Archive for August, 2014

QVC Host Shawn Killinger Discusses Her Miscarriage

August 13, 2014

We’re not sure if this is the right term, but condolences — and prayers — to QVC host Shawn Killinger on her recent miscarriage. We wish her all the best and hope her pain is eventually eased.

Killinger talked about her experience on Facebook and on her blog on QVC.com. We applaud her for her honesty and willingness to open up about what happened. She will be returning to the air Sept. 2.

The entire, heartfelt blog is here:

http://community.qvc.com/blogs/beauty-banter/topic/464033/shawn-killinger-a-personal-story.aspx?cm_ven=FB&cm_cat=HOSTS&cm_pla=SHAWNKILLINGER&cm_ite=BLOG_APERSONALSTORY

Here is an excerpt from it:

I have always shared ‘my everything’ with you, always been humorously over-honest, unapologetically the over-sharer. I’ve always wanted to keep things real between us, because otherwise what’s the point?

I’ve been slow to do that with something recently, something very painful and private, something I wanted to keep to myself to keep it protected, and untouched by public consumption. But my need for privacy is causing worry, speculation, uncertainty, and in a few isolated cases, fueling some rumors.

My heart doesn’t have the energy for that stuff, so after talking to Joe, we wanted to reach out and explain why you have not seen me.

A few weeks ago, Joe and I lost a baby, a beautiful baby girl. We were almost 5 months pregnant. That is why I had been sitting down during shows, and took a break from Saturdays. I was very close to announcing my pregnancy.

I know you probably wonder why in these situations “we” wait so long, “It’s so wonderful and obvious, why doesn’t she just tell us she’s pregnant already?!”. This is why…………because having to undo the greatest joy with news of a loss, on a very public stage, is even more painful.

Killinger also requested that when she comes back to QVC, viewers not call in to offer their best wishes, condolences, etc.

She is mourning, but wants to be able to move on. And those calls will not help. Please heed her wishes.

Ex-QVC Host Lisa Mason’s Husband Has The Cancer

August 12, 2014

Former QVC host Lisa Mason has clarified her disturbing Facebook post, which talked about a cancer diagnosis she and her husband Gino were facing.

Everyone, us included, wanted to know who has the cancer.

Well, Mason answered that question on FB, and posted the photo we are sharing here.

Lisa Mason and Gino

Lisa Mason and Gino

“Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers,” she posted. “We begin a very rough road of treatment. Although the diagnosis of cancer is his, the burden is ours together. With much love…. Gino and Lisa.”

‘Shark’ Mark Cuban Debuts On ShopHQ Tuesday Night

August 12, 2014

The new management at ShopHQ is finally making a dramatic programming move on the home shopping network: billionaire, TV personality and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will debut on the channel Tuesday night.

Cuban, of “Shark Tank” fame, will be on live at 8 p.m. hosting “Mark Cuban’s American Dream.” The two-hour premiere will feature on ShopHQ for an exciting two-hour premiere showcasing nine entrepreneurs and items produced by companies in which Cuban has personally invested.

MARKCUBAN

During our career covering the cable TV industry, we once met and briefly interviewed Cuban at a conference for small cable operators out in the Midwest. He wore a tight T-shirt, boy did he wear it, which we guess you can get away with when you’re a billionaire CEO. He owns his own cable network, HDNet, as well.

Of course, we met him long before he became a household name through his appearances on the reality competition show “Shark Tank” on ABC. Maybe his chats with his fellow judge on that show, QVC Queen Lori Greiner, convinced him to try the home shopping route.

“Over the years I have invested in over 170 companies, all of which I wholeheartedly believe in,” Cuban, CEO of Mark Cuban Cos., said in a canned statement.

“Each of the entrepreneurs I am bringing with me to ShopHQ has an interesting and personal story to share about their company and products and the passion and extreme effort it takes to make their dreams come true. I’m excited for ShopHQ’s viewers to get an inside glimpse on what it really takes to capture the American Dream, and then to have the unique opportunity to support these entrepreneurs through their purchases.”

The products from nine Cuban-backed brands include: Writey Board, a product that turns any surface into a dry erase board; Breathometer, a portable device that transforms any smartphone into a breathalyzer; and Simple Sugars, handmade and all-natural skincare products safe for sensitive skin.

http://www.shophq.com/SearchM/Default.aspx?&prop=Mark%20Cuban%27s%20American%20Dream|4377&stop_mobi=yes&ecid=mktgposts-_-vanity-_-markcuban

“We are excited to give our ShopHQ audience a front row seat on the stories and innovative products produced by entrepreneurs hand selected and funded by Mark Cuban,” ShopHQ’s new CEO Mark Bozek said in his canned statement.

“Mr. Cuban’s charisma and passion for these products and their creators should make for an exciting blend of live entertainment and shopping accessible to ShopHQ’s viewers across our TV, online, mobile and social media platforms.”

QVC Host Gabrielle Kerr Back From Maternity Leave

August 11, 2014

QVC host Gabrielle Kerr returned to work from maternity leave, and she’s blogging about it and discussing it on Facebook.

“Now to answer the question I seem to be getting a lot lately, ‘Sooo… how is the adjustment??'”

GABRIELLEKERR

Here is her answer:

http://community.qvc.com/blogs/momblog/topic/463466/a-kerr-family-update.aspx?cm_ven=FB&cm_cat=HOSTS&cm_pla=GABRIELLEKERR&cm_ite=BACKATTHEQBLOG

“I’m baaaaaaaaack! These past three months on maternity leave just flew by but I must admit I was excited to return to work. Coming back felt like the first day of school. You’re excited to see all your friends and to get back to your routine.

Everyone has been asking how my family is doing and adjusting and the short answer is not too bad! We definitely have our hands full with our daughter Jericho (who is now 19 months) and our infant son Jace. Jericho is fantastic with her brother. She kisses him all the time and tries to pick him up when he cries.

Read the rest on her blog.

Ex-QVC Host Lisa Mason’s Plea After Cancer Diagnosis

August 9, 2014

We slept late today, Saturday, and found this disturbing news when we checked Facebook. Former QVC host Lisa Mason is apparently up against a life-threatening situation: cancer.

Mason, who has been acting as the the rep for Supersmile (we think that’s what it was) on QVC, said that we won’t be seeing her on the home shopping network again.

LISAMASON2

Here is the rest of her FB post:

My life has taken an abrupt turn. Please, please pray for me and Gino. We are facing the fight of our lives with a sudden diagnosis of cancer.

I believe in the power of medicine and great doctors. But, I mostly believe in the power of our great and mighty Heavenly Father, whom Gino and I serve and trust. Please pray for Gino and Lisa and please pass this on. Much love to you always.

Mason and her husband Gino, who she would always mention on-air, live in Manhattan. When she left QVC, there was talk that she was going because of an illness she reportedly had, lupus.

Anyway, we loved her on QVC. She was a funny, warm sometimes racy Southern Belle of a host. Prayers to her and Gino.

HSN Posts 6 Percent Gain, To $556.5 Million, In Second Quarter

August 8, 2014

HSN’s net sales rose 6 percent, to $556.5 million, in the second quarter compared to the prior-year period, the No. 2 home shopping network reported Thursday.

That growth outpaced industry leader QVC, which earlier in the week posted a 3 percent jump in revenue in the second quarter, to $1.4 billion.

At HSN in the quarter, digital sales were up 11 percent, with penetration increasing 180 basis points to 37.2 percent.

Mindy Grossman

Mindy Grossman

Sales grew in beauty, home design, health and culinary, offset by lower sales in electronics and jewelry. Units shipped increased 4 percent and the average price point increased 2 percent.

Gross profit increased 5 percent to $196.5 million, with gross margin decreasing 30 basis points to 35.3 percent primarily due to an increase in shipping promotions. Operating expense leverage (excluding non-cash charges) improved 80 basis points to 24 percent.

Adjusted EBITDA increased 10 percent to $62.7 million. GAAP operating income increased 11 percent to $52.1 million.

Consolidated sales for HSN Inc., which includes the home shopping network and the company’s Cornerstone unit, were $855.2 million, a 5 percent increase.

“Our focus during the second quarter remained on engaging our customers, emphasizing our unique content and proprietary products, and strengthening our digital platforms,” HSN CEO Mindy Grossman said in a canned statement.

“HSNi sales increased 5 percent and digital sales grew 9 percent with mobile now representing 15 percent of our total sales. During the quarter, we saw a bifurcation within our business,” she said.

“HSN had strong results with sales up 6 percent, digital sales up 11 percent and Adjusted EBITDA up 10 poercent. While Cornerstone maintained top line growth of 4 percent, margins were impacted by a highly promotional marketplace,” Grossman said.

“Our customer file metrics at both HSN and within the Cornerstone portfolio were at record highs,” she said. “We also returned $63 million to our shareholders through our capital return plan.”

Jewelry Maker John Hardy Sold, What Happens To QVC Line?

August 7, 2014

We should be in bed sleeping but we were surfing the ‘net (just using that phrase shows how old we are) and we saw this story.

One of our favorite jewelry designers, John Hardy, has been sold. The company must have some kind of financial issues, so maybe that’s why so much of its jewelry is winding up at TJ Maxx. And a new CEO has been appointed, FYI.

We wonder if the new owners will put the kibosh on the lower-priced silver line that QVC has, JAI by John Hardy.

Here is the press release from last week:

John Hardy Acquired by Catterton, the Leading Consumer Focused Private Equity Firm

NEW YORK, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — John Hardy, a leading luxury designer jewelry brand, today announced that it has been acquired by Catterton, the leading consumer-focused private equity firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

John Hardy's gorgeous silver jewelry is handmade

John Hardy’s gorgeous silver jewelry is handmade

Founded in 1975, John Hardy is a luxury designer jewelry brand known for its handmade craftsmanship, and iconic designs within its collection. The Company is a pioneer in sustainable luxury and uniquely positioned as the leading designer brand for which each piece is intricately handcrafted and one-of-a-kind.

John Hardy’s recognizable and distinctive jewelry enjoys a loyal customer base and a top-tier, multi-channel distribution footprint, with collections available at more than 600 retail locations across 27 countries and regions, including world-renowned department stores such asNeiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue,Bloomingdale’s, Harrods and Lane Crawford and stand-alone stores in Hong Kong, Jakarta and Bali

John Hardy recently signed supermodel Cara Delevingne to be the face of its new jewelry campaign.

The Company has appointed Robert Hanson as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Hanson brings more than 25 years of brand development and retail experience to John Hardy, including with American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., where he served as Chief Executive Officer, and Levi Strauss & Co., where he served as Global President of Levi’s.

Damien Dernoncourt, who has served as John Hardy’s Chief Executive Officer since 2007, will retain an equity stake in the Company and has been named Non-Executive Chairman, to which he will devote his full professional time.

Guy Bedarida will continue to serve as Creative Director and Head Designer and Miles Graham will continue to serve as President and Chief Operating Officer.

“John Hardy is pleased to partner with Catterton, which will provide the support and resources to continue building our brand and accelerate our growth on an international scale,” said Mr. Dernoncourt.

“I am confident that under Robert’s leadership and together with Catterton, we will enhance our status as a leading designer of unique handmade jewelry while maintaining our Company’s strong core values and luxury positioning. I am excited to be working with Catterton, Robert, and the entire John Hardy team as we grow and build on our success.”

Mr. Hanson said, “John Hardy is an iconic luxury brand with a loyal customer following, and I have been impressed with the strength of the brand under Damien’s leadership. I look forward to leading the Company and building upon its tradition of creating truly unique, authentic designs and providing outstanding customer service.

“John Hardy is well known for its distinctive style, extraordinary quality and commitment to handcrafted sustainable luxury. These key pillars will continue to be the cornerstone of our Company and our future success. With Catterton’s well-established track record for partnering with leading brands to help them capitalize on growth opportunities, I believe that John Hardy has significant potential and a bright future.”

Michael Chu, Managing Partner at Catterton, said, “Catterton is excited to partner with a differentiated brand with a strong heritage and a top-tier, multi-channel distribution footprint. With Catterton, John Hardy will have a robust platform to enhance its already exceptional brand and accelerate its growth trajectory. We are confident that John Hardy offers substantial upside through multiple paths for expansion, and look forward to working with Robert and the entire team at John Hardy to capitalize on new market opportunities and realize the Company’s significant potential.”

Catterton has partnered with luxury brands including Restoration Hardware, Baccarat, PIRCH, and Frederic Fekkai to name a few.

HSN Embarks On ‘One Hundred-Foot Journey’

August 7, 2014

HSN Wednesday kicked off another one of its movie-tied promotions with its “The Hundred-Foot Journey” event, celebrating the new film starring Helen Mirren from Dreamworks.

The movie, produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, opens theaters on Friday.

“HSN is an entertainment channel that inspires consumers with unique retail experiences,” our buddy HSN President Bill Brand said in a canned statement.

“‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ is an incredible story and we are honored to bring it to life through an impressive assortment of product and rich content that will engage and attract new consumers to HSN. Disney is a world-class brand and has been a tremendous collaborator for our movie events. We are already looking forward to our next endeavor with ‘Cinderella’ in 2015.”

“‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ movie event on HSN embraces different flavors and cultures from around the world with an exclusive collection of culinary items, jewelry and products for the home…all created in the spirit of the movie,” HSN said in a press release.

Chef Ludo Lefebvre and global food and lifestyle expert Nirmala Narine will bring French and Indian cuisine to HSN’s viewers as they present cookbooks and a variety of exotic spices.

An LA restaurateur, Lefebvre “challenged the definition of what a restaurant is by creating his uber-popular LudoBites concept, a multi-city restaurant tour.”

Ludo’s eatery in Los Angeles is Trois Mec, and has recently opened his new “Bar a la carte” concept, Petit Trois. He also stars in the ABC hit cooking competition show, “The Taste,” of which he was the winning Chef mentor last season.

During the event, the chef present culinary products such as six Essential Spices, Manitou Trading Company Legumes and Grains, White Toque Croissants, and Bonne Maman Preserves.

Narine is executive producer and host of “Nirmala’s Spice World” on Veria Living Network and the founder of Nirmala’s Kitchen, a specialty food company.

Narine will talk about the power of spices and how to use them when she presents her travel memoir cookbooks “In Nirmala’s Kitchen Everyday Kitchen Cookbook” and “Nirmala’s Edible Diary.”

She will also present her Nirmala’s Kitchen Exotic Rice Blends kits and Nirmala’s Kitchen Spice Set featuring three tins of Thai Curry Blend, Guyanese Garam Masala and Moroccan Tagine Blend.

Entertaining expert David Tutera will show HSN viewers how to best present these bold new dishes via an assortment of tabletop decor and serve ware, including carafes, serving trays and stoneware tableware.

But that’s not all folks. Fern Mallis and Nicky Butler will round out the exclusive movie collection with jewelry pieces “that represent the disparate cultures featured in the film.”

Here is a thumbnail on the movie:

In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingenue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai.

That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin-starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren) gets wind of it.

Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate into a heated battle between the two establishments until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine — and for Madame Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) — combine with his mysteriously-delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Madame Mallory cannot ignore.

At first Madame Mallory’s culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan’s gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.

HSN Queen Joy Mangano’s Daughter Weds In Napa

August 6, 2014

A big HSN family wedding in Napa Valley last weekend, and we weren’t invited? We’ll have to burn our Huggable Hangers in protest.

Joy Mangano, her daughter and the wedding party

Joy Mangano, her daughter and the wedding party

HSN Mother of Invention Joy Mangano gave away her daughter Christie in marriage in what appeared to be a gorgeous Napa Valley setting. And guess what? She married an HSN producer!

We’ve been to Napa twice, many years ago, and can say it is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been in the ol’ USA. And the wine’s pretty good, too.

Colleen Lopez, Joy Mangano, Suzanne Runyan and Amy Morrison

Colleen Lopez, Joy Mangano, Suzanne Runyan and Amy Morrison

We learned about the nuptials from HSN host Colleen Lopez’s posts on Facebook, so thanks for the heads-up girlfriend. There were a number of HSN hosts and vendors at the wedding, not only Lopez and hubby Carlos but also Amy Morrison, Suzanne Runyan and Beverly Hills jewelry designer Victoria Wieck.

We have posted some of Colleen’s photos here, but here’s the link to the rest of her gallery of the wedding.

https://www.facebook.com/colleen.lopez.589/media_set?set=a.10152666159618169.1073741829.576113168&type=1

QVC Posts 3 Percent Growth, To $1.4 Billion, In Second Quarter

August 6, 2014

QVC saw its second-quarter revenue rise 3 percent, to $1.4 billion, but operating income slipped 2 percent, the home shopping network’s parent reported Tuesday.

QVC attributed its second-quarter growth primarily “to strength in all categories except electronics and jewelry,” the network’s parent, Liberty Interactive Corp., said in a press release.

Average selling price per unit (“ASP”) increased 1 percent to $57.05 from $56.39 and units sold increased 3 percent.

Returns as a percentage of gross product revenue increased 35 basis points.

E-commerce revenue increased 7 percent to $588 million and rose slightly to 43 percent from 42 percent as a percentage of total U.S. revenue. And QVC U.S. mobile penetration was 37 percent of QVC.com orders.

Adjusted OIBDA increased 2 percent to $325 million and adjusted OIBDA margin decreased 35 basis points. The adjusted OIBDA margin decreased primarily due to continued investment in commerce platforms and e-commerce marketing, which were partially offset by higher product margins.

Liberty released 2Q results for not only the U.S. QVC network but the company’s international home shopping channels. Overall, including those networks, QVC’s consolidated revenue increased 3 percent, to $2 billion in the quarter.

Adjusted OIBDA increased a hair, 1 percent to $439 million, and operating income was essentially flat at $284 million.

“Our second-quarter performance reflects the strategic actions we are taking to extend our highly differentiated retail model across geographies and commerce platforms,” QVC President and CEO Mike George said in a canned statement.

“We generated solid results, with strong gains in Europe and China and improved growth in the U.S., partially offset by macro challenges in Japan,” George said.

“As we re-imagine the worlds of shopping, entertainment and social as one, we continue to deliver a high-quality value proposition to our customers, as evidenced by our strong e-commerce and mobile penetration and excellent customer retention.”