Posts Tagged ‘“Knockout”’

ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers And HSN’s Lauren Hutton Figure Prominently In New York Times Story On Big Pharma And Menopause Drugs

December 13, 2009

Illustration from New York Times story on controversy over Big Pharma and menopausal drugs

Former HSN vendor Suzanne Somers, who is now on ShopNBC, and current HSN beauty vendor Lauren Hutton are both featured Sunday in a New York Times story on menopausal hormone drugs.

The business story is headlined “Menopause, As Brought To You By Big Pharma,” and it chronicles the history and litigation revolving around drugs such as Prempro, a hormone drug made by pharm giant Wyeth.

According to The Times, more than 13,000 poeple have filed suit against Wyeth charging that its menopause drugs caused breast cancer and other medical problems.

Hutton, a former model who now sells a makeup line for women over 40 on HSN, appeared in commercials for Prempro.

According to The Times, in one spot Hutton said, “My doctor said if you don’t replace estrogen that you lose at menopause, your risk for certain age-related diseases could increase.”

The very end of the lengthy story talks about actress-best-selling-author Somers’ and her advocacy of so-called “bio-identical hormones” in her books “The Sexy Years” and “Ageless.”

“With sales of more than 2 million books, Ms. Somers has become a menopause guru to millions,” The Times writes.

But newspaper also quotes Dr. Lynne Shuster, director of the women’s health clinic at the Mayo Clinic, who argues that bio-identical hormones haven’t been studied in depth and don’t have approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Formerly Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty Suzanne Somers

In an interview with The Times, 63-year-old Somers defended the hormones as safe, and provided the newspaper with stories from medical journals in support of her position.

Somers also takes credit in The Times story for “making the word ‘menopause’ mentionable.”

The blonde Somers, who moved her line of jewelry, clothes and nutritional items to ShopNBC after 17 years at HSN, also has described in detail what menopause without hormone replacement meant for her.

According to The Times, Somers says that she suffered “The Seven Dwarves of Menopause,” namely “Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful, All Dried Up.”

Too much information, girlfriend. Too much information.

Somers’ books often spark controversy and put her at odds with the medical establishment. Her latest tome, “Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place,” created a firestorm and drew criticism from the American Cancer Society.

But “Knockout” is “a No. 1 NY Times bestseller,” according to Somers’ Web site.

ShopNBC Says Actress Suzanne Somers Has Been A Hit On The Network, Drawing New Customers

November 18, 2009

Suzanne Somers

ShopNBC claims that its new vendor, actress/entrepreneur Suzanne Somers, has been a huge success on the network.

In one of home shopping’s hottest stories this year, Somers left HSN after more than a dozen years there and joined ShopNBC to sell apparel, beauty jewelry and nutritional items.

“We’re very pleased with the sales results of Suzanne and the products that Suzanne has brought to us,” ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart said during a third-quarter conferece call Wednesday.

She has even succeeded in bringing in new eyeballs to ShopNBC.

“In fact, she has a very high new-customer count for the sector where she operates, primarily beauty and fitness and apparel,” Stewart said. “Most recently in her last visit, 32 percent of her orders came from new customers. For someone that has been in the industry for so long, that’s an amazing statistic in itself.”

Shortly after debuting on ShopNBC in September, best-selling author Somers became the center of a storm of controversy over her new book on alternative treatments for cancer, “Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place.”

But there was apparently no blow-back on ShopNBC, which believes Somers will draw an audience.

“We also anecdotally believe that Suzanne brings tremendous viewership opportunities,” Stewart said. “That’s how we pull in new customers. When you see Suzanne on the air, you stop. You want to listen to her. She’s a very, very bright woman. So we’re pleased to have Suzanne aboard.”

When investor asked if ShopNBC had offered any special incentives or stock to Somers to get her to come over.

Stewart told him that there were no special deals, that ShopNBC buys products from vendors like Somers and then sells them online and on the air.

“It’s really the long-term potential that all these new vendors see at ShopNBC,” Stewart said. “They know how big this industry is and how fast it is growing…“The economics are no different than any other vendor.”

The CEO added that talent like Somers are “are smart, smart people,”

According to Stewart, “It’s really the long-term potential that all these new vendors see at ShopNBC. They know how big this industry is and how fast it is growing.”

He added that has a great team in place at ShopNBC to lure celebs like Somers, people who were with him “in another life,” namely at QVC.

The investor remained perplexed about why Somers would join a smaller shopping network than HSN, but it’s no secret.

HSN’s new management, led by CEO Mindy Grossman, is looking to add new vendors to the No. 2 home shopping channel to attract younger, hipper customers. Somers did not fit into that new strategy. And HSN had been whittling down the kinds of products that Somers was selling, like her Somersize line.

ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers To Appear On ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ To Promote Her Controversial Cancer Book ‘Knockout’: P.S. Wendy’s Our Homegirl, As In Montclair

November 11, 2009

This should make for interesting TV: ShopNBC actress/author Suzanne Somers will be appearing on “The Wendy Williams Show” today, Wednesday.

The blonde Somers will be plugging her controversial new book about alternative treatments for cancer, “Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place.”

Williams’ syndicated show airs at different times of the day across the country, so we can’t help you on that one. In New York City it’s on two of Rupert Murdoch’s TV stations. It runs at 10 a.m. on WNYW and at 10 p.m. on WWOR.

But you can check the show’s Web site to see when and where it airs in your town.

Williams, by the way, lives in our hometown, Montclair, N.J. In fact, we saw her once in the Social Security Office on Bloomfield Avenue. She was tall, flamboyant and had big hair (a wig?), pretty much the way she is on TV.

Actress Fran Drescher, who yesterday launched a skincare line called FranBrand on HSN, appeared Willlams’ show Monday.

It looks like you can catch a video of Williams’ shows, in case you miss Somers today and missed Drescher earlier in the week, on the show’s site.

Get Out Your Cruise Wear: ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers, The Controversial Cancer Book Author, Ready To Set Sail With Her Fans

November 4, 2009

Last chance to book a reservation on the 2009 Suzanne Cruise, which leaves port from Fort Launderdale, Fla., next Tuesday. If you have to ask which Suzanne, then forget about it.

Actress-singer-entrepreneur-author Suzanne Somers, who moved to ShopNBC from HSN this year, will be on board for the trip. It spans Nov. 10 to 15 and will sail to ports such as Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Grand Cayman.

This is Somers’ first cruise since her sold-out 2001 Goddess Cruise.

One would think that this respite would perhaps give Somers a chance to relax after doing high-powered promotion, and taking a lot of heat, for her controversial new book on cancer, “Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place.”

But it looks like she will be very busy working on her very own Love Boat, as hostess.

Suzanne Cruise guests will enjoy stateroom accommodations, meals, entertainment and access to private Suzanne Cruise events, we are told.

Those include: a cruise welcome featuring Somers; fitness classes; presentations by guest speakers; four special workshop presentations by Somers on health, fitness and beauty; multiple networking and Suzanne “fun” events; a “thank you” farewell event with Somers; and the encore event, the Suzanne “Onstage” Musical Performance.

Passengers will also learn about Somer’s “philosophies and strategies on entrepreneurship and how she has built one of the most trusted brands in America….In addition, she will reveal and discuss her personal secrets to attaining optimum health, which has allowed Suzanne to maintain years of peak business performance and success,” according to the press release, on the event.

Somers’ ship is the new MSC Poesia (Italian for “Poetry”), which will make its U.S. debut later this year. Exuding her Italian roots, the Poesia features include the luxurious Aqua Spa, two pools, four Jacuzzis, a state-of-the-art gym, salon, sushi bar, wine tasting bar and Teatro Carlo Felice, a state-of-the-art three-level, Broadway-style theater.

Tickets for the Suzanne Cruise will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis and will only be available at

Interior staterooms are sold out, but you can still book a room for $1,000 to $1,800.

ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers Blogs About Larry King Interview, Her Controversial New Cancer Book ‘Knockout,’ And Close-Minded American Cancer Society

October 30, 2009

ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers has blogged about her recent interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” and what she believes is the obstinancy and close-mindedness of conventional oncologists.

The blonde actress/entrepreneur faced off on the show with Dr. Otis Brawley, who is with the American Cancer Society. He was dissing her new book, “Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place.”

Somers’ book advocates alternative treatments and diet as ways to cure and prevent cancer, rather than always turning to chemotherapy.

According to the actress, a year ago she was misdiagnosed at one point for full-body cancer, and thought she was going to die until finding out she was really OK. Scary stuff.

ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers And Her Controversial Cancer Book ‘Knockout’ Lent Some Support By New York Times Series

October 26, 2009

When ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Friday, she defended her controversial new book on holistic treatments for cancer. The book is called “Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place.”

Somers, under heat from the American Cancer Society, mentioned that even The New York Times had written about how the war against cancer was being lost. She was critical of chemotherapy, saying it does not have a good success rate.

The blonde has a big bone to pick with the medical community. On the King show, Somers said that last November several doctors had misdiagnosed her and said she had full-body cancer. She thought she was going to die. Prior to that, in 2001, Somers had breast cancer, and survived without chemotherapy. She had the lump on her breast removed, did radiation and turned to alternative treatments.

We had missed the Times’ stories Somers referred to, and wondered what she was talking about. But Sunday The Times had a very moving Page One story about a Houston hospital that only handles cancer patients. Patients, and doctors and nurses who themselves have cancer describe how difficult it is to endure treatments, how devastating the disease is and how hopeless they feel.

All the stories on The Times “Fourty Years War” cancer series can be found here.

We’re not advocating that cancer patients forego conventional medicine, and we have not read Somers’ book, but The Times’ stories do seem to lend some credence to her questioning the success rate of traditional treatments like chemotherapy.

In point of fact, we know women whose lives have been saved by chemotherapy, so we certainly are not knocking it.

But Somers is raising some legitimate issues about how difficult the fight against cancer is, as The Times has chronicled. Anyone who has lost a loved one — who was in remission after treatment, only to have their cancer return and kill them — knows how tough some cancers can be to beat.

ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers Takes On The American Cancer Society On ‘Larry King Live’ Friday: Is Her Book ‘Knockout’ Risky Advice?

October 24, 2009

And so the battle over Suzanne Somers’ new book on alternative treatments for cancer begins.

A tense-looking Somers defended her latest book, “Knockout: Interviews Wih Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, And How To Prevent Getting It In the First Place,” Friday night on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

The blonde, who is selling her new book as part of her line on ShopNBC, traded arguments with Dr. Otis Brawley, who is chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. He maintained that diet and alternative treatments must be used in conjunction with traditional medicine.

He has outlined his views on CNN’s Web site. The commentary is headlined “Somers’ Cancer Advice Is Risky.”

Somers is not a big advocate of chemotherapy, and maintains that traditional treatments for cancer don’t work very well.

The actress/entrepreneur, wearing an off-the-shoulder purple dress, denied that she is against conventional medicine. But she questionned its effectiveness against cancer.

“If chemotherapy is the answer, then why do half a million people die of cancer every year?” she asked. “The New York Times has said the war on cancer is a dismal failure.”

Two doctors that Somers interviewed for her book, Stanislaw Burzynski and Nicholas Gonzalez, also appeared on the King show with the actress.

Here’s a CNN video clip of King’s show.