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Looking back, HSN brings celebrity star power to St. Petersburg

Tony Little, Emeril Lagasse, Mary J. Blige and Keith Urban are a few of the celebrities who come to St. Petersburg to appear on HSN.

Times files

Tony Little, Emeril Lagasse, Mary J. Blige and Keith Urban are a few of the celebrities who come to St. Petersburg to appear on HSN.

HSN is one of the Tampa Bay area's largest public companies, and it's dedicated to selling things.

Perhaps that's why it's easy to sometimes forget that it's also a TV network, and, as such, needs stars the kind of big personalities who make you stop flipping channels.

Over the years the home shopping network has drawn all sorts of them here: actors, celebrity chefs, big-name designers and pop musicians from across genres.

In light of Thursday's big business news, that rival QVC is purchasing HSN for $2.1 billion, here's a look back at the many times we've covered HSN-related stories from an entertainment perspective. 


Tony Little insists there's always a way

A #longreads profile of one of Tampa Bay's biggest pop culture icons, including his intense work ethic at a time when he was appearing on TV 6,000 hours a year. 


Keith Urban talks about his HSN guitar collection, and his first guitar (2013)

The Australian country star was at peak fame when he came to St. Pete to appear on HSN, offering a rare chance to interview him about his first guitar and how he learned to play it. 


Mary J. Blige debuts Christmas album with concert at HSN

A secret, exclusive concert featuring one of the world's biggest R&B stars debuting a new album? Here's how it happened in St. Petersburg one Christmas.


Hugh Hefner's wife Crystal Hefner talks at Tampa Bay Fashion Week

An interview with Crystal Harris at Tampa Bay Fashion Week, just before she was to debut a line of pajamas for HSN.


As Playboy drops nudity, St. Pete woman recalls posing

Yet another Playboy connection. Rhonda Shear posed three times for the magazine. Her line of intimate apparel is also among HSN's bestselling products. 


Yo dawg: Randy Jackson visits MacDill Air Force Base

He was only in the Tampa Bay area to sell his new line of guitars at HSN, but it gave the American Idol judge an opportunity to make this patriotic pre-Memorial Day appearance at the base in Tampa.


At HSN, live concerts build buzz in the music world

Through the lens of country star Josh Turner, a look at HSN Live, the network's series featuring concerts by Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole, all in an effort to move albums as easily as HSN moves jewelery.


Cooking Channel's 'Emeril's Florida' features Columbia restaurant

Emeril Lagasse sells his cookware line on HSN, and filmed a whole series about Florida eats, including lots of stops in the Tampa Bay area.


Celeb chefs heat up HSN marathon of cooking

What happens when you get an all-star group of celebrity chefs, veterans and newcomers, together to sell their wares on HSN?


Celebrity chefs offer tips for bringing something different to the table this holiday

We asked a handful of celebrity chefs, visiting St. Petersburg's HSN headquarters for a recent 24-hour marathon event billed as the world's largest cooking class, to weigh in on how to enjoy entertaining friends and family. 


Gene Simmons' wife and daughter, Shannon and Sophie, launch line on HSN

Reality TV stars discuss making the jump from reality TV (Gene Simmons Family Jewels) to selling things on TV.

For HSN fashion designer Marla Ginsburg, life starts again

She was a fashionable, high-profile Hollywood television producer for 20 years, her name behind shows including Highlander and La Femme Nikita. Things were great until they weren't. Then she started sketching a fashion line.


In race for entrepreneur trophy, former beauty queen taps her comedy skills

She was a Miss Louisiana, a budding actor with roles like the waitress in the movie Spaceballs or on TV's Married with Children and an early woman in stand-up comedy. Talk about reinvention, and loyalty to HSN.

[Last modified: Friday, July 7, 2017 1:11pm]


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