Archive for January, 2014

ShopHQ’s Dissident Shareholders Blast Management

January 30, 2014

ShopHQ’s dissident shareholder group lobbed back its response to the No. 3 home shopping network Wednesday, and it was doozy.

The company’s “strategy is old and lacks innovation,” was one of the charges, and the network’s location in Minnesota makes business difficult for merchants and vendors, according to the complainers.

It makes for juicy reading, if you want to take a gander yourself.

For those not in the know, The Clinton Group is trying to oust ShopHQ’s current management, including CEO Keith Stewart, and this battle will come to a head at a March 14 shareholder meeting.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, The Clinton Group says that ShopHQ’s plan was to increase sales convincing customers to spend more money by improving the merchandise and changing the product mix, and by increasing the number of homes that buy products.

But the dissident group claims that ShopHQ has only modestly changed its product mix and that the number of homes buying goods is flat.

The Clinton Group also hoists Stewart by his own petard by listing a series of quotes from him about how great ShopHQ is doing, when things really haven’t been going so well.

QVC’s Parent To Release Fourth-Quarter Earnings Feb. 28

January 30, 2014

QVC’s parent, Liberty Interactive Corp., will report its fourth-quarter earnings Feb. 28.

Liberty Interactive President and CEO Greg Maffei will host a conference call to discuss results at 12:15 p.m. During the call, Maffei will discuss the company’s financial performance and outlook and may discuss the proposed creation of the QVC Group and Liberty Digital Commerce tracking stocks, as well as other forward looking matters.

Replays of the conference call can be accessed through 2:15 p.m. on March 7 by dialing (888) 203-1112 or (719) 457-0820 plus the passcode 7682293.

In addition, the fourth-quarter earnings conference call will be broadcast live via the Internet. All interested participants should visit the Liberty Interactive website at to register for the webcast.

Links to the press release and replays of the call will also be available on Liberty Interactive’s website. The conference call and related materials will be archived on the website for one year.

ShopHQ’s D-Day With Dissident Shareholders Is March 14

January 26, 2014

ShopHQ’s battle with a group of dissident shareholders, who want to unseat the shopping network’s current management — including CEO Keith Stewart — will come to a head March 14.

That’s when the network, whose corporate name is ValueVision Media Inc., has set a special shareholder meeting to vote on some the The Chinton Group’s proposals, which include ousting most of the channel’s board and essentially taking control of the company.

ShopHQ filed a proxy statement it is sending out to its stockholders, asking them to vote down the The Clinton Group’s, with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday.

You can read all the dirty details here.

But here is some of the dish here, where ShopHQ tells its shareholders, “The future of ValueVision is in your hands.”

“Your Board of Directors is deeply committed to the Company, its shareholders and enhancing shareholder value,” ShopHQ says in its proxy statement.”

Keith Stewart in happier days

Keith Stewart in happier days

Company officials defended their track record at the home shopping network.

“We have focused on four key growth drivers: (1) broading and diversifying our product mix with a compelling assortment of national brands and proprietary products; (2) increasing our visibility to customers by expanding and optimizing our TV distribution platform; (3) growing our customer base through new customer acquisition, and increased purchase frequency and retaining existing customers reflecting improvements to overall customer experience; and (4) being a Watch & Shop Anytime, Anywhere experience through continued enhancements to our internet and mobile platforms,” ShopHQ said.

ShopHQ then went on to criticize The Clinton Group.

“In the Board’s opinion, the Shareholder Group’s proposals are not in the best interests of ALL shareholders of the Company, but rather were made in furtherance of the Shareholder Group’s own interests. If the Shareholder Group, a minority group of shareholders beneficially owning approximately 9.8% of the Company’s shares, were to succeed in this proxy contest, then the Shareholder Group’s nominees would control over 80% of the seats on your board.”

“The Shareholder Group has not offered to purchase a controlling interest in the Company nor offered to pay the Company’s shareholders any control premium for the privilege of having the Shareholder Group’s nominees control your board. For these reasons, among others, the Board is soliciting proxies against the Shareholder Group’s proposals.”

In November The Clinton Group went after ShopHQ’s management, criticizing the progress, or lack thereof, of, of the No. 3 home shopping network.

In a nutshell, the group is looking to replace a good number of the network’s with its own crew, which includes some rather notable people, including Mariah Carey’s ex-husband, music mogul Tommny Mottola; he-man reality TV producer Thom Beers; and ex-HSN CEO Mark Bozek.

According to ShopHQ’s SEC filing, Stewart received $1.566 million in compensation in fiscal 2013.

We’ll see how this plays out.

HSN To Report Fourth-Quarter Results Feb. 20

January 26, 2014

HSN will release its fourth quarter and fiscal 2013 results on Feb. 20 before the market opens, the home shopping network said last week.

CEO Mindy Grossman and Judy Schmeling, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, will hold a conference call at 9 a.m. to review the results.

Those interested in participating in the conference call should dial 877-307-0246 or 224-357-2394 at least five minutes prior to the call.

There will also be a simultaneous audio webcast available via the company’s website at

A replay of the conference call can be accessed until March 6 by dialing 855-859-2056 or 404-537-3406, plus the pass code 34758772 and will also be hosted on the company’s website for a limited time.


‘Beverly Hills Housewife’ Kyle Richards Coming To HSN

January 22, 2014

Well, we missed this. One of our favorite “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” Kyle Richards, is doing a clothing line for HSN.

Kyle Richards

Kyle Richards

Entertainment Weekly, which we normally don’t read, reported that Richards’ collection will debut on the home shopping network Feb. 25.

There will be eight pieces in the Kyle by Kyle Richards line, ranging in price from $70 to $200.

Those are a lot cheaper price points than the items Richards wears on her Bravo show.

We recently checked out the website for Richards’ store in Beverly Hills, and its was way pricey. The necklace she often wears on the show, which has a huge teardrop crystal pendant, is $500. The sexy red dress she wore on a recent show was over $1,000.

Good News Today: We’re Clear After Second Mammo

January 18, 2014

We were thinking positive thoughts, but it was with some trepidation that we went to get a diagnostic 3D mammogram on Friday.

As we blogged earlier this week, we had our annual mammogram two days after Christmas and shortly thereafter got a letter saying we had to come back to have some abnormalities checked out.

At our appointment today the second technician seemed to hint that if the 3D mammo looked OK to the radiologist we’d be off the hook. After it was finished, we were told to wait a bit.

The tech came out and said we had to get the ultrasound, which scared the hell out of us. After it was done, that tech asked us to wait in the exam room so she could show it to the radiologist.

We nervously waited again. When she came back in, she said everything had checked out and that they would see us next year for our annual mammogram.

We felt like doing cartwheels out of the office.

For those we know with breast cancer, and we know several with it, keep fighting the good fight. Every day, our prayers are with you.

And that goes for those we don’t know, such as Jewelry Television host Dawn Tesh, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Judy Crowell Brings Her Joya Jewelry Line To ShopHQ Next Week

January 16, 2014

ShopHQ Gem Insider Paul Deasy’s better half will be debuting her new jewelry line on the home shopping network next Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Yes, Judy Crowell — a veteran of QVC, HSN, ShopHQ and Jewelry Television — is bringing Joya to the Minnesota-based network.

Crowell and Deasy are an almost annoyingly cute couple, and are a couple of rock hounds like us.

ShopHQ already is selling some of her jewelry, which has a modern and geometric look, on its website.

Judy Crowell's Joya pendant

Judy Crowell’s Joya pendant

Here’s what Crowell had to say on Facebook about one of her new pieces, which incorporate sterling silver and real stones.

“Thought I would share some of my design inspiration – With this piece my instinct was to re-think the typical shape used for red stones (think hearts!) and give it a modern, timeless look,” she wrote of one pendant.

“I also felt that the pretty, yet unexpected, blend of red (Agate) and pink (Quartzite) would give us many more wearable wardrobe options. Hope you love it as much as I do!”

We’re looking forward to seeing what else she has up her sleeve.

Ready To Book Your Trip Through QVC And Trafalgar?

January 15, 2014

QVC, following in the footsteps of several other home shopping networks, is dipping its toe into the travel business.

We noticed on that the No. 1 electronic retailer is partnering with Trafalgar Travel to offer deals.

We believe both HSN and Jewelry Television have already expanded into this arena. HSN, for example, arranged hotel accommodations in Las Vegas for customers who attended an Earth, Wind and Fire concert it televised last year.

QVC said on its website that “travel is now available through QVC.” It said it had chosen Trafalgar “to bring you a collection of in-depth worldwide experiences that go beyond the expected.”

The home shopping channel also was hawking a travel voucher, $50, for Trafalgar.|QVCTravel

Here is the deal for that:

When the travel bug bites, an amazing getaway is the only cure. And, with this Travel the World voucher from Trafalgar — a leading provider for guided travel throughout Europe and the United States — you’re closer than ever to your dream vacation.

The $150 travel voucher can be used toward the purchase of a Trafalgar guided vacation. Plus, after booking and paying for your vacation, you’ll receive a $50 QVC gift card — perfect for picking up any last-minute travel essentials.

Includes $150 Travel Voucher, confirmation letter with information on discount and next steps, travel DVD, and six Trafalgar Guide to Guided Travel booklets: USA & Canada, South America, Europe & Britain, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, and Ireland & Scotland

$50 QVC gift card is sent to QVC customer after vacation is booked and paid for, voucher expires 12/31/2024

JTV Host Dawn Tesh Has Breast Cancer, And We Have A Second Mammo

January 14, 2014

We were surprised, and saddened, to learn Monday that Jewelry Television host Dawn Tesh has breast cancer. The news really resonated with us, because we recently had a mammogram and were notified a few days later that we have to go back for additional tests. Our follow-up appointment is Friday.

“Your recent breast imaging exam showed a finding that requires additional imaging studies, such as additional mammographic views or ultrasound, for a complete evaluation,” the letter from our radiology center said. “Most such findings are benign (not cancer).”

That’s the kind of letter you don’t want to get, no matter what “most such findings” usually are.

JTV host Dawn Tesh

JTV host Dawn Tesh

Fearing what might be discovered in our case, but hoping for the best, we are so sorry to hear about Tesh. The pretty blonde posted her news on Facebook yesterday.

Hello my JTV family. I want to share with you some news. A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am blessed to have the best doctors and the best support group.

I am ready to win this fight! I will be gone for a little while but I will be working off and on when I can. I am a believer in the power of prayer. Please keep me and my family in your prayers. I am humbled by so many amazing people in my life. I am so thankful for everything everyone has already done for me.

I will keep you posted from time to time during this difficult journey. Please know I will miss you all. I love you all and….see you soon. xoxoxox

Tesh’s Facebook page was deluged with posts offering her prayers and support.

If you aren’t familiar with her, here is Tesh’s bio from

Chicago native Dawn Tesh is no stranger to the camera. A Jewelry Television® host for more than a decade, she put herself through college modeling across the U.S. and Europe. She worked for various modeling agencies and lived in Italy for two years.

She earned her undergraduate degree in accounting, but it was her love for fashion and jewelry that made her transition to Jewelry Television a natural one. When Dawn started at JTV, there were only 40 employees, compared to the more than 1,200 we have now. She says the tremendous growth, friendships, and knowledge she’s gained here over time is invaluable.

Like any human being on this earth, it seems, we are familiar with cancer — including breast cancer. We have family and friends who have fought and survived cancer, including breast cancer. We have friends and family who are fighting cancer, including breast cancer. And we have friends and family who have died of cancer, including breast cancer. They live on in our hearts.

So Dawn, you have our prayers. We know you will win your battle. But can you say a few prayers for us this Friday?

HSN’s Huggable Hangers Can’t Handle Faux Fur Coats

January 12, 2014

Here’s the dirty little secret about Joy Mangano’s Huggable Hangers: They break.

Our tip: Don’t use them on heavy coats.

We’ve been a big fan and booster of Mangano’s hangers, sold on HSN, among other places. We know that HSN has sold millions of them.

Our closets are filled with them, and they work great on regular sweaters, shirts, etc. But on big heavy coats, not so much. In fact, not at all.

Joy Mangano

Joy Mangano

We have a whole collection of fake fur coats that we love. They are very heavy. And we can’t tell you how many times we’ve been taking a fur coat our of our closet when the Huggable Hanger is was on slapped and broke. It it’s happened once, it’s happened 10 to 15 times.

We’ve seen Mangano demonstrate her hangers by hanging a heavy coat on them, and they seem to work. But when you are pulling a coat out of a closet, again, we’ve had them break many times on us.

We were thinking about that this past week when the temperature in Jersey hit 1 degree, and we pulled out out our longest, heaviest, warmest faux fur coat.

Huggable Hangers on HSN

Huggable Hangers on HSN

We were also reminded of it today when we saw that Mangano had the HSN TS, a collection of Huggable Hangers. As we were checking out her shows an item caught our eye: An over-the-door organizer with two hooks to hang on your closet door.

You can put shoes, belts, scarves, etc., in it, and it looked like a great way to get our stuff organized. Then we read some of the customer reviews. Guess what? The hooks supplied to hang it often broke, customers wrote. It reminded us of our Huggable Hangers snapping in half.

We had once received these same over-the-door hooks as part of a package of hangers were bought from Mangano, and we remember one of them breaking when we hung some clothes on it.

Here is what some customers wrote about the hanging organizer.

“The hooks break; they are not quality hooks-fragile,” one woman posted. “The door does not close because the hooks are too thick. The material is cheap. But the organizer is a designed fairly well.I ordered sturdy hooks elsewhere online. The hooks I bought elsewhere are great but not these hooks.”

“Loved this until my things crashed to the floor because the brackets are brittle plastic and should be metal,” another customer said in her review. “I only had it a quarter full too, It would be great if those brackets were changed. Returning broken pieces.”

“THIS IS WHAT WE ALL NEED!,” a third person wrote. “So glad I have this, yes it did go up immediately. I put it up in Bathroom 2 and the hooks need to be metal, my husband is going to the hardware to purchase a more stronger hook.”

We may still buy the hanging organizer, with the knowledge that we’ll have to purchase hooks from Target or The Home Depot to hang it up with instead of the ones it come with. But that will boost its price beyond the $30 that HSN is selling it for, so is it really worth it?