Zirconia Futures Dive

The original wizard of TV shopping struggles with a kickback scandal

Anyone who thinks interactive television will change the world (and entertainment mogul Barry Diller recently bought into a video shopping network on just this premise) must regard the Home Shopping Network with some awe. It was the first major firm to take orders over the phone while selling its products on TV, and when it debuted on cable in 1982 it was an instant and wild success. The company has faltered in recent years, however, and now faces problems much worse than business reversals.

As a result of allegations that hsn chairman Roy Speer and others received improper payments from the...

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