Archive for October, 2018

Did ‘Happy Dance’ Host Have Meltdown?

October 28, 2018

On Facebook someone said that today they spotted a QVC host, apparently David Venable, having a hissy fit on-air.

Apparently, he was annoyed that someone on the set was making too much noise i the background during his broadcast.

We avoid cooking shows like the plague, so we missed this. Did anyone else see it?

Ex-QVC Host Dan Wheeler Authors Book on Wife’s Death

October 28, 2018

Veteran QVC host Dan Wheeler has penned a book about his wife’s fatal illness.

The tome, called “Hurricane of Love,” is about the death of Beth Wheeler, Dan’s beloved spouse and mother of his children. Dan often posted on Facebook about Beth’s increasing sickness from her cancer, and it was heartbreaking.

Most if not all of us have lived through this sort of tragedy, where you sit helpless as someone you love dies, so it is a universal experience.

Here’s the blurb on the book from publisher WestBow Press:

Beth and Dan Wheeler had it all. Their growing family consisted of two beautiful daughters, a loving son-in-law, and a handsome grandson. They lived in their dream house on a beautiful, sprawling property. Dan was enjoying a thriving career as a popular television host on QVC. Suddenly in 2012, their world was rocked when Beth was diagnosed with stage IV cancer.

“Our priorities were turned upside down but ultimately right side up in an instant,” Dan writes. For three years, he balanced his career as a cheerful, upbeat television host with caring for his wife as she battled for her life against an aggressive form of cancer. Now, at last, he shares their inspiring story in Hurricane of Love: My Journey with Beth Wheeler.

Beth’s tremendous capacity to love swept through the halls of medical clinics, hospitals, and chemotherapy suites, positively impacting the lives of medical personnel, family, and friends. You will read about the many miracles they encountered along the way, including an angelic appearance and glimpses of heaven. Beth’s love and her strong faith in the Lord enabled her to face death with grace, dignity, and tremendous courage. This book will calm your fears, strengthen your faith, and inspire your hope. Beth Wheeler’s love was like a hurricane. It hit everyone in its path. Be prepared to be swept away!

QVC, HSN Parent To Announce 3Q Results Nov. 9

October 28, 2018

Qurate Retail Inc., the parent of QVC and HSN, will release its third-quarter earnings Nov. 9.

Qurate President and CEO Mike George and Executive Chairman Greg Maffei will host a conference call to discuss results at 11 a.m.

Following prepared remarks, the company will host a brief Q&A session during which management will accept questions regarding Qurate Retail.

During the call, George and Maffei may discuss the financial performance and outlook of the company, as well as other forward-looking matters.

Please call ReadyTalk at (800) 239-9838 or (323) 794-2551, passcode 8205223, at least 10 minutes prior to the call. Callers will need to be on a touch-tone telephone to ask questions. The conference administrator will provide instructions on how to use the polling feature.

In addition, the third quarter earnings conference call will be broadcast live via the Internet.

All interested participants should visit the Qurate Retail website at http://ir.qurateretail.com/events.cfm to register for the webcast. Links to the press release and replays of the call will also be available on the Qurate Retail website.

The conference call will be archived on the website for one year after appropriate filings have been made with the SEC.

Jennifer Flavin’s Serious Skincare Exits HSN

October 28, 2018

The changes keep coming at HSN. Jennifer Flavin’s brand, Serious Skincare, a longtime vendor is gone from the Florida-based home shopping network.

Flavin, who is married to superstar Sylvester Stallone, has been a fixture on HSN. But last week Serious Skincare in a post on Facebook said that its merchandise was no longer being sold on the network. But the post promised that it would soon be back on TV.

People are guessing the post was referring to Evine.

Someone asked us if we knew what happened. We don’t. But with QVC merging its buying operations with those of HSN, we think you can expect a lot of changes on HSN and a lot of similarity on both channels.

The skincare brand got an unexpected boost last Friday when Kathie Lee Gifford apparently out of the blue plugged InstA-tox on the “Today” show.

So let’s see what happens.

Evine Opens LA Studio, Welcomes Celine Dion and a ‘Shah’

October 20, 2018

Just a day after Qurate Retail, parent of QVC and HSN, announced it would be sending pink slips to 2,000 employees, and whittling down the staff in St. Petersburg to nothing, Evine was having a big shindig on the Left Coast.

We were invited, but couldn’t make the trip, to attend the West Hollywood launch party kicking off the opening of Evine Los Angeles, the network’s new studio facility. We also missed the “Live from LA” broadcast Thursday.

Did anyone see it? What did you think?

Apparently in conjunction with that event, Evine has unveiled two new celebrity lines — handbags from singer Celine Dion and “Be Obsessed” hair care products from Reza Farahan, who is part of the crew on Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset.”

When we saw pictures that party-goers posted on Facebook, we didn’t recognize Reza. He looked familiar, but he lost his mustache and a lot of weight since we last watched that reality show.

We like a lot of what Evine is doing, and opening a studio — far away from the HQ in Minnesota — is brilliant. But from what we have seen, home shoppers are not enamored of celebrity product lines.

There are so many stars of Bravo reality shows that have done lines for HSN, QVC and Evine that the list would take up a page.

For example, one of Reza’s co-stars on “Shahs” had a fashion jewelry line on HSN, while Lisa Vanderpump of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” has her own fashion jewelry line on Evine. She was at the swanky launch party, as were vendors such as Chuck Clemency.

Evine’s marketing maven, Nicole Ostoya, on FB said that she will be stationed in LA now, not in the cold wilds of Minneapolis, and she appeared to be quite pleased about that.

And while we are on the topic of Evine, we saw that another former HSN jewelry vendor had turned up at the No. 3 home shopping network. Hilary Joy is now part of the lineup.

Integrated QVC-HSN, Dubbed QXH, Means 2,000 Layoffs

October 18, 2018

When QVC’s parent company acquired HSN last year, everyone knew it would mean massive changes and eventually, massive layoffs. Well, that other shoe dropped Wednesday. We’re still not sure where “Miracle Mop” creator Joy Mangano ends up in all of this.

Here is the lengthy press release:

http://ir.qurateretail.com/news-releases/news-release-details/qurate-retail-group-announces-initiatives-deliver-long-term

So no, the QVC and HSN TV networks will not be merged into one. But they will be placed under one business unit, called QXH. Catchy, huh?

The new unit was part of Qurate Retail Group’s announcement about a massive restructuring that calls for integrating not only QVC and HSN’s fulfillment centers but also its buying organizations.

The end result? Some 2,000 people will be out of jobs, about 350 coming mainly from HSN’s HQ in St. Petersburg, Fla., which will remain open, and the rest from three fulfillment centers that Qurate will be closing.

The company also plans to lease space in a new warehouse facility, a honking 1- million-square-foot logistics center in Bethlehem, Penn. There will be 1,200 to 1,500 new jobs there, if you are looking for a silver lining.

Here’s the send-off that Mike George, Qurate president and CEO, gave to workers losing their jobs, including some folks who apparently had worked at the home shopping networks for 25 years.

“Today’s initiatives are the next step in our ongoing review of how to best continue the integration of HSN and QVC,” George said in a statement.

“With a focus on driving digital transformation, these efforts will extend our leadership in social, digital, and video commerce. I want to thank the many dedicated team members who will be impacted by these changes. Their commitment to HSN, QVC, and our customers, in some cases spanning 25 years or more, has been instrumental to our success. Our excitement today over the positive impact of these changes is tempered by the loss of many valued team members.”

The consolidation will result in streamlining that “will ensure an aligned approach to the U.S. market and better leverage the combined scale and resources of the two organizations, while still maintaining the unique identity of each brand and the St. Petersburg, Fla., campus for HSN,” Qurate said in its press release.

“The QXH name reflects the continued importance of the QVC and HSN brands, the multiplying power of bringing these brands together to maximize performance in the US market, and the engaging customer experiences we will offer across our five HSN, QVC, and Beauty iQ networks and digital properties,” George said.

OK, know we get it: QVC times HSN = QXH.

There will no be only one buying team for HSN and QVC, which to us seems it will make it hard to keep distinct identities for each network.

“HSN and QVC US buying organizations are being combined and structured around seven strategic category groups: Apparel, Accessories and Jewelry, Beauty, Kitchen Electronics and Cookware, Home Innovations, Home Style, and Consumer Electronics,” Qurate’s press release said. “Category leaders will be responsible for developing and driving strategies to maximize growth in the US market, across both the QVC and HSN platforms.”

The release goes on, “This integrated buying organization is expected to provide several benefits, including: increased speed to market with the best brands, products, ideas and entrepreneurs; optimized product assortments across QXH’s five US networks and multiple web and social platforms to maximize customer choice; a more aggressive pursuit of white space opportunities; and better alignment with our vendor partners.”

As for merging fulfillment operations, Qurate said it will be far more efficient and mean we customers will get our packages sooner. Right now Qurate operates four HSN and five QVC fulfillment centers, with many of them dedicated to specific categories, such as hard goods or apparel.

Over the next three to four years Qurate plans to combine HSN and QVC fulfillment centers so that they carry “the full product assortments” of both brands, in order to combine shipments to the customer and lower operating expenses.

“Once completed, the integrated fulfillment network is expected to: increase average delivery speeds to customers by two days; enable more items to be consolidated into single shipments to improve customer convenience; and deliver significant savings in freight and fixed costs,” Qurate said.

The press release also has possible ominous news about Ingenious Designs, inventor Joy Mangano’s company, which is part of HSN and home to the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers.

“HSN is closing its Ingenious Designs facility in Long Island, NY, shifting the design and sourcing of those product lines to QRG’s (Qurate’s) in-house design and sourcing team,” the parent company said.

Does that mean that Mangano is losing her own design team, and control of her company? Will she be staying on-board?

There are a couple of winners in this QVC-HSN scenario.

Mary Campbell, chief merchandising officer for Qurate and chief commerce officer for QVC U.S., will be responsible for QXH merchandising, marketing, brand and digital strategy and the QVC U.S. digital, content and broadcast operations. She will have primary responsibility for the development and growth of the QVC brand.

HSN President Mike Fitzharris who will be responsible for QXH video platform expansion and distribution and the HSN digital, content and broadcast operations. He will have primary responsibility for the development and growth of the HSN brand and oversight of the St. Petersburg campus.

They will both report to George.

QVC U.S. President Steve Hofmann is being kicked to the curb. His position is being eliminated, and his last day is Friday.

To sum up, some of us were surprised to see veteran QVC jewelry vendor Judith Ripka appear on HSN a few days ago. Expect to see a lot more of that QVC-HSN crossovers.

As someone who has been laid off twice, with the first time more devastating than we could ever explain to you, we certainly feel for those who are getting pink slips. But we lost our jobs during the Great Recession, the worse economic period since the Great Depression.

The U.S. economy is booming now, with unemployment at record lows, so we know you HSN and QVC folks will find new jobs a lot faster than we did. We wish you the best.