Home Shopping Network
HSN Home Shopping Network logo Launched 1982 Owned by HSN, Inc. Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Headquarters St. Petersburg, Florida, USA Formerly called Home Shopping Club (1982-1985) Sister channel(s) The Shopping Channel Website HSN.com Availability Terrestrial Available in some markets Check local listings for channels Satellite Solar TV Channel 9 Dish Network Channel 222 HSN
Channel 226 HSN2
Cable Available on most cable systems Check local listings for channels
Home Shopping Network or HSN began in 1977 as a 24-hour/7 day a week home shopping television network televised via cable, satellite, and some terrestrial channels in the Philippines. HSN can also be shopped online at hsn.com. The channel is owned by HSN, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSNI), which also owns catalog company Cornerstone Brands.
- 1 History
- 2 HSN HD
- 3 HSN2
- 4 Hosts
- 5 Past hosts
- 6 Models (partial list)
- 7 Product categories
- 8 Music
- 9 Operations
- 10 Technology
- 11 Competitors
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 Sources
- 15 External links
Launched by Lowell 'Bud' Paxson and Roy Speer in 1982 as the Home Shopping Club, a local cable channel seen on Vision Cable and Group W Cable in Pinellas County, Florida, and expanded into the first national shopping network three years later on July 1, 1985, HSN (its initials forming its alternate name) pioneered the concept of a televised sales pitch for consumer goods and services. Its competitor QVC was launched the following year.
HSN has its roots from a radio station managed by Paxson. In 1977, due to an advertiser's liquidity problem, the company was paid in can openers. Left with having to raise the funds, on-air personality Bob Circosta went on the radio and sold the can openers for $9.95 each. The can openers sold out, and an industry was born. Circosta later became the new network's first ever home shopping host and would eventually sell 75,000 different products in over 20,000 hours of live, on-air television.
In 1986, HSN began a second network that broadcast over the air on a number of TV stations it had acquired under the name Silver King Broadcasting. In 1999, the stations were sold to IAC founder Barry Diller and changed its name to USA Broadcasting, with a few of them ending HSN programming outside of overnight hours and taking on a local programming format equivalent to Toronto's Citytv. In 2001, they were sold again, this time to Univision, and all HSN programs ceased on those channels; however, HSN continues to air on low-power stations (One of this is owned in agreement by Univision). Ventana Television (ventana meaning window in Spanish) has the same street address as HSN, and is the holding company for its broadcast licenses. As of May, 2010, the HSN low power analog channel 60 in the New York City area was converted to low power digital channel 39.5.
In 1999, the company launched HSN.com, which as of 2009 is one of the top 10 most trafficked e-commerce sites. In 2008, HSN also started MySpace and Facebook pages. In an attempt to engage with younger consumers in 2009, HSN produced a 14-episode online video series, Faces of Beautiful You, which follows three young women who find solutions to many of life's problems through HSN's beauty products. The campaign included a Facebook widget, character blogs, and profiles for the three main characters on Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook.
In August 2009, HSN launched its HDTV channel, broadcasting in 1080i high definition. At launch, it was carried by Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS; it has since been added by Comcast and AT&T U-verse. The network has a different presentation than most HD networks, choosing to present content so that the 4:3 cut for standard definition viewers is made on the extreme right side rather than everything being presented in the center of the screen with a cut on each side in order to maximize the amount of screen space to present products for both feeds.
HSN's hosts work sixty minute to four hour shifts on-air up to five days a week.
Present home shopping hosts on HSN include:
- Adam Freeman (2007-present)
- Alan Skantz (1991-present)
- Alicia Perez (2008-present)
- Alyce Caron (2003-present)
- Amy Morrison (2005-present)
- Anji Corley (2011-present)
- Bill Green (1994–present)
- Bobbi Ray Carter (1983–present)
- Brett Chukerman (2011-present)
- Callie Northagen (1999–present)
- Carrie Smith (2011-present)
- Colleen Lopez (1994-present)
- Connie Craig-Carroll (1998-present)
- Diana Perkovic (1999-present)
- Guy Yovan (August 4, 2009-present)
- Helen Keaney (2008-present)
- Kathy Wolf (1992–present)
- Lesley Machado (2011-present)
- Lynn Murphy (1991–present)
- Michelle Sorro (appeared on The Apprentice) (2011-present)
- Rachel Huber (2001–present)
- Shannon Smith (1986–present)
- Shivan Sarna (1999–present)
- Suzanne Runyan (2004–present)
- Tamara Hooks (2006-present)
- Robin Wall (1995–present)
- Marlo Smith (1997-present)
During the extended absence of Diana Perkovic, plus-size model Regina Marlow has filled in for her. Past host Chris Scanlon left HSN in the fall of 2011.
Guest product experts
- Katie Linendoll (the #1 guest product expert on HSN)
- Maven Huffman
- Bruce Singer
- Brandon Singer
- Carey Parker
- Kim Church (former host on Shop at Home Network and Jewelry Television)
- Vonabell Sherman www.vonabell.net Vonabell Sherman (home,family,organization expert)
- Chef Rick Tarantino (research and celebrity chef)
- Keri Maletto (Culinary Product Expert) www.KeriMaletto.com
- Marc Gill (Culinary Guest)
Past home shopping hosts on HSN and America's Store include:
- Rob Brydon
- Bob Circosta (HSN's first host; works at his offices next door to HSN) (regular)
- Alice Cleveland
- John Cremeans (left HSN after several years)
- Bill Duggan (guest product expert)
- Todd Newton (also hosted Hollywood Showdown and Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck on Game Show Network)
Models (partial list)
- Regina Marlow
- Kara Preston
- Natalie Hayden
- Sonja Ryans
- Lisa York (plus-size and speaking model)
- Janique Rice
- Annette Millan
- Kirsten Hill
- Lori Livingston
- Melissa Lawrence
- Melissa Vogt
- Veronica Berry
- Andrea Fredrickson
- Gabriella Visser
- Nora Ad
- Nadia Moorgan
- Amy O'Hara
- Colette Cannova
- Carol Hewetson
- Pamela Harper
- Health & Fitness
- For Home Decoration
- Kitchen & Dining
- Crafts & Sewing
- NFL items
- Personalized gifts
HSN used a wide variety of themes and cues over its years. In 1987, a theme from Home Shopping Club was used as the theme to the short-lived syndicated game show Home Shopping Game and was used as station ID music until the early 1990s.
The current return from commercial music titled "Let's Go Nuts" was heard in a Clairol Nice 'n Easy with ColorBlend Technology commercial from 2009. The track is used for a "coming up" bumper with the host reading the lineup. In some cases, the host does not read the lineup and only the music plays. This is done on some shows that are hosted by Shannon Smith and on different occasions on those hosted by Diana Perkovic. A track with a guitar and xylophone titled "Summer Bash" was used during the summer of 2010, and the first-ever Christmas version of the return from commercial track debuted for the 2010 holiday season.
Other production music tracks (including Christmas tracks and the current Today's Special and Showstopper tracks) are also used on HSN. The Today's Special track is titled "Rock with a Smile" with the Showstopper track titled "Cool as Ice". The Showstopper track that was used until 2010 was titled "Fresh Air".
HSN runs 24 hours a day, although programming hours vary between each region, based upon the local TV provider.
HSN's U.S. operations are based in St. Petersburg, Florida, which houses its corporate headquarters, studio and broadcasting facilities. Additional call center facilities are located in Roanoke, Virginia. Distribution centers are situated in Roanoke, Piney Flats, Tennessee, and Fontana, California in order to ensure the fastest possible delivery of items.
HSN also operates four retail outlet stores in Orlando, Brandon, Bardmoor, and St. Petersburg (Emplorium). HSN broadcasts 24 hours a day, 364 days a year. On Christmas, a mix of special programming airs from Christmas Eve afternoon until midnight on December 25. For the first twelve years, a looping Yule log was aired from Noon Christmas Eve to Midnight December 26. Several years the show allows members of the staff to go on camera with their families to say hello to relatives back home.
In 1997, HSN formally launched its second nationwide electronic retail venture, a 24 hour network under the America's Store name (it had operated similar concepts of more limited scale since 1988). This station took advantage of HSN's already extensive network of low-power transmitters located in many major metropolitan markets throughout the United States. Eventually, the network was also picked up by some cable and satellite providers. While America's Store closely mirrored HSN's programming strategy and schedule format, it functioned primarily as an outlet for distressed and discontinued HSN merchandise in various categories. Occasionally however, new merchandise would be showcased concurrently on both channels at varying schedules. Like its sister network, America's Store also had a full service internet website that shared most of its functionality with the HSN parent site. In April, 2007, America's Store ceased operating permanently. Most of the America's Store hosts (some of which were already splitting hosting duties between networks) were absorbed into the HSN programming schedule.
In 1998, Home Shopping Network launched its Spanish version Home Shopping en Español on Univision's cable network Galavision. In 2000, the Spanish version re-branded itself as HSE and tapped into low-power stations in the US and Puerto Rico. It also ceased to broadcast through Galavision. In June 2002, HSE ceased to operate.
HSN had a UK sister network called HSE, which has ceased trading. On the 18 April 2005, the falling price auction channel iBuy, was created by the ex-senior management figure of Auction World.tv, Andy Sheldon.
The iBuy shopping channel closed in May 2007, when 85 jobs were lost. The reasons for the channel's closure were cited to be connected to financial difficulties at the channel, due to their failure to successfully break into a market already dominated by shopping channels such as QVC, sit-up Ltd, Ideal World and Gems TV. It was suggested that there were a growing number of customer complaints over products, and controversy over the channel allegedly selling fake products, in particular Tiffany jewellery.
On 18 March 2007, iBuy Senior Presenter Adam Freeman, revealed while on air, that it was to be his final shift. It was also revealed, that unlike many of the other staff at iBuy, he wasn't to be out of a job. As like the previous iBuy Head of Broadcasting, Andy Sheldon, Freeman will in fact be moving over to HSN for employment in the USA.
On 27 March 2007, it was officially announced on the iBuy website that the channel has now ceased live broadcasting. In its slots, iBuy will be offering a variety of programming over the coming weeks, which include pre-recorded iBuy Unique, and Rye by Post Collectibles.
HSN has a sister network in Europe called HSE24.
HSN's sister network in Japan is known as The Shop Channel.
The Shopping Channel was launched in 1987 as Canadian Home Shopping Network (CHSN), HSN's sister network in Canada. In 1999, the station was sold to Rogers Communications and is no longer affiliated with HSN.
Home Shopping Network is currently aired in the Philippines via Shop TV, a shopping TV channel owned by Solar Entertainment Corporation. It is also aired as a paid advertising block on IBC and most of the channels owned by Solar Entertainment Corporation.
Home Shopping Europe was launched in Italy in 2001 as "Home Shopping Europe", replacing "H.O.T. Italia" (when this acronym intended the television channel Home Order Television). In 2003 the frequencies of HSE were sold to Mediaset and the channel was renamed Mediashopping.
HSN National started life with a standard rotary phone system that concentrated calls to the front of the queue. This corresponded to the front row of order takers in the HSN Studio at the Levitz Center (so named as the location was a former Levitz furniture store) in Clearwater. After several months, this system was no longer adequate and HSN entered a phase where a phone system from GTE was used. HSN claimed that the systems' inability to handle the high call volumes resulted in a loss of business. HSN sued GTE for $1.5 Billion. In a counter-libel suit, GTE claimed that HSN had slandered the company. GTE won a $100 Million judgment. Both parties settled out of court. In the interim, HSN found another telephone vendor to handle its call volume. The Rockwell corporation's Galaxy line of switches was used for the current call center (as well as the new locations in St. Petersburg).
HSN has an in house call center is St. Petersburg, Florida which mostly handles customer service calls. HSN also employs several hundred customer service representatives from work at home positions who take calls and place orders via HSN's customer service intranet. HSN also contracts call centers to handle its sales calls especially when HSN is broadcasting shows with highly popular items.
Interactive Voice Response
HSN was an early adopter of an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system for order entry. This system allowed customers to place orders through the IVR rather than an agent. The original IVR was a product supplied by Precision Software, Incorporated (PSi) of St. Paul, Minnesota. The product made use of an Intel PC chassis and Dialogic boards for call termination. As the system also needed to communicate with the Burroughs mainframe, it used a serial connection to communicate with the online application. While PSi had off-the-shelf components, it required a great deal of customization to create scripts and interface with the order entry system. Interestingly enough, PSi ran up a high amount of hours and this causes HSN to actually purchase PSi rather than pay their bill. Once released, the system was branded TOOTIE (after the infamous bicycle horn that show hosts used to help excite the audience and was the network's mascot up until the mid 90's).
As the size of HSN's call center kept increasing, it decided to create a new IVR platform that could handle more load. As nothing available on the open market could handle the volume HSN required, the PSi subsidiary started work on a customer platform called the TSP. This platform was installed in HSN's new facility and could handle a large number of T1 lines (each T1 is 24 separate callers). This system originally communicated through a Stratus computer (acting as a poll/select terminal gateway) to the mainframe, but this was later changed to a direct TCP/IP connection. This system was dubbed Tootie II internally.
The original computer system used for the local Home Shopping Channel was an IBM System/36. Once HSN decided to go national, a new mainframe called the "A Series" from Burroughs (now Unisys) was used. This new system, named the A3, went live on July 1, 1985 and by April 1986, HSN was on an A15j (the largest commercial business processor available at the time). The main order entry system was written in a 4GL code generator called the Logic and Information Network Compiler (LINC)—since renamed Agile Business Suite by Unisys. Some controversy existed around the role of the original IBM code's use in the development of the new system. As Pioneer Data Systems provided the software for the HSN local (IBM) operation, the code was licensed to run the national (Burroughs) version. The problem is these systems were not compatible. An IRS court ruled that the code was inspirational to the new system and thus the license agreement was valid for taxation purposes.
- Ballard Designs
- Home shopping host
- Shopping channels
- WJXR (Jacksonville radio station with a shopping format similar to the pre-HSN roots)
- KTOU-LP (Oklahoma City television station with a HSN)
- ^ Company Information at HSN.com
- ^ HSN company information
- ^ HSN company timeline
- ^ Faces of Beautiful You homepage
- ^ HSN HD Now Available
- ^ HSN2 Set For Aug. 1 Dish Network Debut Multichannel News June 14, 2010
- ^ Business: Talk of the bay: Insurer says it is lining up money partners
- ^ http://www.ibuy.tv/ibuyinfo/viewpage.aspx?PageID=1
- ^ Storia della TV (in Italian)
- ^ GTE Settles Dispute With Home Shopping – The New York Times
- A Man. A Plan. A Can Opener. ClickZ Network
- "Can You Believe This Price?" Time Magazine
- Bob Circosta Interview about HSN Media Talk
- It started with 112 can openers St. Petersburg Times
- GTE Settles DIspute with Home Shopping NY Times
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