(wait a minute, going from pulling the plug to sold)
Jewelry Television is buying Shop at Home from E.W. Scripps for $17 million, and it plans to continue operating the network on a part-time basis, officials said Wednesday.
Jewelry is acquiring the Nashville, Tenn.-based network’s assets, and it intends to assume the channel’s carriage deals with TV stations, cable operators and direct-broadcast satellite providers, according to the company.
At stations and cable systems where Shop at Home is currently carried, the plan is for Jewelry to air during the day on those channel slots, with Shop at Home running from 9 p.m.-7 a.m., according to a Jewelry spokesperson.
After initially failing to find a buyer for Shop at Home, Scripps had planned to pull the plug on the channel June 22. Now Shop at Home will continue to operate the scaled-down network from its current headquarters.
“After careful consideration, we have decided that keeping Shop at Home on the air in a reduced capacity is a winning situation for all involved,” Jewelry chief operating officer Joe Fields said in a prepared statement. “We will be able to retain a significant number of Shop at Home employees in their current positions, as well as hiring others for positions with Jewelry Television in Knoxville [Tenn.].”
Jewelry is offering jobs to about 140 of Shop at Home’s 600 employees. Those 140 will be still be eligible to receive severance packages from Scripps.
As part of the deal, Jewelry will acquire Shop at Home assets including its building and real estate, satellite-uplink facilities, information-technology systems, call center, Web site (www.shopathometv.com) and production facilities.
The transaction doesn’t include five Shop at Home-affiliated TV station Scripps owns, which it plans to sell. But in the meantime, as part of the deal, those five stations will air a combination of Shop at Home and Jewelry programming.
Jewelry is forming a new company to operate Shop at Home, called Shop at Home Network LLC. Jewelry will have controlling interest in this company. The acquisition of Shop at Home will be complete at midnight June 22.
Tim Engle will join Shop at Home as president and report to the Shop at Home Network bard of directors. Engle was formerly president and COO of Shop at Home, and he left the network in 2001. Most recently, he was CEO of Beach Renovations.
As a result of the Jewelry transaction, Scripps now expects to record an after-tax charge of $35 million-$45 million compared with the previously anticipated charge of up to $60 million.