Friday, January 19, 2018
Business

Morning show part of HSN's new attitude

In addition to dishing out news, morning TV chat shows have always been a platform to peddle lifestyle goods. Now HSN is trying similar show-and-tell tactics to soften its selling edge.

Monday, the St. Petersburg shopping network debuted HSN Today, offering fast-paced, how-to home fix-up tips, a before-and-after patio makeover and coaching on how to dub a wedding video onto DVD.

It's not just to build a 6 to 9 a.m. audience for HSN's third-biggest selling part of the day.

"It gets us to the next level by being more engaging, entertaining and informative," said Andy Sheldon, senior vice president for TV and executive creative director, who came last year from HSN's defunct British sibling iBuy. "We're keeping it real."

Offering tips is a new crop of regulars touted as "resident experts." It's a departure for HSN, where experts are often supplied by vendors or come from the TV shopping world. Like several new show hosts, the experts come from cable or reality TV.

Network brass insist it's about talent, not the youth movement, and that they still value their "classic HSN" hosts. But most of the newcomers are younger than 35. And guys with spiked haircuts, clad in jeans and sports coats have not been common on HSN.

Initial reception from HSN loyalists is mixed. On HSN and rival QVC's blogs, many like the new approach. But some older viewers are turned off by the network trying to be young and trendy. A few wonder what happened to Kelly Repassy, co-host of HSN Today's predecessor. After seven years, the network let the former plus-size model's deal lapse.

Mark Albright can be reached at [email protected] or
(727) 893-8252.

Comments
Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

ST. PETERSBURG — Tony Jannus’s history-making flight in an early seaplane — simultaneously as ungainly and graceful as a pelican on the wing — is what Mayor Rick Kriseman calls an "under-told and under-appreciated" story, but a team of local history ...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest hope for transportation in the Tampa Bay area is a bus rapid transit system projected to cover the 41-miles separating St. Petersburg from Wesley Chapel and attract 4,500 new riders at a fraction of the cost of light rail....
Updated: 1 hour ago

Want to buy into an exchanged-traded bitcoin fund? You might have a long wait

NEW YORK — It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they’ll approve a digital currency fun...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

ST. PETERSBURG — Transportation planners on Friday unveiled a new transit vision for Tampa Bay leaders on Friday morning: Bus rapid transit.Also known as BRT, it has arisen as the leading option in an ongoing study to find the best regional transit p...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

NEW YORK — Amazon is raising the price of its Prime membership monthly plan by nearly 20 percent. The fee of $99 for an annual membership will not change, the company said Friday. The online retailer had added the monthly payment option about two yea...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Cuba’s tourism is booming despite Trump’s tougher policy

Cuba’s tourism is booming despite Trump’s tougher policy

HAVANA — On a sweltering early summer afternoon in Miami’s Little Havana, President Donald Trump told a cheering Cuban-American crowd that he was rolling back some of Barack Obama’s opening to Cuba in order to starve the island’s military-run economy...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

TAMPA — You could sketch an economic history of the city of Tampa — and maybe get a glimpse of its future — just by looking at the old J. Seidenberg & Co./Havana-American Cigar Factory.It opened in 1894, making it Ybor City’s second oldest brick ciga...
Published: 01/19/18
Florida unemployment rate increases slightly in December

Florida unemployment rate increases slightly in December

Florida’s rock-bottom unemployment rate ticked back up slightly after months of decline. The state’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in December, up from 3.6 percent in November, according to state figures released Friday. Tampa Bay’s jobless rate ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
House approves government spending bill

House approves government spending bill

A divided House on Thursday passed an 11-hour plan to keep the government running. But the GOP-written measure faced gloomy prospects in the Senate, and it remained unclear whether lawmakers would be able to find a way to keep federal offices open pa...
Published: 01/18/18
Will the third time be the charm for these Tampa Bay townhouses?

Will the third time be the charm for these Tampa Bay townhouses?

ST. PETERSBURG — In real estate circles, it would seem an odd match — 54 townhouses in an office park and a group of Realtors best known for selling luxury single-family homes in Snell Isle. Yet the Strickland Property Group is convinced it can do wh...
Published: 01/19/18