The Cutthroat World Of QVC Host Auditions

QVC creeps us out, but we do occasionally wonder, ever so briefly, who these people are and how they came to be hosts on QVC. And now that the New York Times has told us they make $500,000 a year, we’re positively enthralled:

“Most people show up thinking it’s easy,” said Jack Comstock, the vice president for television sales at QVC. In his 14 years at the network, he has hired 18 of its 23 hosts. “But it’s difficult to find someone that can really talk to the camera as if it was their friend.”

Rare is the Hollywood movie, network television program or Broadway show that casts its stars from an open call. But QVC, a $7 billion annual business, where hosts can have television careers that span decades, does. The nominal stars of QVC are the budget clothing and jewelry designers who offer their creations, inventors touting new housewares and faded celebrities with exercise programs. But on a network that can move tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise a minute, the host plays a crucial role: part cheerleader for a celebrity guest, part M.C. executing the orders of producers to end a slow-selling item’s airtime gracefully, part fantasy friend to viewers, coaxing them to call.

It’s a rare skill set, and industry sources say the network is willing to compensate hosts for it extremely well, up to $500,000 a year.

Damn. We are in the wrong profession. —MEGHANN MARCO


The Biggest Sell Is the Audition
[[NYT]

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  1. exkon says:

    Wow, never knew someone could make so much trying sell crap most of the time…

    I remember watching an electronics segment. One of the experts were talking about a flat screen TV with some special feature. The host seem like she never knew what the guy was talking about.

  2. SpyMaster says:

    Say what you want, but those QVC on-the-air sales people are fantastic at what they do. Only a fool would think it’s easy.

  3. Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe claims he sold more than $100 million worth of “simulated diamonds” on QVC. Given that the profit margins on that kind of crap have to be pretty high, I can see how they could afford to pay the host big bucks.

    Apparently he spent it all on blow and hookers, though, ‘cos now he’s wading through crap for a living :-).

  4. frankadelic says:
  5. rich815 says:

    “they make $500,000 a year”

    and

    “up to $500,000 a year”

    are two very different things. Sort of a bait and switch post if you ask me.

    Realtors make $1 million a year. Oh, wait, some make less than $30,000. That should be realtors make up to $1 million a year.