Archive for the ‘Jewelry Television’ Category

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.

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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.

N.J. Couple Goes To Prison After Cheating IRS To Spend More Than $280,000 On QVC, HSN And Jewelry TV

March 25, 2011

Some people are so addicted to home shopping networks that it’s a crime. Literally

We spotted a story about a Bridgewater, N.J., couple that was just sentenced to four years in prison for defrauding the IRS.

What did they do with the money? Well, they spent $280,000 on goods from QVC, HSN and Jewelry Television.

James and Theresa DeMuro last November were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States and willingly failing to pay over employment taxes. They owned and operated an engineering company called TAD Associates, which did business as DeMuro Associates.

From 2002 to 2008, the DeMuros withheld employment taxes from workers’ pay but did not fork over $546,000 in taxes due to the IRS. They also withheld money from their employee’s checks for health insurance and IRA accounts, but did not pay those funds into those things.

What they did do, we guess, is spend a quarter of a million dollars on the home shopping channels.

In addition to prison, the DeMuros have to make $1.3 million in restitution to the IRS.

There’s a lesson here somewhere. You figure it out.

But it’s another black eye for our Garden State, dang it.

Ex-Gems TV Host Gets Painful Watermelon Ricochet In The Face On ‘Amazing Race’

September 9, 2010

This is a gift from our ex-colleague and oft-times Left Coast stringer, Linda Haugsted.

Two former Gems TV hosts made viral waves on “The Amazing Race” after one of then got smashed in the face with a watermelon that boomeranged back after she catapulted it.

The video of the painful accident went viral, and the whole tale even got coverage in the New York Post Thursday, in a story headlined “‘Amazing’ racer a hit on melon video.”

The two home-shopping hosts contestants are Claire Champlin and Brook Roberts, a former Miss Oregon, who were both hosts on the now defunct Gems TV. Roberts has since landed a gig on Jewelry TV.

Poor Champlin is the one that got hit in the puss with the watermelon. The show is in England, and has to slingshot a watermelon using an medieval style catapult as one of the stunts. But it bounces back and smashes hard into her face. Bet that never happened on Gems TV.

Roberts runs over to her, and a stunned Champlin says, “I can’t feel my face….I can’t even see straight.”

When Roberts tells Champlin they have to continue the competition, Champling looks at her in utter disbelief but goes on.

In a video clip of Champlin and Roberts on the show’s website, “babbling Brook,” as she is nicknamed, talks about the challenge of selling jewely on TV.

“You try to get someone from Texas to buy a $70,000 paraiba tourmaline — probably not the easiest thing in the world,” Roberts says.

The melon incident will be in the first episode of “The Amazing Race” on CBS this season, on Sept. 26, according to the Post.

DirecTV’s Suit Against Gems TV: Who Claims What

April 8, 2010

Well, the love is sure gone between DirecTV and soon-to-be-shut-down Gems TV.

Gems TV made its U.S. debut on DirecTV in November 2006. At that time, DirecTV lauded the network.

“[GemsTV’s] innovative reverse-auction format is unprecedented in the history of American television and offers viewers a fun and easy way to shop for high-quality gemstone jewelry from the comfort of their own homes,” said DirecTV EVP of programming acquisitions Dan Fawcett, a straight-up guy who we know from our days covering cable.

But that was then, and now is now.

Before Gems TV, which is ceasing operations, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, DirecTV had already been in court and won a restraining order barring the home shopping network from taking any action that would leave the channel with less than $25 million in money or assets, until further order of the court. Presumably, DirecTV believes it is owed that same $25 million.

DirecTV’s lawsuit has been stayed pending the bankruptcy proceeding, but we got a look at it. Large portions of the suit have been “redacted,” or blacked out. Those include the details of DirecTV’s carriage agreement with Gems TV. The suit charges Gems TV with breach of contract and fraudulent conveyance.

Basically DirecTV, which brought Gems TV to 18 million homes, was trying to stop the network from moving all its assets to the Cayman Islands — out of the reach of creditors.

In February, Gems TV came to DirecTV and asked to renegotiate their carriage deal, telling the satellite provider that it “was losing money and might be forced to discontinue their programming activity,” according to the suit.

DirecTV refused to amend or modify the contract. On March 8, Gems TV gave DirecTV written notice that it was terminating their contract because the network was in fact going black. The satellite company says that’s a breach of contract.

In one of the exhibits, a letter dated March 19 to DirecTV’s Toby Berlin, Gems TV president (and Charter Communications alum) Diane Schneiderjohn said that under their carriage deal, the pact can be terminated if the programmer “discontinues operation and distribution of the service.”

She writes that Gems TV will cease operations April 15, and therefore there is no breach of contract.

Around this time, DirecTV learned that Gems TV was planning to invest $60 million in Multimedia Commerce Group, which operates Jewelry Television. “Gems TV thus seeks to transfer its assets in a fashion that will leave no assets available to compensate DirecTV for damages caused by Gems TV’s breach of the contract,” according to the suit.

The transfer of assets to the Cayman Islands or to invest in JTV “is undertaken in bad faith and constitutes fraudulent transfer,” DirecTV alleges.

That investment was a way for Gems TV to liquidate the rest of its inventory, by taking it to JTV, according to DirecTV’s suit.

This may all be moot now, to be decided by a bankruptcy judge. In its Chapter 11 filing, Gems TV claims to have $51.2 million in assets and $120 million in debt, all unsecured.

While We Were In Atlantic City, Gems TV Filed For Chapter 11 Protection In Nearby Delaware

April 7, 2010

The Homeshoppingista took a little R&R Monday with an overnight trip down to Atlantic City with dad, sister Karen, brother-in-law Kent, niece Syndey and nephew Evan. The weather was gorgeous, but since we don’t have a laptop we had to take a siesta from the blog.

Now we’re trying to update you on the Gems TV story even though we’re straining our neck to turn around and peek at “Southland” on TNT. But blog duty calls.

It seems that while were were strolling along the AC boardwalk Monday, Gems TV was busy filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware. Gems TV posted a one-paragraph press release about the filing on its Web site Tuesday.

“Gems USA has, after due consideration, determined that the Chapter 11 proceedings is the best exit strategy to adopt to ensure an orderly winding down of its U.S. operations,” the release said.

After a tip from a reader, last week we broke the story about Gems TV planning to shut down operations and buy a stake in Jewelry Television. We also wrote that giant distributor DirecTV has filed suit and received a retraining order against the network over $25 million in revenue that the satellite provider apparently believes it is owed.

The Wall Street Journal wrote up the Gems TV bankruptcy Monday.

For cable insiders, Gems TV’s president is Diane Schneiderjohn, a former marketing executive at Charter Communications.

In the bankruptcy filing, according to The Journal, Gems TV is claiming it has $120 million in debt. The network, unlike other home shopping networks, makes its viewers bid for items via what it calls a reverse-auction format. Guess that has not gone so well, and soaring gold prices have also strained the network.

The bankrupty filing says that Gems TV has $51.2 million in asets, according to The Journal.

The networks employees will join the unemployment line, like us, May 6. Gems TV claims it has 37 million subscribers.

Gems TV To Shut Down And Buy Stake In Jewelry Television, And An Unhappy DirecTV Files Suit And Gets Restraining Order

March 31, 2010

Thanks to a tip from one of our fans, we’ve wised up to the fact that financially struggling Gems TV is going black in the United States — and that DirecTV has filed suit against the home shopping channel over its demise.

Earlier this month Gems TV’s Singapore-based parent company, Gems TV Holdings Ltd., announced that it was ceasing the network’s operations and buying a 37.8 percent stake in its rival, Jewelry Television, known as JTV. Gems TV will end its operations whether or not its deal to buy into Jewelry Television, whose parent company is Multimedia Commerce Group Inc., closes.

“Since its entry into the U.S. in November 2006, Gems TV has struggled to achieve the necessary operational and economic scale that would enable it to thrive in that market,” the network said in its March 8 press release. “The Group’s margins and profitability have been under constant pressure from the extremely challenging and unpredictable economic environment.”

The press release also had a statement from Gems TV chairman Jason Choo.

“We are putting a stop to the operational cash drain in the U.S. which is clearly a disappointing outcome,” Choo said. “However, if the proposed investment completes, it will allow us to immediately increase our proportionate share of the U.S. jewelry market. Both parties believe that a significant portion of our revenue will migrate to MMCG once we cease broadcasting and MMCG is in an ideal position to leverage off that additional revenue.”

In the fiscal second quarter ending Dec. 31, Gems TV saw its product revenue drop 15 percent, to $40.2 million. Gross profit rose 27 percent, to $16.5 million. The loss attributable to shareholders was $6.3 million, down from $18.5 million the prior year.

Last Thursday Gems TV announced the satellite provider DirecTV had filed for a temporary injunction against it in U.S. District Court in California. There was also a retraining order issued barring Gems TV from taking any action that will leave the network with less than $25 million in money or assets, until further order of the court.

Gems TV said that DirecTV’s claims are without merit and that it will contest them. We couldn’t reach our buddies at DirecTV yet Wednesday morning: They are out in El Segundo, Calif.

JTV will incorporate Gems TV’s reverse-auction program with its existing fixed-price selling programs.

“I believe Jewelry Television represents the very best that the jewelry TV and Internet shopping industry has to offer consumers and is also a cut above the rest of the players, in terms of its established branding, market position and scale,” Choo said. “We are very confident that our proposed investment in JTV would give both parties the best vantage points from which to grow, and we look forward to sharing in the success of Jewelry Television.”