news last week when a crazed gunman killed some innocent folk up there.

Guyot’s Herkimer diamond necklaces for HSN are 5 mm, at 18 1/2 and 24 inches for $280 and $370, respectively.

On ShopNBC Deasy offered just the 18 inch length, but had two different widths, 5 mm and 6 mm. His necklaces, non-Gem Day priced now, are $358 and $418.|165&prop=Gem%20Insider|1519&icid=DN-_-JEWELRY-_-GemInsider

Deasy, a home shopping vet who is married to another home shopping vet, Judy Crowell, is a delight to watch. He made a lot of self-deprecating jokes about his clothes and his need to get one of Suzanne Somers’ Face Masters. He and Judy are lucky to have found each other.

We Crown JTV The King Of Black Spinel, Chrome Diopside

March 24, 2013

We are actually going to tip our hat to Jewelry Television tonight. Hell has officially frozen over.

Both ShopNBC and QVC have been hot and heavy touting what they are calling the new “in” gemstones, black spinel and chrome diopside. But JTV has led the way with those gemstones, beating the pants off its two larger home shopping rivals.

Jersey dude Chuck Clemency for ShopNBC’s Gem Day had a ring with a huge chrome diopside center stone as the net’s Today’s Top Value. And he and other vendors had a number of chrome diopside pieces, as well.

Chuck Clemency and Paul Deasy share late-night pizza on ShopNBC Gem Day

Chuck Clemency and Paul Deasy share late-night pizza on ShopNBC Gem Day

Meanwhile over at QVC, jewelry diva Judith Ripka has some pretty pieces with black spinel pave, including a huge ring and a round locket.

But the fact of the matter is, JTV has been offering a huge array of both Siberia-origin chrome diopside and black spinel for a long, long time now.

We’re not chrome diopside fans. While the color is pretty, the stone is extremely soft, too soft for us.

But we love black and hence we love black spinel. And JTV has some amazing black spinel pieces with huge honking stones for really great prices. ShopNBC, HSN and QVC have nothing to match it.

Just sayin’.

HSN, HGTV, John Gidding Team Up On Outdoor Living Line

March 19, 2013

HSN has found another cable partner, teaming up with HGTV, whose talent — including “Curb Appeal” designer John Gidding — will appear on the home shopping channel, the pair said Monday.

The two cable networks are partnering on a product line called HGTV HOME Outdoor Living, debuting tonight at midnight. HGTV’s experts will offer advice and showcase an assortment of HGTV-curated outdoor products, including exclusive HGTV HOME-branded items.

By the way, Gidding is pretty easy on the eyes. Here is what he posted on Facebook six hours ago.

We will burn the midnight oil for John Gidding

We will burn the midnight oil for John Gidding

“Just boarded my flight to Tampa – and at midnight tonight I’ll be on Home Shopping Network – LIVE!” his home hotness wrote. “That’s right, HGTV and HSN are working together to bring you some pretty neat products, and I’ll be on hand to offer advice on an assortment of high-quality outdoor products!

First segment tonight is on at MIDNIGHT! (Literally burning the midnight oil tonight.) So if you’re up, join me on HSN. And tomorrow evening I’ll be hosting an online q&a, so if you want to ask me anything, I’ll catch you tomorrow and will post more details. :)”

The HGTV items include everything from planters to flowers to garden tools to lawn mowers to wind chimes.

“HGTV is the perfect partner for HSN,” Bill Brand, HSN Inc.’s Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, said in a canned statement. “We have long admired their unparalleled ability to showcase home and design ideas. The new HGTV HOME Outdoor Living collection at HSN is a great way to extend our marketing reach to new audiences and connect them with inspiring content & great products.”

The multi-year partnership is designed to leverage the full potential of the HSN and HGTV brands, with HGTV becoming the face for HSN’s outdoor living category. The partnership will include creative, original content that will be integrated across the digital and on-air assets of both companies.

“HSN is an ideal partner for us because they have a rich understanding of what today’s consumers want and need,” Ron Feinbaum, HGTV’s general manager of consumer products, said in a canned statement. “This special collection will offer smart, functional, and aesthetically appealing solutions for everyone’s outdoor lifestyle. We expect that HGTV HOME Outdoor Living at HSN will further enhance HGTV’s relationship with an audience who is passionate about home — especially those people who believe that the beauty of home should transcend four walls.”

HGTV HOME Outdoor Living will feature products from categories including outdoor equipment, plants, lighting, water accessories, outdoor entertaining, garden tools and outdoor solutions. The HGTV HOME Plant Collection will also debut on HSN tomorrow, offering a variety of annuals, planters and nutrients.

At launch, extensive digital storefronts on both and will provide the outdoor home enthusiast with high-quality products and exclusive, transformational “how to” videos that will help them enhance the outdoor areas of their home.

HSN plans to expand the partnership in the future to introduce HGTV HOME Outdoor Living-branded products within additional home categories.

HSN and HGTV will also collaborate in the future to share content that will be available across both companies’ digital platforms. Tips on gardening, landscaping, entertaining and more from HGTV’s trusted authorities will give consumers the tools they need to beautify their home.

Dita Von Teese Launching ‘Intimates’ Line On HSN

March 13, 2013

Will the list of celebs who do lines for home shopping channels ever cease to amaze us?

Checking our email at 11 p.m. Tuesday, we learned that white-skinned Dita Von Teese is doing a beauty and intimates collection for HSN. We guess it’s appropriate, since Von Teese is known for her sexy undies.

Dita is coming to HSN

Dita is coming to HSN

HSN and Von Teese hosted cocktails and dinner Tuesday night at the Lion in Manhattan to celebrate the sultry brunette’s coming premiere on the home shopping network.

Von Teese, Chelsea Leyland, Hannah Bronfman, designers Nicole Miller and Catherine Malandrino, Danielle Colding and Gigi Ganatra-Duff of HSN were in the house.

HSN Jewelry Queen Heidi Daus, Husband Step Out

March 11, 2013

HSN jewelry queen Heidi Daus, a fellow Montclair, N.J., resident, is one of the most charming and classy vendors on the home shopping channel. And her jewelry is gorgeous, as well

Last week HSN apparently held a big shindig for its “family,” where Daus was honored.

Heidi Daus and hubby

Heidi Daus and hubby

“Thank you HSN for bestowing the ‘Curator of the year’ upon me at the HSN partnership gala last night!” Daus posted on Facebook. “I am humbled and proud to be a part of the HSN team!”

She also posted a photo of her in a slinky cocktail dress with a guy we can only assume is her husband, Montclair builder Mitchell MacGregor. Swank duo.

“Hot couple,” someone posted.

Someone else, apparently one of Daus’s crew, said that Daus was wearing a custom creation made in her studio.

The sparkly dress had a fur collar, and Daus was wearing a stunning necklace — which we assume is from her own line. Several people asked Daus about it on Facebook.

Anyway, congrats Heidi!

Bill Brand Gets Promoted As Even Bigger HSN Bigwig

March 8, 2013

We want to wish a belated congratulations to our buddy Bill Brand. He just got a promotion at HSN that makes him an even bigger kahuna than he was before.

This week HSN announced that Brand, formerly Executive Vice President of Programming, Marketing and Business Development at HSN, was promoted to Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer for HSN Inc., the parent company that includes the Cornerstone unit.

Hope you got a big fat pay raise, Bill!

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman, actor James Franco and Bill Brand

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman, actor James Franco and Bill Brand

In addition, Andy Sheldon, formerly Executive Vice President of TV, Live Events and Creative at HSN, was named Chief Creative Officer for HSN Inc., and General Manager of HSN Productions.

“Bill and Andy have the vision and expertise to help us continue to redefine the shopping experience and drive growth across all our businesses,” HSN CEO Mindy Grossman said in a canned statement.

“HSNi is bringing an integrated approach to everything we do — maximizing the power of our individual brands and our distinctive content and leveraging our customer segments, enabling us to shape the future landscape of experiential retail,” Grossman said. “Both Bill and Andy have been an integral part of the transformation of HSN over the past six years and we will now leverage their talent and expertise across our portfolio.”

We have to stay Brand has done a bang-up job at HSN since he joined in 2006, transforming it into “a lifestyle network,” according to HSN’s press release.

Here is his brag list, according to HSN.

“He created the network’s entertainment integration strategy that has generated unique marketing opportunities with major film studios including Disney, Universal and Paramount Pictures,” HSN said. “He has identified large scale partnerships with world-class brands that have been a key contributor to our customer file growth and has developed and oversees HSN Cares, the network’s corporate giving program designed to raise awareness and funds for organizations that support women and families on a national and global basis.”

In his new gig, Brand will set overall marketing standards and direction for HSN and the Cornerstone portfolio of seven lifestyle brands. He is supposed “to drive growth of the 59 million strong combined customer data base, and continue to forge strategic relationships with iconic brands such as the Coca-Cola Co., Disney, Toyota and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

He will also oversee communications and corporate social responsibility initiatives for HSN Inc. In this capacity, he is now a corporate officer.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to extend our partnerships and collaborate across the HSNi brand portfolio,” Brand said in his canned statemnt. “This move will allow us to fully leverage the power of our direct-to-consumer reach, our creative content, our growing digital platforms, and our ability to create immersive, engaging customer experiences across all of HSNi.”

How about a fresh quote, Bill?

We don’t Sheldon from nowhere, but he joined HSN in 2007.

“Over the course of the last six years, he has worked to define the HSN brand and its personality and tone across all of the company’s consumer touch points,” HSN said in its press release. “His unique approach to the development and distribution of creative content has enabled HSN to lead in an era where immersive experiences drive engagement and technology is leveraged in new ways to reach consumers.

As Chief Creative Officer and GM of HSN Productions, Sheldon is charged with building HSN Inc.’s live music and entertainment business. In addition to managing the development and execution of live productions, he also will provide creative vision and strategy on HSNi-wide events and experiences.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to grow all aspects of our entertainment business, building on our recent successes with performers such as Rod Stewart and Lionel Richie,” Sheldon said. “To that end, we aim to develop new avenues that not only drive revenue but also increase our customer reach and awareness.”

JTV Alum Katie Rooke Also Joins Liquidation Channel’s Roster

March 8, 2013

The Liquidation Channel is becoming the new home of displaced home shopping network hosts.

A couple of kind readers tipped us off that Katie Rooke, a former host on GemsTV and Jewelry Television, has now joined the Liquidation Channel.

Katie Rooke

Katie Rooke

Shawn Wilsie, refugee from ShopNBC, is at the the Liquidation Channel as well.

Rooke was a host at GemsTV, whose assets were essentially purchased by JTV. Rooke then started working at JTV in June 2010, and left about a year ago.

Somewhere in between there, she worked for Tiffany & Co. We believe she had worked with her husband Craig at GemsTV, and that they originally both came over to JTV.

ShopNBC Posts $27.7 Million Loss In Fiscal 2012

March 8, 2013

ShopNBC can’t seem to stop bleeding red ink: It posted a $27.7 million net loss in fiscal 2012.

We were too busy at our day job to write them up Wednesday, when the home shopping released its fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 earnings.

In a nutshell, during the fourth quarter ShopNBC hit net sales of $177.5 million, adjusted EBITDA of $4.2 million and a net loss of $11.4 million. For the full fiscal year, the company posted net sales of $586.8 million, adjusted EBITDA of $4.5 million and a net loss of $27.7 million. The loss is actually an improvement, since the network lost $48.1 million in 2011. But all we can recall about this home shopping network is its years of losses.

“I am encouraged by our performance this quarter and believe we have made further progress toward our goals,” ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart said in a canned statement.

“We overcame the adverse impact of Superstorm Sandy on our business in the first few weeks of Q4’12 to post solid net sales growth for the quarter. We also achieved continued improvements in both new and active customer counts versus last year, providing further evidence that our customer service, engagement and retention initiatives are resonating with our customers.”

ShopNBC’s results compare to QVC’s 3 percent increase in net revenue to $5.6 billion last year, and HSN’s 5 percent gain to $2.27 billion in net sales.

Here is where things get a little tricky with ShopNBC’s earnings, because fiscal 2012 had an extra week than fiscal 2011.

“Because ValueVision follows a 4-5-4 retail calendar, every five to six years the company has an extra week of operations, and this occurred in fiscal 2012,” the network said in a press release.

“Therefore, Q4’12 and full-year periods have 14 and 53 weeks, respectively, as compared to the same periods last year of 13 and 52 weeks. To facilitate more meaningful comparisons with fiscal 2011 results, ValueVision is presenting in the table below pro forma results for Q4 and fiscal 2012, reflecting current period results on an equivalent 13- and 52-week basis.

Q4’12 pro forma results were calculated by dividing actual Q4’12 results by 14 and by multiplying the quotients by 13. The 52-week pro formas were calculated by adding the Q4 13-week pro formas to the previously reported fiscal year-to-date Q3 results of operations.”

That said, the company’s fourth quarter pro forma net sales rose 11.7 percent to $164.8 million over the prior-year quarter. Sales growth was achieved by a significant rebound in the consumer electronics category and by solid performances in the home and beauty segments.

Pro forma adjusted EBITDA improved to a positive $3.9 million in the fourth quarter versus loss of $2.7 million last year, reflecting higher sales and lower distribution costs.

Pro forma net shipped units rose 11.6 percent to 1.6 million in the fourth quarter, reflecting the benefit of continued improvements to the company’s merchandise mix as well as a modest decline in average price points. Internet net Sales increased 160 bps to 46.3 percent versus the year-ago quarter, principally driven by growth in mobile transaction volume compared to last year.

For full 2012, pro forma net sales grew 2.8 percent to $574.1 million, while pro forma adjusted EBITDA for the year improved to $4.2 million compared to $1 million in 2011. ShopNBC also increased its distribution footprint to 84 million homes at year-end 2012 and began calendar 2013 with two channels of exposure in 70 percent of its homes.

“With the start of 2013, we are benefiting from reduced TV distribution costs negotiated last year and improved channel positioning,” Stewart said. “Overall, we feel our fourth-quarter performance is another step forward toward realizing the full potential of our business.”

ShopNBC Chief Financial Officer William McGrath had his canned statement,too.

“(ShopNBC) ended the year with $28 million in cash and restricted cash versus $32 million at the end of Q3’12,” he said. “The net use of cash in the quarter was primarily due to the increase in accounts receivable, reflecting higher Q4 sales. We anticipate the collection of these accounts receivable will provide positive cash flow in Q1’13.”

QVC Queen Joan Rivers Isn’t Sorry For Holocaust Joke

March 5, 2013

Here’s an update on QVC jewelry queen Joan Rivers, dame of the far-mouthed nasty Holocaust and Adele fat jokes. In numerous interviews, Rivers has defended herself and refused to apologize for her recent controversial remarks.

In case you’ve been living in a cave, Rivers sparked outrage with her post-Oscar “Fashion Police” show on E! Entertainment Television. Talking about Heidi Klum’s daring attire at the Oscars, Rivers quipped, “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.”

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers

Then on “Late Night With David Letterman,” Rivers made fun of Adele’s weight. The singer performed what turned out to be the Oscar-winning song,”Skyfall,” during the Oscar telecast.

Last week Rivers, who is Jewish, appeared on on HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight” and defended her Klum comment, according to Radar Online.

“It’s a joke, No. 1,” Rivers told host A.J. Hammer. “No. 2. it is about the Holocaust. This is the way I remind people about the Holocaust. I do it through humor. My husband (Edgar Rosenberg, who committed suicide) lost his entire family at Auschwitz, so let’s just start with that. Your generation didn’t know what I’m talking about, and by me doing a joke, it gets people talking and thinking. It didn’t bother Heidi… doesn’t bother me.”

Then in the New York Post gossip column, Page Six, on Monday Rivers again defended her Holocaust joke.

“If you want nice, go on Christian Singles and marry someone,” she told the Post.