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Jewelry TV Goes Shopping

6/16/2006 8:00 PM Eastern

Jewelry Television has done some shopping of its own, agreeing to snap up some assets of Shop At Home, the network being shuttered by owner E.W. Scripps Co. this week, officials from both channels confirmed last week.

Jewelry Television, based in Knoxville, Tenn., is finalizing an agreement with Scripps regarding the Nashville-based Shop At Home service. Jewelry Television is most interested in Shop At Home’s satellite-uplink facilities, computer systems and Internet platforms. Shop At Home also owns TV stations with four broadcast studios that Jewelry Television is interested in, as locations for promotional-video production.

Talks between Jewelry Television and Scripps were first reported by the local press in Knoxville, Tenn. A final deal is expected to come soon, with Jewelry Television saying it had already agreed to purchase the assets.

“It will be business as usual at Jewelry Television,” its chief operating officer Joe Fields said in a statement. “We have no plans to move staff to Nashville or interrupt Jewelry Television operations in any way. The acquisition of Shop At Home’s assets simply fits our growth strategy.”

E.W. Scripps spokesman Tim Stautberg said his company was finalizing an agreement to sell “certain assets” to Jewelry Television.

Scripps, which bought Shop At Home in two transactions valued at $285 million, had hoped to use the electronic-retailing service, in part, to sell products related to its cable networks, such as Food Network and Home & Garden Television.

But Shop At Home never secured adequate distribution to maximize that goal, or profitably push the sale of other merchandise on the channel. So Scripps put the network on the block, but in May said it could not find a buyer and was closing it down June 22.

Shop At Home lost $84 million during the past four years, according to Scripps.

National Jeweler magazine just released its $100 Million Superseller issue, and Jewelry Television moved up five places from the No. 20 largest retailer of fine jewelry in the country to No. 15.

September