Posts Tagged ‘Oprah Winfrey’

Holy Mackerel: HSN CEO Grossman To Head Oprah’s Weight Watchers

April 27, 2017

We guess we really shouldn’t have been surprised when we checked our email Wednesday and saw the press release that HSN CEO Mindy Grossman was leaving the home shopping network for another gig.

Over the years she has been mentioned as a candidate for a number top jobs, including Avon.

But her landing at Weight Watchers International Inc., where lifestyle guru Oprah Winfrey is now queen, was quite a surprise. But it seems like a pretty smart move to hitch your wagon to Winfrey, without a doubt. So good for Grossman.

Meet Weight Watchers new president and CEO, Mindy Grossman

“Mindy is proven as a successful visionary and entrepreneurial force in business and I look forward to working with her,” Winfrey said in a statement. “She has the experience, the passion and the positive energy to take Weight Watchers to exciting new places.”

And threw in her two cents.

“I am thrilled to join Weight Watchers and lead the next phase of the company’s transformation,” she said.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to leverage technology and consumer insights to create innovative personal experiences, build loyal communities and accelerate growth. Ultimately, the ability to inspire people to live healthier and happier lives is what excites me both personally and professionally. I look forward to partnering with the Board – including Oprah – and the team to help Weight Watchers transform the lives of people around the world through weight loss and healthier living.”

There have been a zillion stories crediting Grossman with taking HSN to the next level, by bringing in name brands and vendors who gave the network a cachet.

On the other hand, her strategy alienated many long-time HSN fans. and home shopping channels have seen their revenue drop in the face of a tough retail environment.

Here’s part of the HSN press release on Grossman’s exit:

Grossman’s resignation will be effective on May 24, 2017, and she will not stand for election to the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders on the same date. In the interim, she will work with senior management and the Board to ensure a smooth transition. The Board has retained a national search firm to assist with the search for a successor that will include both internal and external candidates.

In addition, the Board has established the Office of the Chief Executive whose members will manage the company’s day-to-day operations and engage with the Board on a regular basis until a successor is named. The Office of the Chief Executive will consist of Rod R. Little, Chief Financial Officer; William C. Brand, Chief Marketing Officer of HSNi and President of HSN; and Judy A. Schmeling, Chief Operating Officer of HSNi and President of Cornerstone Brands, Inc.

Chairman of the Board Arthur C. Martinez said, “On behalf of the Board, we thank Mindy for her visionary leadership and many contributions to our company during a transformative period in its history. She has been a committed partner to the Board in the development of important initiatives that have created a solid foundation for the future. We will miss her energy, creativity and passion for our company, and wish her success in her future endeavors.”

“I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished at HSNi and believe that the company is well positioned for the future. It has been an honor to work with such an inspired team over the past decade as we transformed the business to lead the future of boundaryless retail. With a focus on customer engagement, digital innovation, product excellence and immersive and community-oriented content, HSNi will be able to thrive in the modern retail environment, where consumers are looking for experiences and meaning,” Grossman said.

“I want to thank our Board and our talented management team for their partnership and support, and look forward to working with them to ensure a seamless transition.”

HSN Gets ‘Chopped’ With Food Network

March 11, 2016

We always love it when HSN unveils news about its culinary products, because we know they will save us a lot of money. That’s because we’re not going to spend a dime on pots, pans, etc.

We haven’t turned our oven on in more than a year, no joke.

It was much bluster that the No. 2 home shopping network announced a number of new food experts coming on board. It’s fitting that we have never heard of most of these folks, since we avoid food-competition reality shows like the zombie plague.

Long story short, HSN has forged partnerships involving two Food Network hit shows, “Iron Chef” and “Chopped.” And Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef is in the mix.

The network is holding a 24-hour “HSN Cooks” event on Sunday, where it will launch celebrity chef Anne Burrell and the premiere of its first culinary series featuring “Iron Chef” Donatella Arpaia — “The Saturday Morning Market with Donatella.”

In its press release, HSN said it was starting its own farmer’s market with that cooking series debuting April 2.

“Donatella will highlight in-season ingredients while showing customers how to incorporate them into recipes at home,” the release said.

“The new series will also serve as a platform to introduce new celebrity chef partners and innovative food brands to HSN’s impressive roster. Esteemed celebrity chef and restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian will kick-off the series on April 2, alongside Donatella Arpaia, with the debut of his latest cookbook, ‘My Perfect Pantry.'”

The “Cooks” event will feature Curtis Stone, “Restaurant: Impossible” host Robert Irvine, and “Bionic Chef” and Montana Mex founder Eduardo Garcia.

And in a first, HSN customers will be chosen to join each chef on-air for a personal cooking lesson during the live event. We don’t think we’ll be asked to be on.

Just sayin’.

Stone will lead the first interactive cooking lesson at 10 a.m., followed by Irvine at noon and Garcia at 5 p.m.

The Cooks event will also feature the launch of former personal chef to Oprah Winfrey, Art Smith, who will be introducing his Smartbowl system; food editor of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Sara Moulton, who will be preparing recipes from her latest cookbook “Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking”; and celebrity chef and restaurateur Graham Elliot will debut his cookbook “Cooking Like a Master Chef.”

HSN is debuting “Food Network star” Anne Burrell March 18. Her Corvex Collection features a line of professional, chef-grade cookware with a double-coated ceramic non-stick interior.

In partnership with “Chopped,” HSN will launch an exclusive line of “Chopped”-branded kitchen tools on May 6 and 7. It was feature “Chopped” alum Marc Murphy.

HSN Embarks On ‘One Hundred-Foot Journey’

August 7, 2014

HSN Wednesday kicked off another one of its movie-tied promotions with its “The Hundred-Foot Journey” event, celebrating the new film starring Helen Mirren from Dreamworks.

The movie, produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, opens theaters on Friday.

“HSN is an entertainment channel that inspires consumers with unique retail experiences,” our buddy HSN President Bill Brand said in a canned statement.

“‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ is an incredible story and we are honored to bring it to life through an impressive assortment of product and rich content that will engage and attract new consumers to HSN. Disney is a world-class brand and has been a tremendous collaborator for our movie events. We are already looking forward to our next endeavor with ‘Cinderella’ in 2015.”

“‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ movie event on HSN embraces different flavors and cultures from around the world with an exclusive collection of culinary items, jewelry and products for the home…all created in the spirit of the movie,” HSN said in a press release.

Chef Ludo Lefebvre and global food and lifestyle expert Nirmala Narine will bring French and Indian cuisine to HSN’s viewers as they present cookbooks and a variety of exotic spices.

An LA restaurateur, Lefebvre “challenged the definition of what a restaurant is by creating his uber-popular LudoBites concept, a multi-city restaurant tour.”

Ludo’s eatery in Los Angeles is Trois Mec, and has recently opened his new “Bar a la carte” concept, Petit Trois. He also stars in the ABC hit cooking competition show, “The Taste,” of which he was the winning Chef mentor last season.

During the event, the chef present culinary products such as six Essential Spices, Manitou Trading Company Legumes and Grains, White Toque Croissants, and Bonne Maman Preserves.

Narine is executive producer and host of “Nirmala’s Spice World” on Veria Living Network and the founder of Nirmala’s Kitchen, a specialty food company.

Narine will talk about the power of spices and how to use them when she presents her travel memoir cookbooks “In Nirmala’s Kitchen Everyday Kitchen Cookbook” and “Nirmala’s Edible Diary.”

She will also present her Nirmala’s Kitchen Exotic Rice Blends kits and Nirmala’s Kitchen Spice Set featuring three tins of Thai Curry Blend, Guyanese Garam Masala and Moroccan Tagine Blend.

Entertaining expert David Tutera will show HSN viewers how to best present these bold new dishes via an assortment of tabletop decor and serve ware, including carafes, serving trays and stoneware tableware.

But that’s not all folks. Fern Mallis and Nicky Butler will round out the exclusive movie collection with jewelry pieces “that represent the disparate cultures featured in the film.”

Here is a thumbnail on the movie:

In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingenue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai.

That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin-starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren) gets wind of it.

Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate into a heated battle between the two establishments until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine — and for Madame Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) — combine with his mysteriously-delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Madame Mallory cannot ignore.

At first Madame Mallory’s culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan’s gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.

The History Of QVC Butt Slimmer Spanx and Sara Blakely

October 13, 2013

SPANXDo you have an idea that you think is great, and others think is nutty? Go for it.

At least that seems to be the lesson to be learned from Sara Blakely, the former FAX-machine saleswoman who invented Spanx. This modern shapewear has made Blakely a multimillionaire, with her company having an estimated market value of $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal did a profile of Blakely Saturday, and it is fun reading.

Blakely, the 42-year-old sole owner of her company, came up with the forerunner of Spanx when she didn’t like the way of pair of pants were fitting her. She improvised by cutting the feet off a pair of pantyhose and putting them on, smoothing out her silhouette.

Blakely faced rejection after rejection when she tried to find a hosiery mill that would manufacture her new kind of updated girdle, The Journal wrote. But she persisted, she found one, and the rest is history.

The article talks about how Spanx took off after Oprah Winfrey named them one of her favorite things in 2000. In 2001, according to the story, Blakely started hawking Spanx on QVC, and hit sales of $8 million that year.

We had to laugh when we read that Blakely’s brother considers Spanx “false advertising” for making chicks look skinnier than they actually are.

Hell, as The Journal noted, actress Gwyneth Paltrow once admitted that she wore two pairs of Spanx at once. Hard to believe.

We have a pair, by the way.

Hair, Hair: ShopNBC Brings In Peter Coppola

March 21, 2011

QVC has Chaz Dean. HSN has Oprah Winfrey’s hairdo guru Andre Walker and Sally Hershberger.

Now ShopNBC has hair stylist Peter Coppola, who is bringing a line of salon styling products to the No. 3 home shopping network. He debuts this Friday at 11 a.m.

Peter Coppola

Here’s the supposed twist with Coppola’s products: They feature the patented technology of CopaGen Complex TM. Formulated with keratin proteins found naturally in hair, CopaGen Complex TM allows the product to bond to hair instantly and effectively, or so ShopNBC tells us.

Here’s what it will supposedly do for you:

“Eliminates unmanageable frizz, curls and waves instantly!”

We could use that today.

“Gives you smooth hair while locking in volume, shine, and length for silky, full hair”


“Restore and renew hair strength, condition, color”

His products include: 4-piece CopaGen Smoothing System (C53300); Mudd Texture Balm (C53301); and the Myst Hairspray Duo (C53303).

Jersey Resident Suze Orman Lands Primetime Show On Oprah Winfrey’s New Cable Network

January 6, 2011

QVC vendor and personal-finance guru Suze Orman will be hosting her own primetime series, “Money Class,” this fall on Oprah Winfrey’s new cable network, the channel said Thursday.

“One home at a time, the primetime series is dedicated to addressing and moving beyond both the circumstantial and personal decisions that have created difficult financial situations for so many people around the country, by going into their lives to help them transform,” said the press release, which was sent out by our acquaintance from our tenure at Multichannel News, veteran cable PR exec Nicole Nichols.

You stepped in some pretty good shit with that Oprah gig, Nicole, even though it took a long time to get off the ground.

Nicole got the appropriate canned quotes into the release.

Suze O

“Nothing can teach you more about who you really are, than your money,” said Suze Orman, who lives in rustic Chester, N.J. (unless she’s moved recently).

Well then, we’ve don’t have much to go by if our money tells us who we really are.

Here’s another canned quote.

“Suze Orman is the rock star of personal finance, and her straight-forward advice will help people that are in need of a financial wake-up call,” said Lisa Erspamer, chief creative officer of OWN: Orpah Winfrey Network.

Per the press release:

The series will feature Orman as she goes into the lives of families, couples and individuals around the country, sets attainable goals and tasks them with specific challenges to impart the ability to make responsible and well-informed decisions. The end goal is for the participants to let go of the past and move toward a more secure financial future.

Orman can be seen as a featured expert on “Ask Oprah’s All Stars,” which is airing on OWN, and as a guest judge on the third episode of “Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star,” which runs Jan. 21.

Orman, a two-time Emmy Award winning TV host, has been called “a one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. She’s a top motivational speaker, a contributing editor to “O” The Oprah Winfrey Magazine and a New York Times best-selling author.

Orman sells her books and financial planning kits on QVC.

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network Gives Her Hair Stylist, HSN Vendor Andre Walker, A Platform

January 2, 2011

We just saw HSN vendor Andre Walker doing Oprah Winfrey’s hair, putting rollers in it, on a show on her just-launched channel: OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

We’ve been peeking at the network throughout the day, and we are impressed. Its tone was inspirational, reflecting Winfrey’s belief that human nature is basically good.

The program on now is a fly-on-the-wall chronicle about Winfrey’s popular daytime talk show, “Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes.” One of the interesting moments was hearing one of Winfrey’s gay producers complain about doing a show in West Virginia that focuses on people who are as anti-gay today as they were in 1987.

During the day, after the noon launch, we enjoyed a profile of rap impresario, and Beyonce husband, Jay-Z, that was part of “Oprah Presents Master Class.” He came across as a smart, thoughtful, sensitive guy.

One show about adopted people on the hunt for their real parents was very derivative: Cable network have done this before.

Walker, by the way, is selling hair care products on HSN.

Oprah’s Hair Stylist Has A Boatland Of Sellouts With HSN’s Debut Of His Hair Care Line

December 21, 2010

Sorry for the lack of posts. We’ve been in Scottsdale since Thursday, and didn’t have ready access to the Internet. So we apologize, and are playing catch-up.

Anyway, Oprah Winfrey’s favorite hair dresser, Andre Walker, had a good launch on HSN.

Walker, seven-time Emmy winner, debuted his hair care products on HSN last Thursday and Friday. Led by the Ultimate Gift Kit, which was recently named one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things,” he sold almost 10,000 units in just over an hour.

Two items — the Shampoo/Conditioner and Hair Make-Up Color Wand — sold out without any air time.

“Following my product launch on Oprah’s ‘Favorite Things,’ I loved being able to connect to the HSN shoppers who can now make peace with their hair,” Walker said in a canned comment.

“I am so excited to have 10,000 new clients all using these formulas I’ve worked on for over two years,” said Walker, who made an appearance on HSN following a tour in Australia as part of Oprah’s final season tapings. “I’m thrilled to be a part of the HSN family and look forward to being at HSN again soon!”

Walker has been in the salon and hair styling business his entire career and began the journey to create Andre Walker Hair about two years ago. His products were originally modeled after his very own custom formulas, which he has used for years on various clients, including Winfrey.

“Andre Walker’s successful launch further reinforces HSN as a favorite destination for beauty,” according to the HSN hype machine. HSN is planning a return visit for Walker in 2011.

Walker, a native of Chicago, won a styling competition that earned him a scholarship to Pivot Point International. His education and training there helped Andre become one of the most respected and famous hair stylists in the industry. Upon graduation, Walker went on to work for some of Chicago’s finest salons before opening his own salon in 1982, where has had many celebrities as clients.

In 1985 Walker joined the “Oprah” staff full-time, and has been with her ever since. His responsibilities have expanded to include many aspects of Oprah’s public image from hair to wardrobe.

Always having the desire to help people with information concerning different hair types as well as styling, in 1997 Walker wrote a self-help book titled, “Andre Talks Hair,” published by Simon and Schuster.

Since then, Walker has traveled the world with Oprah but he also found time to, in Oprah’s words, “give back: by creating a program in Chicago that helped women prepare themselves for interviews to return to the work force.”

Walker also found time to cultivate his other passion, interior design and in 2004 he launched Walker Simmons designs. His work has been featured in many trade magazines including “O at Home” and “Traditional Home.

Oprah’s Hairstylist To Launch Hair Care Line, Which Is On The Big ‘O’s Favorite List, On HSN

December 14, 2010

Andre Walker, seven-time Emmy winner and hair stylist to Oprah Winfrey for the last 25 years, will launch a hair care collection on HSN Dec. 16 and 17, the home shopping network said Tuesday.

The collection, which was recently added to Oprah’s annual “My Favorite Things” list, is four products formulated for all hair types, including Caucasian, Latin, African-American, bleached, color-treated, fine, coarse, smooth, straight and curly. Walker will join HSN this week fresh off the farewell season ‘Oprah Winfrey Show’ tapings in Australia.

Andre Walker's collection is one of Oprah's Favorite Things

Walker’s products were originally modeled after his very own custom formulas, which he has used for years on various clients, including Winfrey. Walker’s formulas include whole leaf aloe vera, virgin Moroccan argan oil, green tea leaf extracts, protein building keratin and other fine natural ingredients that promote overall health, manageability and radiant shine.

“It is very important to me to deliver the results promised by my products, and I consistently see the transformation of my clients’ hair with these unique ingredients,” Walker, who is launching a gift set on HSN just in time for the holidays, said in a canned statement. “HSN customers are savvy, very knowledgeable about beauty and hair care — and they recognize the value HSN will bring to them. It was the perfect fit.”

Andre’s Ultimate Gift Set includes the following beauty products packaged in a perfect ready-to-go bundle. The gift is $65.

It includes:

Keratin Shampoo, a gel that produces very little lather but leaves the hair ultra clean in preparation for the conditioning step

Keratin Conditioner, a formula that deeply strengthens, hydrates and promotes incredible softness and shine

“Q” Oil — a weightless serum that smoothes, adds brilliant shine, nourishes and hydrates every hair type.

Hair Make-Up — available in five shades, a duo applicator wand that dries in seconds leaving a natural looking shine and color that compliments and enhances your current shade

Walker will debut on HSN Thursday next week at 8 p.m. with additional shows next Friday at 6 a.m. and 11 a.m.

A preview of the collection is already posted on

You Can’t Make This Up: Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey And Sandra Bullock Will Star In Film About A Home Shopping Network

October 24, 2010

At first we thought someone was pulling our leg, but it’s true. Sandra Bullock, fellow New Jersey native Meryl Streep (Bernardsville) and Oprah Winfrey are doing a movie set at a home shopping network for Universal Pictures!

Universal put out a press release on the project Friday and, dig this, it will be directed by Michael Patrick King, the mastermind behind “Sex and the City.”

The Hollywood trade press, including Variety and Deadline Hollywood, as well as the consumer press, Entertainment Weekly, all wrote stories about the yet-untitled film.

Jersey Girl Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock warm up for their roles in a new movie set at a home shopping network

Variety said that the comedy will be “set around a home-shopping TV channel.” According to Universal’s statement, the dynamic trio will “make their way through the maze of mania that surrounds marketing, marriages and the media.”

The script is supposed to be ready in January.

Of course, EW’s PopWatch had to make some snide remarks about home shopping channels, circa 1980.

“Today came the announcement via Universal that Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, and Oprah Winfrey would all co-star in Michael Patrick King’s untitled project about a home-shopping channel,” PopWatch wrote.

“Wait a tick — you’re telling me I can get Hollywood’s three wisest women for one easy payment of $12?! (Or, $17, if King decides to go the 3-D route.) Can they come with a bonus Slap Chop too?”

That’s a real knee slapper, you moron. Never mind that even stars like Madonna, Mary J. Blige and Sheryl Crow have appeared on home shopping channels.

But PopWatch ultimately gave the film its due.

“In all seriousness, this is some pretty awesome casting news, even if we have barely any idea of what exactly happens in the film. (But if the plotline is anywhere near as entertaining as the one in the Magic Bullet infomercial, count me in.),” it wrote.

“With these three powerhouses on board, I’m wondering where King can go from here — should he just go ahead and Ocean’s 11 this joint by adding the likes of Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, and Tina Fey (who’s already co-starring with Streep elsewhere) to the cast too?” PopWatch said. “Who else should come on board? Will Bullock and Streep face-off for Oscar again?”

We first learned of this film when HSN super host Colleen Lopez mentioned it on Facebook, after someone posted the PopWatch story.

“Wow!! I had not heard about this, Kalli,” Colleen wrote “How cool! Now it will be fun to see who their different characters will be ‘based’ on or ‘inspired by’….fun stuff! Thanks for sharing ♥”

We wonder if one of those characters will be a curly-haired, wise-cracking brunette with a Jersey accent who writes a superb blog about home shopping.

Universal and King, we are available.