Archive for the ‘Home Shopping Networks’ Category

QVC Layoffs Send Shock Waves

September 9, 2016

We’re going to attempt a little blogging, especially after hearing about the layoffs of about 100 folks at QVC’s HQ in West Chester this week.

We first learned the 411 after ex-QVC host Lisa Mason posted the news on Facebook, lamenting the firing of a loyal network employee who had worked there 25 years, a person who was among the others who were pink-slipped.

Basically, Mason said she was holding her tongue about what she thought of the layoffs, which was similar to what ex-host Dave King posted on Facebook about the mini-bloodbath.

This situation must be put in context: QVC CEO Mike George during a 2Q earnings called warned that the network’s sales had tailed off significantly at the end of the quarter. Belt-tightening is no surprise.

Also, earlier this year QVC warned that layoffs would be coming to Pennsy, because the company was opening up a big international distribution hub in Poland.

And finally, QVC is opening a huge Left Coast distribution facility in Cali, and is hiring a boatload of people to work there.

A number of QVC shoppers are none-too-pleased to hear that American workers are losing their jobs in West Chester, and say they will boycott the No. 1 home shopping network.

Our first thought on the layoffs was whether any show hosts were being canned, but that was not apparently the case.

Host Mary Beth Roe had a Facebook post that appeared to allude to the sad circumstances at QVC, but she didn’t specifically reference the layoffs.

As someone who was summarily laid off just a few weeks after Sully miraculously landed a jet on the Hudson, the estimated 100 that were let go at QVC have our sympathy and good thoughts.

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Evine Live Jewelry Vendor Samuel Behnam And Our AZ Vacation

November 15, 2015

In the grand scheme of things, and what is happening in the world now, we guess this blog will sound trite. But we wanted to report back on what we found on the jewelry scene when we went to Arizona on vacation last month.

We have not been in AZ — or its areas such as Scottsdale, Sedona and Carefree — in about two years. So our eyes almost popped out of our head when we saw the way prices for jewelry and such have skyrocketed.

Even some of our favorite haunts, jewelry shops a bit off the beaten and tourist-ridden path, didn’t seem to have any deals.

Lucky ladybug

Lucky ladybug

We have a pretty sizable collection of blue turquoise now, and quite frankly don’t want any more. If anything, we keep our eye out for green turquoise, Carico Lake in particular. But Arizona has a lot more than Native-American made Southwestern-style jewelry. Its shops have a wide variety of sterling silver, artisan-crafted pieces from all over. That’s why we can browse at this stuff for hour upon hour.

We did make some purchases, but probably not what you would expect. In Sedona there is a New Agey-crystal store that we’ve been going to for years, which has not only jewelry but a huge selection of rocks.

We were keeping our eye out for Herkimer Diamonds, and thought maybe they would be a new trend in AZ. A couple of years ago, druzy was red hot.

In this Sedona shop we found a small bowl filled with some very large Herkimer Diamonds, 2 to 2 1/1 inches long. Some of them had black carbon spots, which we actually like in this particular stone.

Each Herkimer Diamond was wrapped in a sterling-steel girdle so you could wear it as a pendant. We bought two, one for us and one as a belated birthday present for our friend and traveling companion Deb.

As it turned out, it was a good purchase, because we only ran across one other store that was selling Herkimer Diamonds, and they we weren’t jumbo-sized like the ones we bought.

Samuel Behnam pendant

Samuel Behnam pendant

In Old Scottsdale, a real tourist trap that we still love because of all its jewelry stores, we came across a few finds. One shop had a little corner dedicated to jewelry by Evine Live vendor Samuel Behnam. The store owner began explaining that Behnam was a jewelry maker based in New Jersey, which was news to us Garden State gals.

We said we were familiar with his work, but didn’t mention his home shopping collection. They were selling several Behnam men’s bracelets with dragon heads, which were remarkably similar in style to those made by John Hardy but a hell of a lot cheaper.

But ultimately, we brought a large dog tag-style silver pendant on a leather cord that is probably a piece of men’s jewelry, but we liked it for us. It has several skulls on it, which like the Mexicans we think of as a good symbol, and a background of real stingray skin.

On the other side of the pendant, which we consider reversible, was a pattern of small stingrays.

We were also on the lookout for ladybug jewelry, since we think that critter is good luck. At another Old Town shop, we found a round inlay pendant that looked like a ladybug. We picked that up and have already worn it several times.

Reverse side

Reverse side

The ridiculous prices we were in Arizona made us realize some of the really great deals that the home shopping networks offer us for jewelry and gemstones.

By the way, the Old Town jewelers didn’t seem to know their stuff. In the only shop outside of Sedona where we found Herkimer Diamonds, the sales woman insisted that Herkimer was in Pennsylvania, not New York. You HSN girls know that’s not correct.

In another store, we asked to see a huge gem pendant that was marked as onyx. We held it up to the light, and saw that you could see through it and that it was brown — in other words, smoky quartz, not opaque onyx.

When we told the salesman in that store that the pendant was incorrectly marked, that it was not onyx, he insisted we were wrong.

JTV Names Winner For Its ‘Rock Star Designer’ Competition

September 23, 2015

Jewelry Television, the first home shopping network to produce its own reality show, has chosen South Carolina native Ashley Hoffman as the winner of its the series’ competition, “JTV Rock Star Designer.”

Hoffman was among five jewelry designers from across the country who put their jewelry-making talents to the test in a six-week, elimination-style competition. An extended season finale episode aired on JTV last week.

“It’s been such a blessing to be able to participate in JTV Rock Star Designer,” Hoffman said in a canned statement. “The entire experience has been life-changing. I’ve gotten to learn from each of the designers in the competition and gain valuable insight from the judges. I’m excited to see what this next chapter as the first JTV Rock Star Designer will bring!”

JTV’s Rock Star Designer competition challenged contestants each week in various jewelry design competitions that concluded with an elimination round. One of the judges was celeb stylist Michael O’Connor, who used to do Affinity Diamond shows on QVC.

The competition challenges covered creativity, design and business acumen.

As the winner, Hoffman will receive a $5,000 cash prize, as well as an exclusive opportunity to work alongside JTV to create jewelry collection that will be featured on the home shopping network.

“Our viewers constantly amaze us with their continuous support and enthusiasm for our initiatives, especially when we’re encouraging new designers to develop their skills,” JTV Vice President of Marketing Jill Johnson said. “JTV Rock Star Designer was a way for us to connect with our viewers in an innovative and engaging way. They’ve been a part of JTV Rock Star Designer since the beginning.”

The new JTV collection designed by 2015 Rock Star Designer Ashley Hoffman will be available for purchase through JTV beginning in 2016. To learn more about this year’s JTV Rock Star Designer, visit JTV.com/rockstar.

Ex-QVC Host Lisa Mason’s Husband Takes Turn For The Worse

September 19, 2015

As we’ve said before, this has not been a good year. Now more bad news.

Former QVC host Lisa Mason offered an update on her husband Gino’s brain cancer on Facebook and the prognosis does not sound good. It seems he had taken a turn for the worse.

Lisa Mason and Gino

Lisa Mason and Gino

Manhattanite Mason had left QVC for awhile and then returned earlier this year, after disclosing the news of her husband’s cancer. Then she said she was taking a hiatus from the network again. In Mason’s latest missive, she said she’s not coming back.

“I am so grateful for my brief time back at QVC,” Mason wrote.

“However, I have decided not to return. Gino is no longer responding to chemotherapy. He is now on immunotherapy. Whatever the outcome, I will not leave him. QVC was certainly the job of a lifetime and one that was hard to leave behind! But this man IS my life. I simply want to see him through this journey. Wherever it may lead!”

Prayers, prayers and more prayers.

JTV Host Kristen Keech Accepts Marriage Proposal On-Air

September 5, 2015

Wedding bells will soon be ringing at Jewelry Television.

Host Kristen Keech was on the air Thursday when her boyfriend Michael showed up, which must have made her a wee bit suspicious about what was going on.

JTV host Kristen Keech and her engagement ring

JTV host Kristen Keech and her engagement ring

As he pulled her away from her seat — with her protesting that she was barefoot — he broke out a small red box. Do you see where we’re going here?

Michael asked Kristen to marry him, and she said yes.

She was so excited that she pulled the ring out of the box and put it on her own finger.

“Thanks JTV for celebrating this very special surprise with everyone!” Keech wrote on Facebook. “I can’t believe I look like such a goof! And yeah- I guess I don’t know how the whole proposal thing is supposed to go because I SNATCHED THAT RING! Hahaha!!! I don’t even remember any of this happening honestly- it was like a complete shock, so unexpected- I really can’t believe it came out that well! Go Mike!! He is the all star here!”

JTV posted the video on Facebook, and congratulated the happy pair.

It is a Moissanite, not diamond, ring. Now that’s loyalty to JTV and vendor Charles Winston.

We hope JTV gave Mike a break on the price.

Shiseido Debuts On HSN, Rival To Leslie Blodgett’s Mineral Makeup

July 22, 2011

Ground-breaking Bare Escentuals is one of QVC’s most successful beauty lines, with Leslie Blodgett often on the air to tout its natural-looking makeup.

We find it amusing that the Japanese makeup giant that bought Blodgett’s company, Shiseido, debuted its makeup line on HSN today. But then, we’re easily amused.

Ta-Da: HSN Rolls Out HSN Arcade, A Gaming Portal

June 1, 2011

HSN is playing games with us.

Wednesday it launched what it called a “new platform (that) will allow people to play their favorite games online while simultaneously watching HSN streaming live in HD, viewing the item currently on-air and quickly shopping the last 15 items aired…all on one screen. In addition, HSN Arcade will integrate with Facebook to allow players to easily share their scores and achievements with their Facebook friends.”

Got that?

HSN Arcade is an e-commerce channel that uses “gamification” — a new word on us– by connecting unique products with gameplay, including the Today’s Special.

Players can apparently win prizes, including the Today’s Special product or a gift card, by being the fastest to complete the daily “Today’s Special Jigsaw Puzzle” and receiving the best score. People will also be able to participate in tournaments with HSN’s celebrity guests, hosts and other players for the opportunity to win other prizes, such as gift cards and products. Winners can be revealed in real time on TV, online and mobile.

“The launch of HSN Arcade is a strategic move to further differentiate the HSN shopping experience…by combining what people currently do online more than any other activities: shopping, gaming and sharing,” Jill Braff, HSN’s executive vice president of digital commerce, said in a canned statement. “We are also excited to be using Facebook integration to allow players to post their achievements and their favorite HSN products seamlessly to their Facebook wall. Other sites have game arenas, but only HSN marries content and commerce in such an innovative way.”

The combination of shopping, social and gaming taps into customer behavior, HSN said in a press release Tuesday.

According to a Newzoo (say what?) survey, currently more than 140 million people play casual games online, which represents 66 percent of the U.S. online population.

“The addition of this platform to HSN’s highly trafficked site and loyal customer base will extend HSN.com as an online destination ” — or so the No. 2 home shopping network hopes. .

HSN Arcade will host 25 games, including the Today’s Special Jigsaw Puzzle and Lights! Camera! Subtraction! (featuring HSN’s celebrities), as well as Crossword Puzzles, Word Search, Mahjongg, Sudoku, Treasure Hunt, Blackjack and more. The games are free to play. The experience will be further enhanced with the ability to share games, leaderboard rankings, badges and scores with friends using Facebook integration.

HSN partnered with entertainment agency WME to help frame the gaming opportunity with external vendors and serve in a strategic role in evaluating proposals. Arkadium, a leading provider of game solutions, was selected to develop HSN Arcade. Additional games will be created and launched based on feedback and demand from people.

HSN Terminates $1.3 Million Merchandising Chief Lynne Ronon, But It’s ‘Mutual’

May 18, 2011

Those sly pusses at HSN. They waited until after 5 p.m. today to announce that they have parted ways with Lynne Ronon, the network’s executive vice president of merchandising.

HSN filed an 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday that disclosed the news.

“Efective May 18, 2011, Barbara Lynne Ronon and HSN, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the ‘Company’), mutually agreed to end Ms. Ronon’s employment with the Company,” it said. “The Company and Ms. Ronon have agreed to treat this as a termination without ‘Cause’ under the Company’s Named Executive Officer and Executive Vice President Severance Plan which was previously filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Last year Ronon received $1.3 million in compensation from HSN. We assume she banked at least someo of that for a rainy day.

It looks like another big move by HSN CEO Mindy Grossman, the Terminator.

Celebrity Chef And HSN Pot Peddler Todd English Skewered By New York Post Again

May 17, 2011

The New York Post will not let celebrity chef/HSN pot peddler Todd English alone. And we’re more than happy to share the dish, so to speak.

The Post’s gossip column, Page Six, lead off one day last week with an item that said that some of English’s “Boston brethren think the celebrity chef is full of stale air.”

The headline was “Chefs say Todd’s out to lunch.”

Beleaguered chef Todd English

As it turns out, Boston magazine has done some very unflattering stories about English, with jabs such as he has turned into a “tourist-feeding hack” and is just “half the chef he used to be.”

Needless to say thems’ fightin’ words. So English apparently circulated a letter in his own defense, and tried to get his colleagues in the cooking world to sign it. He didn’t have much luck.

According to Page Six, Boston magazine has been brutal to English, who is best known in New York circles for leaving his bride-to-be at the altar. He later took her to court for hitting him in the head with his own watch.

The magazine skewered English for appearing in Michelob ads, hosting the Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas and being caught chasing skirts in the Big Apple.

“You claim you got clocked in the eye by a wristwatch-wielding fiancée,” the magazine wrote, charging that English was making a “laughingstock” of himself, according to Page Six.

QVC Host Rick Domeier Collects A Big Residual Check For 1980’s ‘St. Elsewhere’ Gig

May 14, 2011

Hunky QVC host Rick Domeier had a good one on Facebook this week.

He posted a photo of a check for 51 cents, which kind of reminds us of our current paycheck.

“Did an episode of ‘St. Elsewhere’ back in the eighties, and just received this ‘massive’ residual check,” Domeier posted. “Friday night Happy Hour, I’m buyin’, who wants to Party?”

The comments were just as priceless:

“Rick, You should invest Most of it in college for your children and keep enough to take the family out for a nice dinner.”

“Thank goodness you are buying!! hahahahaha don’t spend it all in one place..”

“Move back to LA! There’s a bar called ‘Residuals’ where they buy you a drink for any r-check under $1. SCORE! ;-)”

“LMAO the check costs more to make cheers”

“I loved that show!”

“Awesome, Rick — you can barely buy a first-class postage stamp with it, but you can party anyhow!”

“Would love to see that footage, Rick!”

“Can you spare a dime 🙂 WOW!”

“Hey, I’m afraid I can beat it..how depressing!”

“A check for .25 came from an old Magnum PI I did in the early 80’s.”