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HSN is slimmed down by 60 jobs

By MARK ALBRIGHT
Published May 18, 2007


HSN, the TV shopping network, eliminated 60 back office jobs Thursday, most of them at its St. Petersburg headquarters campus.

The cutback, equal to about 1.5 percent of the network's 4,000 employees, was described as a move to cut redundant jobs. A few of the jobs eliminated were scattered across the company's three distribution centers in Fontana, Calif., Nashville, Tenn., and Roanoke, Va.

Affected employees were given the bad news when they arrived at work, provided empty boxes to pack their things and informed it was their last day.

Employees were given severance, outplacement services and the chance to see if they fit into any of the jobs for which HSN is hiring.

The network, which has been retrenching to enhance profitability while trying to pull itself out of a two-year sales slump, recently shut down its second channel, America's Store, and pulled out of overseas markets in Britain and Germany after an 11-year effort.

"This is part of our effort to refocus our investments in three core areas," said Nancy Bushkin, network spokeswoman. "TV shopping, our dot-com business and advanced technologies such as podcasts and point-and-click ordering on video-on-demand cable."

HSN, meantime, is expanding its footprint in St. Petersburg by leasing 45,000 square feet of office space and 75,000 square feet of warehouse space south of the campus.

Moving there on Memorial Day weekend will be 200 people who work at the quality assurance lab and HSN.com, which accounts for about a quarter of the network's revenue and has been housed in trailers on the campus. The warehouse will become an assembly and storage facility for thousands of product samples put together for broadcasts and Web cast photography.

Mark Albright can be reached at albright@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8252.