Posts Tagged ‘Charla Rines’

Former ShopNBC Host Charla Rines Gives Us An Update On Her Status

June 13, 2010

Charla's as tech savvy as we are

Much-missed ex-ShopNBC host Charla Rines gave a shout-out on Facebook to her fans Friday.

Here is her post:

hi ladies and gents, i’m getting my rear kicked for not posting here! ok. life has been quiet. still looking for an opportunity. until i find one mr. cheeks is getting tired of me. he likes to be alone so he can take his nap each afternoon. finally got a cordless keyboard and mouse for my notebook. frustrating. couldn’…t get it to work. madison came over and discovered i put the mouse batteries in backwards! uhg

Don’t fret Charla. We’d probably have put the batteries in backwards, too.

We know Charla did some work for a home shopping channel in Australia, and most recently tried out for “The Apprentice.”


ShopNBC’s Net Sales Drop 7 Percent In The First Quarter, While The Home Shopping Network Posts An $11 Million Loss

May 19, 2010

It was a very bad first quarter for ShopNBC. Maybe it’s bad karma for letting popular host Charla Rines go in January.

The No. 3 home shopping network Wednesday reported that its net sales dropped 7 percent, to $125 million, from the year-ago period. And it posted a $11 million net loss, down from its $12 million net loss a year ago.

“While sales in the business segment of consumer electronics were soft in the quarter, we have clearly defined strategies in place to ensure this business improves,” ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart said in a statement. “We remain excited about our multi-channel offerings and go-forward plans to drive the top line and deliver sustained, profitable growth.”

The network’s first-quarter performance is especially disappointing when compared to the dominant players, QVC and HSN, who saw sales gains of 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

ShopNBC’s adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $4.3 million compared to an adjusted EBITDA loss of $6.8 million in the year-ago period, driven by improvements in gross margin.

Gross profit increased 8.4 percent to $45.7 million and gross profit margin improved 510 basis points to 36.6 percent versus 31.5 percent last year, driven by merchandise margin rate improvements in several key categories.

“We continued to make progress in the first quarter across the many leading indicators that drive our business,” Stewart said. “Our gross profit margin improved by 510 basis points to 36.6 percent. Our e-commerce penetration continued to perform at industry-leading levels, up 950 basis points to 39.6 percent. Disciplined execution in merchandising and financial planning remained in focus, reflecting well-controlled inventories, working capital management and tight expense controls, as we offered the customer a continuous flow of new and exciting merchandise….Looking ahead, we expect our customer activity and leading indicators to continue trending positively.

Ex-ShopNBC Host Charla Rines Tries Out For ‘The Apprentice,’ And We Think She’d Be Marvelous

April 21, 2010

Charla Rines

We found out what former ShopNBC host Charla Rines is up to.

The ever-popular and much-missed Rines, who got a pink slip from ShopNBC in January, may become the second home shopping figure to be a competitor on “The Apprentice.”

On Monday Rines went to a casting call for Donald Trump’s reality show. This version of the program will be about “regular folks wo have been affected by the recession,” Rines tells us.

“It was an interesting experience,” the spunky, spike-haired blonde e-mailed us. “Stood in line for about 5 hours. Worth it to see the process (thank goodness the weather was good). If I heard correctly the decision will be made in a week.”

We think Rines would be perfect for “The Apprentice.” She is larger than life, smart, funny, etc. She would be fun to watch and we bet she’d be a fierce competitor.

Joan Rivers, a longtime QVC jewelry vendor, won “The Celebrity Apprentice” show, where she often appreared on-air wearing jewelry from her QVC line.

Hey, we were laid off due to the recession. Maybe we should check into “The Apprentice,” too.

The Dumping of Louis Dell’Olio And Charla Rines Sparks Customer Outrage At QVC And ShopNBC: How Shifts In Strategy Can Alienate Shoppers

April 18, 2010

Charla Rines

We’ve chronicled two instances now where customers of QVC and ShopNBC have become livid, and threatened to boycott those networks, because the two channels were getting rid of two popular personalities.

In the most recent brouhaha, more “mature” QVC shoppers were ready to tar and feather QVC president Mike George and John Malone and Gref Maffei, who run QVC’s parent Liberty Media, when they got word that the home shopping channel was dropping designer Louis Dell’Olio’s line.

Linea Ladies (named after his QVC Linea collection) this week mounted a focused campaign to keep Dell’Olio on the air, setting up a Twitter account, bombarding the offices of George and Malone with phone calls, and writing to these executives.

Who knows what will happen ultimately. Campaigns like this, no matter how passionate the protesters, seldom work.

But the “Ladies” seem to have made some progress last week on behalf of Dell’Olio. The award-winning designer wrote on his blog Friday that QVC officials now want to meet with him to discuss the future of his line for them. Prior to that, Dell’Olio said that QVC had informed him that it would stop placing orders for his line in the fall.

Customer relations are not much better at ShopNBC, where angry viewers are still shocked that the No. 3 shopping network canned spike-haired Rines, a loud-mouthed but popular host, back in January. Our blogs about Rines have received the most traffic of any items on this site, and more than 80 people have posted comments damning ShopNBC for letting Rines go.

These ShopNBC customers are also posting that the network had gone down the toilet in terms of the quality of its merchandise, especially the high-end jewelry that Rines used to do presentations on.

What’s going on here? You are seeing customer reaction to major changes in strategy at both QVC and ShopNBC.

Mindy Grossman

HSN is making similar changes, but even when veteran vendor Suzanne Somers left last fall after more than a decade at the network, there was no viewer ire. We guess that’s because she had her new home-shopping gig set up — moving over to ShopNBC.

With the recession, it’s a tough environment out there for home shopping networks. Gems TV went black last Thursday, and has filed for Chaper 11 bankruptcy protection. QVC, HSN and ShopNBC obviously don’t want to suffer a similar fate.

All three home shopping networks have shifted their strategies. For one, they have changed their product mixes to include less jewelry (which apparently no one but us is buying nowadays) and much more beauty and consumer electronics producs.

QVC and HSN are going in similar directions in many respects: In particular, they are replacing their older clothing lines with hipper fashions by younger designers. So for example, you have HSN CEO Mindy Grossman bringing in higher-end design talent like Badgley Mischka, Naeem Khan and Stephani Greenfield to the network.

In the case of QVC and Dell’Olio, he makes gorgeous classic tailored clothes, the kind of garments that women my age love. But QVC is trying to attract new, younger viewers, and has brought in more fashion-forward designers such as Isaac Mizrahi and Chloe Dao with their edgier fashions.

Linea Ladies pointed out to QVC that they have lots more disposal income than the kids, and that younger shoppers are fickle and unloyal. Good points.

If you read QVC’s online forums, you will soon learn that the Linea Ladies don’t like the new designers like Mizrahi, and that they feel they are being swept aside in the home shopping channel’s push to draw new shoppers. And these women are probably right.

Keith Stewart

That age issue is also at the center of customer anger over ShopNBC letting Rines go: She was not a 20-something, she was maybe a 50-something. The new generic, picture perfect hosts that ShopNBC has hired just don’t cut the mustard, according to Rines’s fans.

With her bright red lipstick and short platinum blonde hair, Rines didn’t look or act like any other host on a home shopping channel. She was outspoken, blunt, sarcastic and had a real edge to her. She drove us nuts sometimes, but at least she didn’t have the nauseatingly sweet, unskeptical persona of many home-shopping network hosts.

ShopNBC’s situation, except for it getting rid of an older talent, is opposite of QVC’s and HSN’s. Chief Keith Stewart is trying to make the No. 3 home shopping channel less upscale, lowering the average price of its merchandise. You won’t see many $20,000 rings being sold on ShopNBC now, the way you used to.

And he is widening ShopNBC’s product mix to be more like QVC and HSN, in that the No. 3 home shopping network is now selling gourmet food and even 3D HDTV sets (before its two rivals did).

All three home shopping channels will soon be reporting their first-quarter earnings. They have been seeing rising sales, so maybe their new strategies are working.

But their core customers are not happy. And those are the shoppers that they depend on to come back again and again.

We’re Still Waiting For QVC To Tell Us Why It’s Dropping Louis Dell’Olio’s Line

April 14, 2010

It’s Wednesday, and we’re still waiting for QVC’s comment on the network pulling the plug on fashion designer Louis Dell’Olio clothing line, Linea.

His QVC fans are still in an uproar that Dell’Olio, who just celebrated his 10th anniversary with the network, is esentially getting dropped this fall. QVC’s online forums were hot yesterday and are already buzzing this morning. They are planning a campaign to keep him on.

Most of the posts are irate that QVC is risking alienating its older shoppers, who love Dell’Olio’s classicly tailored clothes, by replacing him with younger, hipper designers.

You QVC viewers know what’s going on: The network, like HSN, is trying to draw younger female viewers by featuring fashions from fresh faces. The big push has been clothing from QVC’s new talent, Isaac Mizrahi.

Some of QVC’s posters said they’ve called QVC president Mike George’s office or customer service to complain. One woman said that customer service said it was a QVC buyer’s decision to scrap Dell’Olio.

“I wrote to the President of QVC and I see that went NOWHERE,” wrote one poster Wednesday. “Well, I will say this emphatically, QVC you are betting on the wrong horse (Mizrahi)! You have made me livid, as I hear others are. Where Louis goes, I will follow. This is how you treat your customers that you supposedly care about? BIG MISTAKE! If Louis goes, so does my Q card, right in the shredder!!!”

Anyway, this flap isn’t going to die down soon.

It reminds us of the continuing anger that rages against ShopNBC because it let popular host Charla Rines go in January.

ShopNBC And CEO Keith Stewart Profiled By Hometown Paper The Star Tribune, Why Wasn’t Charla Rines Quoted?

March 31, 2010

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart, an apparent Yankee fan, as photographed by Richard Sennott of the Star Tribune

The Minneapolis Star Tribune did a goat-gagger of a profile this week on ShopNBC’s turnaround effort under former QVC executive Keith Stewart.

It’s a nice job by two staff writers, who describe Keith’s efforts to cut costs, diminish the number of returns and lower the average price of the No. 3 home shopping channel’s merchandise.

The Star Tribune notes that for the fourth quarter, as we reported, ShopNBC sales “were positive” for the first time in two years. But the company is still swimming in red ink, though it has decreased. The network posted a $42 million loss for the year.

Corporate Keith Stewart

What the Star Tribune doesn’t mention is that ShopNBC viewers are still steamed that the network let veteran host Charla Rines go in January. So far we’ve gotten about 80 comments denouncing ShopNBC for canning the mouthy host.

Not for nuthin, as we’d say in Jersey, but Stewart is pictured in the Star Tribune wearing what appears to us to be a New York Yankees cap and Yankee pinstripes. It’s a considerably more macho photo than his corporate shots, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Ex-ShopNBC Host Charla Rines Has Been Down Under, And Says She’s Weighing Her Options

February 22, 2010

Charla Rines has been on TV in Australia

Charla Rines is alive and well, and has been in Australia, she tells us.

In an e-mail Sunday, Rines said, “Hello Homeshoppingista! I’m exploring several options right now. I was in Australia earlier this month representing Sonia Bitton’s product at TVSN. It was delightful!”

TVSN is a home shopping channel in Australia. And Sonia Bitton is a former ShopNBC vendor who used to sell very high-end diamond jewelry on the No. 3 U.S. home shopping channel.

Rines, a veteran ShopNBC host, was abruptly let go in January. Since then, there have been more than 30 angry posts on the blog we did about her exit. Charla’s fans are furious at ShopNBC, claim the network has gone downhill and that they will no longer be buying goods on it.

Charla, we hope to see you back again on U.S. TV soon, too.

Ex-ShopNBC Host Charla Rines, Tell Us What You’re Up To, Your Loyal And Irate Fans Want To Know

February 21, 2010

Charla Rines, your fans are pissed at ShopNBC

We wish we had heard the same kind of outcry and outrage when we got canned a year ago that Charla Rines has received from fans since ShopNBC let her go.

Our blog on Rhines’s unceremonious exit in January has received 33 comments so far. And they are still coming.

The posts are are from angry ShopNBC customers who say the loved Charla and her brassy humor. They are complaining that the No. 3 home shopping channel, under the leadership of ex-QVC exec Keith Stewart, has gone downhill, with pedestrian or shoddy merchandise. They say they have spent thousands of dollars for ShopNBC goods, but that they will no longer be watching the network.

Best of all, these Charla fans wish her well, and predict that she will land at a ShopNBC rival soon.

Wow, Charla must be feeling the love. After we got our pink slip, only about a half dozen people in the cable TV industry reached out to us immediately, including: Ed Carroll, COO of Rainbow Entertainment Services; Henry Schleiff, then head of Hallmark Channel; and Russell Howard of National Geographic Channel.

Did we hear any encouraging words, like Charla? No, we heard, “You’ll never find work in this economy” and “What are going to do?” When we asked PR “friends” if they thought we could do PR, the answer was no, we had no experience pitching stories to editors. No, just 30 years doing it as a reporter.

And in our volunteer PR work, we’ve gotten stories placed just on the strength of the press releases we’ve written, without even having to call and pitch anyone. But we shouldn’t take credit for that. The brave patients that we had interviewed, and their eloquent stories, sold the press releases to editors.

Anyway, we look forward to seeing all you cable folk in May at the cable show.

But back to Charla. People want to know what you’re up to. Contact us here, and we’ll get back to you offline.

ShopNBC Can’t Afford Charla Rines, But It’s Paying The New President $400,000 A Year

February 3, 2010

ShopNBC's $400,000 man

ShopNBC is paying its new president, QVC and Macy’s veteran Bob Ayd, a base salary of $400,000, according to a filing with federal regulators Wednesday.

After the market closed, ShopNBC stealthily filed an 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Ayd’s compensation package. The 61-year-old, named the network’s president Feb. 1, will receive an annual base salary of $400,000, according to the filing.

He also “will have a fiscal year 2010 incentive opportunity to earn up to 65 percent of his annual base salary.” If we can translate that into English, we think he can get up to 65 percent of his salary, or $260,000 on top of his annual wages, as a bonus if he hits his numbers. ShopNBC is also relocating Ayd.

As part of the deal, ShopNBC granted Ayd options to purchase 350,000 shares of common stock at an exercise price equal to the fair market value on the date of grant — or $3.99 on Feb. 1 — 280,000 of which vest over three years and 70,000 of which vest upon his relocation to Minnesota.

Canned host Charla Rines

This all may not sit well with fans of veteran ShopNBC host Charla Rines, who was let go by the network in January. Presumably, as a old-timer at ShopNBC, Rines was making a good salary, which may have helped pave the way for her demise. Or her age could have done her in. Either way, many ShopNBC viewers are not happy, according to the posts on our blog on her exit.

Ayd signed a non-compete agreement, and will receive an amount equal to his base salary, namely $400,000, if he is terminated without cause during his first year of employment.

Ayd served as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at QVC domestic from 2006 to 2008. He also served as senior vice president of design Ddvelopment & global sourcing and brand development from 2005 to 2006, and as senior vice president of jewelry andfFashion from 2000 to 2004.

Ayd began his career at Macy’s in 1975 as a buyer of handbags, bodywear and footwear, launching a 20-year tenure that included promotion to numerous executive leadership positions, culminating with senior vice president in women’s sportswear. Ayd was an independent consultant from 2008 to 2009.

When Ayd was named ShopNBC president, CEO Keith Stewart voluntarily relinquished his title as president, while continuing as CEO and a director. Ayd reports to Stewart.

Veteran ShopNBC Hosts Charla Rines And Mike Davidson Shown The Revolving Door At No. 3 Home Shopping Network

January 8, 2010

Charla Rines

It looks like long-time ShopNBC hosts Charla Rines and Mike Davidson are the latest to lose their jobs under the regime of the shopping network’s chief Keith Stewart. We guess the turnaround at the No. 3 shopping network isn’t going as well as we thought.

We’re always the last to know, so thank God for the home shopping forums, posters to our blog and ShopNBC’s Facebook page. They were burning up with comments from irate fans of Rines and Davidson, alleging that the pair had been canned because of their age.

We checked the host list on ShopNBC’s Web page Thursday night, and Rines and Davidson were gone.

Mike Davidson

“It is true,” a ShopNBC spokesman said Friday. “They’re no longer with the company.”

He declined to make any additional comment.

Rines, a brassy (as in loud) blonde with spiked hair and a wicked sense of humor, was a fixture at ShopNBC. She joined the network in 1984, and typically did jewelry shows.

Davidson, a former radio disc jockey, has been at ShopNBC since 1997.

ShopNBC now has 18 show hosts, down from 20.

January is a bad time for ShopNBC hosts. A year ago ShopNBC’s husband-and-wife team, Pam and Wes McCoy, were axed as hosts, although Pam still sells a clothing line on the network.

Don’t feel too bad, Charla and Mike. We were laid off in January a year ago, so we know how you feel.