Archive for the ‘Musical Artists’ Category

We Don’t Know Nuthin’ From Country Music, But Randy Travis Will Perform And Launch His New CD On HSN May 27

May 11, 2011

Country artist (is that a contradiction in terms?) Randy Travis will celebrate 25 years of “chart-topping hits,” HSN told us Wednesday, with the exclusive world launch of his latest CD May 27.

The country music icon will perform live on HSN a special one-hour primetime show at 9 p.m. as part of HSN’s first-ever 24-hour Americana Event featuring unique American-themed experiences, brands and products.

“Offering our customers a shopping experience that is both entertaining and relevant is at the core of what we do,” Sandy Conrad, HSN’s senior vice president of merchandising, said in a canned statement. “We’re excited to have Randy Travis kick off Memorial Day weekend and be a part of HSN’s first-ever Americana event.”

HSN junkies can be the first to order a special 2-disc bundle ($14.95) that includes Randy’s new “Anniversary Celebration” release and his best-selling Top 10 greatest-hits CD.

“Anniversary Celebration” includes new songs and remakes such as “Forever and Ever Amen,” featuring the Zac Brown Band; “He Walked On Water,” in partnership with Kenny Chesney; “Can’t Hurt A Man,” featuring Tim McGraw; and “Is it Still Over?,” accompanied by Carrie Underwood.

Canned bio:

Randy Travis is one the most recognizable voices in music with more than 20 million records sold and eighteen No. 1 singles. Other acclaimed artists joining Travis on his first-ever duets CD include Brad Paisley, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, George Jones, Jamey Johnson, Alan Jackson, Don Henley and Kristin Chenoweth.

The special CD bundle will be available at HSN, and via HSN Mobile for $14.95. Travis fans can go to, keyword: Randy Travis, beginning Friday to purchase the CD set, and even send well wishes to Randy for his May 27 HSN debut.

In addition to this special anniversary CD bundle, HSN will also offer an exclusive, limited-edition, Gibson Epiphone guitar with a commemorative 25th anniversary, hand-signed Randy Travis plaque…”a perfect gift for Father’s Day,” according to HSN.

Not for our dad. He got thrown out of the Grand Ol’ Opry when he was down South in the service. We think he was heckling a “country artist” after one too many cocktails.

Anyway, Travis fans can get a taste for what life is like on tour with Randy and his band with “Cooking Memories On the Road,” a cookbook written by Randy and Elizabeth Travis. The book will be available on and feature tidbits and personal photos from Travis’ numerous tours, as well as more than 100 recipes the country star gathered during his travels.

HSN Posts 6 Percent Increase In Third-Quarter Sales, Declines In Other Areas

November 3, 2010

Mindy Grossman

HSN saw a 6 percent gain in its net sales in the third quarter, with the home shopping channel hitting $493.7 millon in revenue, the company reported Wednesday.

But HSN saw 17 percent drop in operating income, to $30.7 million, and a decline in its gross profit margin.

For the first nine months, HSN’s net sales are up 6 percent, to $1.48 billion.

“At HSN, our strategy of utilizing content to create communities and drive commerce delivered a net sales increase of 6 percent and best customer growth of 9 percent, due primarily to strength in apparel, accessories and electronics as well as the addition of new brand partners and marketing initiatives,” HSN CEO Mindy Grossman said in a prepared statement. “We undertook key strategic initiatives this quarter that were focused on customer engagement by creating content-immersive experiences and leveraging our unique multichannel platform.”

HSN’s net sales increased 6 percent to $493.7 million. The sales growth was driven by strong performances in apparel, accessories and electronics. sales increased 10 percent over the prior year and represented 30.9 percent of HSN’s net sales, up from 29.8 percent in the prior year. Units shipped and average price point increased 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Gross profit increased 1 percent to $169.9 million. Gross profit margin declined 170 basis points to 34.4 percent primarily driven by increased product costs, retail price reductions and inventory reserve provisions. During the third quarter of 2009, HSN benefited from a reduction in inventories and the related reserves.

Operating expenses, excluding non-cash charges, increased 4 percent. The increase was primarily attributable to the costs associated with launching HSN2, HSN’s second television shopping channel that debuted in August, costs for brand and event marketing and accrued costs for a legal settlement.

Adjusted EBITDA decreased 8 percent to $43.1 million from $47.1 million. Operating income decreased 17 percent to $30.7 million compared to $37.1 million in the prior year due to the increase in operating expenses, including non-cash charges.

Adjusted EBITDA and operating income for HSNi, which includes the home shopping network and the company’s Cornerstone unit, included a $2.5 million sales provision for an upcoming voluntary product recall at one of the Cornerstone brands and costs related to a $2.5 million legal settlement.

During a conference call with analysts, Grossman said the legal settlement involved a patent case for an e-commerce sales system. She said HSN decided it was in the company’s best interest to just settle the case quickly and put it behind it.

Mary J. Blige debuted her fragrance on HSN

On the call, Grossman mentioned several of HSN’s third-quarter launches, including the exclusive debut of Mary J. Blige’s fragrance. She added that singer Rod Stewart’s live concert had generated sales of almost 30,000 CDs.

Jean queen Diane Gilman sold 200,000 pairs of jeans during the quarter, according to Grossman.

Consolidated HSNi results reflected a net sales grow of 10 percent to $708.4 million over the prior year. Cornerstone’s net sales increased 23 percent to $214.7 million with Internet sales representing 56.9 percent of its net sales.

HSNi’s Adjusted EBITDA was $49 million compared to $48.8 million in the prior year. These results were driven by a 10 percent increase in net sales, partially offset by a 170 basis point decrease in gross profit margin and a 7 percent increase in operating expenses, excluding non-cash charges.

Operating income decreased 9 percent to $32.8 million compared to $36.1 million in the prior year. Included in Adjusted EBITDA and operating income is a $2.5 million sales provision for an upcoming voluntary product recall at one of the Cornerstone brands and costs related to a $2.5 million legal settlement.

Adjusted earnings per share was 31 cents compared to 32 cents in the prior year. GAAP diluted EPS was 25 cents compared to 29 cents in the prior year. The combined impact of the product recall and legal settlement on Adjusted earnings per share and GAAP diluted EPS was $3 million, net of taxes, or five cents per diluted share.

“HSNi’s net sales growth of 10 percent reinforces the strength of the HSN and Cornerstone brands,” Grossman said in a satatement. “Our efforts to reach customers across multiple channels continue to be successful and contributed to an e-commerce net sales gain of 15 percent in the quarter.”

HSN’s Good Deed: Designer Ornaments For St. Jude

October 22, 2010

Jay King's ornament

We think HSN’s Designer Ornament event is a pretty neat idea, and all for a good cause.

The No. 2 home shopping network asked a bunch of its vendors — 73 total — to each design a Christmas tree decoration for its HSN 2010 Designer Ornament Collection. The ornaments, which HSN has been selling on-air for the past two days, range in price from $20 to $40.

So Susan Lucci, Diane Gilman, Emeril Lagasse, Jay King, Mary J. Blige, Martha Sewart, Jennifer Stallone, Twiggy and Gwen Stefani were among the HSN vendors who designed ornaments for the collection.

Twiggy's version

The sale of the ornaments is supporting the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a pediatric research and treatment center devoted solely to finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses.

Gwen Stefani's ornament

In fact, 100 percent of the profits, no less than 30 percent of the purchase price of each ornament, will be donated to St. Jude.

We particularly liked Twiggy’s Union Jack version, King’s white and turquoise ornament, Stallone’s cute Santa and Emeril’s purple turnip.

‘The Insider’ Goes Inside HSN, But Not Too Far

October 20, 2010

Lara Spencer chatted up Wolfgang Puck at HSN's studios

Yippee, as we’ve noted before, the traditional media has finally figured out that home shopping is not still about selling can openers and cubic zirconia anymore. Jeez, even Oprah Winfrey shops on HSN! (We’ll explain later.)

CNN woke up and made it official when it did a segment on QVC’s large role in Fashion Week in Manhattan this year. And this week “The Insider” sent the vapid and extremely annoying Lara Spencer down to HSN’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla., to do a story on how celebrities are flocking to sell goods on home shopping networks.

The story was a couple of minutes, which for “The Insider” is like an investigative report, even though it stated the obvious to anyone who knows the home shopping industry. But it was a great plug for HSN, that’s for sure.

The segment showed a clip of Liza Minnelli’s disastrous appearance, and there were also interviews with celebrity chef and pot peddler Wolfgang Puck, as well as Bill Brand, HSN’s executive vice president of programming, marketing and business development.

The segment said that HSN started in 1977 on AM radio selling electronic can openers. While there was once a “stigma” to appear on HSN, now celebs are calling the TV network to get on, we’re told.

“This world had changed and it’s been focused on finding those personalities that are popular, that are interesting but also very credible and authentic and are experts in their field,” Brand said to Spencer.

Spencer noted that Puck would be on the air for 10 hours, “not a single minute of it with a teleprompter,” the day she was in Florida shooting her segment.

“Welcome to a very tasty HSN,” Puck told Spencer.

She noted that as Puck was selling his cookware, HSN producers were watching how many people were calling in and buying, and then they told Puck through his earpiece whether to keep talking or move on.

There was also a clip of Sean “Diddy” Combs from his appearance on the home shopping network to sell his fragrance.

“I made it,” Combs said. “I’m on HSN, Ma.”

His fragrance, “I Am King,” sold out in 14 minutes, product that was meant to last for a two-hour show.

Brand also talked about singer Mary J. Blige debuting her new perfume exclusively on HSN. “That was really a first for the business,” he said.

“The Insider” also showed Oprah Winfrey calling in while Blige was on the air on HSN.

“I am supporting her and waiting on my shower gel,” Winfrey told Blige and HSN host Callie Northagen.

“You even have Oprah shopping on HSN, so it’s no surprise that HSN brings in $2 billion a year in revenue,” somebody whose name we didn’t catch said.

As for Spencer, she told us “it is not your grandmother’s HSN.”

No sh-t.

Raspy Rod Stewart Charms With The Old Standards On HSN Live

October 10, 2010

Rod rocked HSN Saturday night, photo by Mark Seligar, courtesy of J Records

Rod Stewart nervous to sing live on HSN?

Stewart, looking dapper right now in a pearl grey tux and ruffled white shirt, opened his concert on the home shopping network Saturday evening with “That Old Black Magic.” For once, the HSN set didn’t look cheesy. And there was a live studio audience.

HSN host Callie Northagen is MCing the event, and she walked up onstage to Stewart after his opening song to congratulate him.

“It’s nerve-wracking,” Stewart said, referring to entertaining the packed room.

What? This is a guy who said he once sang for an audience of 5.5 million in Rio. When Northagen told him that HSN reaches 95 million homes, Stewart said, “That will do me nicely.”

Rod and his wife are expecting a baby, photo by Mark Seligar, courtesy of J Records

Rod has joined the line of musical artists who have come to the home shopping venue to sell their CDs. Talent such as Sheryl Crow, Justin Bieber, Natalie Cole and Heart have all done live concerts on either HSN, QVC or ShopNBC.

In the case of Stewart, he is flogging the fifth, and final, installment of his “Great American Standards” CDs.This one is named “Fly Me To The Moon.” On her Facebook page, HSN host Colleen Lopez said that HSN sold 25,000 of the CD sets in one hour.

The CD-set that HSN is selling for $15 has an extra CD that’s exclusive to HSN.

To us, Stewart sounded raspier than ususal, but he still has “IT,” as someone wrote on our Facebook page.

We still love his accent, and he was charming and self-deprecating during his HSN appearance. At one point, with Northagen doing her usual fawning over any musical guest that appears on the network, she told Stewart his voice just gets better and better.

“I think I’ve gotten better over the years, like an old piece of cheese,” Stewart said, adding, “I should have said wine.”

He also explained that he got the idea to record old standard songs after he met a World War II veteran when he was having coffee in a shop in Beverly Hills. The vet had been a participant in the second wave of the invasion of Normandy. After talking to Stewart, the man was leaving and asked Stewart when he was going to do a record of classic American songs.

Stewart worked the charm thang, photo by Mark Seligar, courtesy of J Records

Stewart won an Emmy for Volume 3 of “Great American Standards,” and planned to end the series when he recorded Volume 4. But he decided to do Volume 5 “by popular demand.”

Celebrity chef and perennial ham Wolfgang Puck, who is doing shows on HSN Saturday night, was part of the audience and at one point got onstage with Stewart.

“I want to learn how to sing,” “Wolf” told Stewart, adding that he has purchased several copies of Stewart’s CD set, and planned to send some to his home country of Austria.

Then Stewart played our favorite standard: “You Can’t Take That Away From Me.” But our favorite version, still, is Fred Astaire singing that song to Ginger Rogers, we believe it was.

He also performed “Moon River,” which he said was his and his wive Penny’s favorite song. Penny, by the way, is four months pregnant, according to Stewart, who has eight kids.

Stewart will be doing a blues album, and then a country album, he told Northagen. That should be interesting.

All in all, we think HSN did a nice job with the Stewart concert.

HSN Shoppers, Rod Stewart Says He’s Eager To See You Saturday

October 7, 2010

Finally, the official announcement about Rod Stewart coming to HSN Saturday.

Here it is:

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and Grammy Award Winning International Superstar, Rod Stewart Performing Live on HSN Saturday, October 9 for World Launch of Latest Album ‘FLY ME TO THE MOON…THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK: VOLUME V’

HSN Customers Will Be Able to Pre-Order Latest Volume from Chart-Topping, Multi-Platinum, Grammy Award-Winning The Great American Songbook Series Before the Album’s Official Debut In Stores October 19th

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct 07, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ — International superstar, rock icon and J Records recording artist Rod Stewart will debut his latest album, Fly Me to The Moon…The Great American Songbook: Volume V, exclusively with interactive, multichannel retailer HSN when he performs live during a one-hour primetime special titled “Rod Stewart Live in Concert Presented by Sprint and HTC” this Saturday, October 9 at 8 p.m. (ET).

During the live special, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy(TM) Living Legend recipient will croon iconic songs from the Great American Songbook.

Rod looks pretty good for an old dude, doesn't he? I wouldn't kick him out of ... Photo by Mark Seligar, Courtesy of J Records

Rod Stewart adds, “I am absolutely in love with these incredible songs on my new album and cannot wait to get out there and perform them live. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.”

“Rod Stewart’s distinct vocals and tremendous abilities as an entertainer are unique, and HSN is honored to be able to introduce his latest album,” said Sandy Conrad, Senior Vice President of Merchandising for HSN. “His Great American Songbook series includes some of the greatest songs of our time and is sure to resonate with our millions of customers.”

Stewart fans will have the opportunity to pre-order a special two-disc Great American Songbook CD bundle which includes:

Fly Me to The Moon…The Great American Songbook: Volume V – The album was produced by Richard Perry and co-produced by longtime collaborator Clive Davis, along with Lauren Wild and Rod Stewart, and this 12-song CD features classics written by the great Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Henry Mancini, and many others, including “That Old Black Magic”, “Beyond The Sea”, “What A Difference A Day Makes”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” among others.

“The Great American Songbook: Live” – this special eight-track CD includes iconic songs from Songbook series Volumes I through IV, including favorites such as “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, “Every Time We Say Goodbye”, “For All We Know,” and more.

The special two-disc bundle (item # 101-380) is currently available for pre-order at HSN, and via HSN Mobile for $14.95. Stewart fans can go to, keyword: Rod Stewart, to listen to excerpts from the CD, purchase the two-disc set, and even submit questions for Rod that may be answered live during the special on October 9.


Rod Stewart has one of the greatest and most distinctive voices in rock history. With an estimated 250 million in album and single sales, Rod Stewart is indisputably one of the most successful musical performers of all time. FLY ME TO THE MOON…Volume V in stores October 19th (J Records), marks Rod Stewart’s return to his Grammy-award winning The Great American Songbook album series which has enjoyed unprecedented success as the biggest selling ongoing series of new music recordings in history, with over seventeen million copies worldwide.

Yes We Think He’s Sexy: Rod Stewart To Perform Live On HSN

October 4, 2010

Now here is an impressive “get” for HSN: Singer Rod Stewart will be performing live on the home shopping network next Saturday, Oct. 9.

The Stewart reveal came just a week after HSN announced a deal with another pop music talent, Mariah Carey.

HSN super host Colleen Lopez broke the Rod news on Facebook Sunday night.

“I’m over the moon!,” she wrote. “Rod Stewart will be live on HSN… 8:00 pm eastern!! Hope you can make it a date – you’ll see Rod perform live and have a chance to order his new album Fly Me To The Moon…The Great American Song Book Volume V! I ♥ Rod Stewart – any other fans out there?”

More later after we watch “Mad Men.”

…That cad Don Draper just can’t keep his pants zipped! Oh, back to Rod Stewart.

Here is what HSN is saying about its Stewart CD offering, at $15:

Rod Stewart Great American Songbook Vol. 5 Set of 2 CDs

Let Rod do what he does best, and that is to sing and make your heart aflutter. This spectacular CD bundle helps you remind yourself of your obsession with one of the most successful performers of all time. Rod Stewart’s Great American Songbook series has been a record-breaking success and this exclusive bundle follows right in the footsteps of its predecessors. Plus, you get the amazing Songbook live CD that will have you searching for concert tickets in no time.

What You Get

“Fly Me to the Moon Great American Songbook Volume 5” CD
“Great American Songbook Live” CD

Rod Stewart Great American Songbook Vol. 5 Track List

That Old Black Magic listen
Beyond the Sea
I’ve Got You Under My Skin listen
What a Difference a Day Makes
I Get a Kick Out of You listen
I’ve Got the World on a String listen
Love Me or Leave Me listen
My Foolish Heart listen
September in the Rain listen
Fly Me to the Moon listen
Sunny Side of the Street listen
Moon River listen

Great American Songbook Live Track List

They Can’t Take That Away From Me
Every Time We Say Goodbye
For All We Know
That Old Feeling
Blue Moon
What a Wonderful World
For Sentimental Reasons

ShopNBC Joins Home-Shopping Musical Bandwagon With Live Concert By Heart

August 26, 2010

Heart, one of our favs, will perform live on ShopNBC this Sunday at 2 p.m. as the group introduces its first new studio album in six years, “Red Velvet Car,” on the network.

The album, which will be officially released Aug. 31 through Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings, will be available exclusively to ShopNBC viewers during the band’s acoustic performance.

We heart Heart

ShopNBC is the third home shopping networks, behind QVC and HSN, to host live concerts of popular artists and sell their new albums. It’s a way for these channels to draw in viewers who ordinarily wouldn’t be caught dead watching QVC or HSN.

QVC recently had Sheryl Crow on for a great concert, and HSN has had Natalie Cole.

During the hour long pre-release show titled “Heart Live!” on ShopNBC, Ann and Nancy Wilson will perform acoustic renditions of songs off their new album as well as a selection of their greatest hits in front of a live in-studio audience.

Included with the pre-release of Heart’s new album, “Red Velvet Car,” will be a 5-track greatest hits live album, exclusive to ShopNBC, and a vintage Heart T-shirt, which until now has only been available on the Heart website and at live performances.

The entire pre-release package will be offered to ShopNBC viewers for $19.83. In addition to the live studio performance, customers may also preview clips of the new album online at ShopNBC (Search Term: Heart).

God, it’s worth it to buy this package just for the T-shirt alone!

Here’s ShopNBC’s hype on Heart, whose “What About Love” is on our all-time favorite list:

Like all Heart albums, ‘Red Velvet Car’ rocks hard, but also has a deep acoustic side. Nancy Wilson has long been known to play her acoustic guitar with rock ferocity. With this album, an abundance of resonant acoustic instruments (guitars, mandolin, dobro, banjo, fiddle, viola, cello, and autoharp), played by Nancy Wilson and the album’s producer, Ben Mink, are showcased in Heart’s unique style.

Nine of the album’s songs were written especially for the album, ‘Red Velvet Car.’ The album’s closer, “Sand,” is a newly recorded version of a song originally written and recorded by the Lovemongers, Ann and Nancy’s 1990’s acoustic side project.

“We are thrilled to bring internationally known music icon Heart to the ShopNBC network and provide our viewers with a one-of-a-kind shopping experience through this live performance,” ShopNBC president Bob Ayd said in a canned statement.

“As a multi-media retailer operating with a premium lifestyle brand, we are highly focused on content, commerce and community to the surprise, delight, and entertainment of our 1 million customers. Establishing a strategic relationship with Sony Music will not only help expand what customers can expect from us, but also open the door for many new and exciting opportunities within the music industry going forward.”

Here’s the hype from the record label.

“The arrival of ‘Red Velvet Car,’ the first new Heart album in six years, is cause for celebration,” said Adam Block, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Legacy Recordings. “We think there’s a great fit here and are excited for Nancy and Ann Wilson to be sharing their new songs live with their fans on this ShopNBC event.”

Ann Wilson and her younger sister, Nancy Wilson, proved that women can rock when their band Heart hit the charts in the ’70s with hits like “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On,” “Even It Up” and “Kick It Out.”

Not only did the Wilson sisters lead the band, they wrote the songs and played the instruments, making them the first women in rock to do so. Heart continued topping the charts through the ’80s and into the ’90s with huge hits like “These Dreams,” “Alone,” “What About Love,” “If Looks Could Kill” and “Never.”

Heart sold more than 30 million records, had 21 Top 40 hits and sold out arenas worldwide.

HSN Vendor Carol’s Daughter Does Q&A With New York Times Business Section

August 23, 2010

Hair butter from Carol's Daughter

We’ve noted that HSN makes a real effort to target African-American customers, and one brand it’s brought on to do that is the beauty line Carol’s Daughter.

One of Carol’s Daughters investors is singer Mary J. Blige:

The Sunday New York Times did a Q&A with the brand’s founder and president, Lisa Price, that was headlined “Memo to Self: Don’t Take It Personally.” That’s good advice for us, because we take everything personally.

Price, who started out by making batches of her hair products in her kitchen, discusses her feelings about being a manager and bringing in a CEO for the company, Richard Dantas.

Carol's Daughter investor Mary J. Blige

Here’s what HSN has to say about Carol’s Daughter.

Beginning with a love for experimenting with fragrances, Brooklyn native Lisa Price started making products in her kitchen as gifts for friends back in 1993. Mixing essential oils and natural moisturizers, she homemade unique elixirs with love and attention to detail. She named her company in honor of her mother, to acknowledge her support and inspiration.

A well-known record executive spread the word about Lisa’s luxurious bath, body and hair care products, prompting the transition from creating concoctions in the kitchen for a select few to successfully reaching customers across the country via mail order and the web. Even though her products have earned a cult following – they’re a staple on the shelves of celebrity bathrooms – Carol’s daughter Lisa has stayed true to her homemade roots. After years of success, celebrity, and expansion Carol’s Daughter products are still made with love and still made by hand.

Discover yourself the special touch Lisa brings to each of her products. Carol’s Daughter offers only the sweetest, most luxurious products the heart can offer, so you can love your beauty.

Ex-ShopNBC Host Charla Rhines Is Back, And EmVee TV Has Her

August 10, 2010

Charla Rhines

SHIP BOTTOM, N.J.–Why does so much news break while we’re trying to take a few days off down the shore?

We just got back from a nice dinner at PF Chang’s in Atlantic City, checked our e-mail and Facebook, and saw that former ShopNBC host Charla Rhines Monday confirmed that she’s landed at EmVee TV.

We’d previously reported that she was likely to land there, but Rhines offered this dish Monday.

“Hi ladies and gents! Ya, i’m going back to work this weekend at emvee tv. soooo looking forward to it. they stream live now every sat. and sun. so go to emvee, or if you have a dish they are on channel 225 direct tv, or channel 224 on dish network. see you all soon! thank you for the kind words”

ShopNBC let tart, mouthy, funny, frank Rhines go earlier this year, releasing an angry torrent of venom from her fans against the No. 3 home shopping channel.

Our blogs on her have gotten more than 100 angry posts from her fans.

Here’s wishing you luck, Charla.