Top interactive commerce executive Jim Held takes reins at Shop At Home
Tue, November 01, 2005 by Tim Stautberg
CINCINNATI – James G. Held, the interactive commerce executive who helped guide HSN and QVC to market prominence, has been named president and chairman of the Shop At Home television retailing network and its rapidly growing online retail business, shopathometv.com, effective immediately.Held, 55, also will become a minority investor in the Shop At Home business, which is owned and operated by The E. W. Scripps Company. The terms of Held’s investment were not disclosed. “Our vision for Shop At Home has been to create an innovative interactive commerce business that fully benefits from the tremendous popularity of our lifestyle television networks,” said Kenneth W. Lowe, president and chief executive officer for Scripps. “By forging this important new partnership with a respected brand-building executive like Jim Held, we’re demonstrating our mutual belief that there are significant opportunities for growth at Shop At Home.”By partnering with Held, Scripps and Shop At Home gain the expertise of one of the retail industry’s most seasoned executives. During the mid- to late-1990s, Held served four years as president and chief executive officer at HSN, leading the business to profitability and firmly establishing it as one of America’s top home-shopping television networks. He had a similar role at QVC, the industry’s market leader, serving two years as executive vice president in charge of merchandising, planning, marketing, new business development and strategic alliances.In addition to Held’s interactive commerce experience, he also served as president and chief executive officer for Adrienne Vittadini Inc., a designer, wholesale, retail and manufacturing company. Prior to Adrienne Vittadini, he worked at Bloomingdales for more than 12 years in various merchandising and management positions, including senior vice president and general merchandise manager, as well as general manager of the company’s flagship store in Manhattan. Most recently, Held was acting chief executive officer of SmartBargains Inc., an online retailer of discounted branded consumer products. “Scripps has a great collection of trusted media brands, particularly in the lifestyle categories of home and food, and I believe together we can build Shop At Home into a serious competitor in the fast-growing electronic commerce marketplace,” said Held. “I’m encouraged by the progress that’s been made at Shop At Home and look forward to helping Scripps execute its business strategies to build growing, profitable businesses.”Held is a graduate of Allegheny College and holds a law degree from Albany Law School at Union University. At Shop At Home, Held succeeds Judy Girard, who was recently appointed by Scripps to be president of HGTV, the company’s leading lifestyle television network. About ScrippsThe E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, electronic commerce, interactive media, and licensing and syndication. The company’s portfolio of media properties includes: Scripps Networks, with such brands as HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living, Great American Country and HGTVPro; daily and community newspapers in 18 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center, home to the Scripps Howard News Service; 10 broadcast TV stations, including six ABC-affiliated stations, three NBC affiliates and one independent; United Media, a leading worldwide licensing and syndication company that is the home of PEANUTS, DILBERT and approximately 150 other features and comics; Shop At Home, which markets a growing range of consumer goods directly to television viewers in roughly 55 million U.S. households and online through shopathometv.com; and Shopzilla, the online comparison shopping service that carries an index of more than 30 million products from approximately 55,000 merchants.