From Jim Skelton’s Facebook page:

“Last week I posted that I would have an announcement coming soon. Well, today is part one of that announcement. I am retiring from TV! This is a decision long in the making, and was not made lightly. I begin a new chapter in my life, filled with opportunity and excitement. My family will be leaving Miami and relocating to Dallas Texas in April. I am currently on my way to the airport to meet my realtor in Dallas to begin the search for our new home.

I will not be on the air this weekend, but will be on the following weekend, and hope to enjoy my last few shows with all of you. To clarify, I am not leaving to go to another network, the next few shows will truly be my last ever on TV. I have enjoyed my 10+ years doing what I love, sharing my passion for watches with all of you. I’m fortunate to have made a connection with so many people, and gotten to know you and your families over the years. You’ve allowed me to do what I love, and invited me into your homes, and you’ll never know how truly grateful I am for that. It’s time now for me to share my other passions with the world, in a totally different venue, but one that everyone will have access to. In the coming weeks I will follow this up with the rest of the details, but I am still ironing everything out at this point. This time around I have the freedom to share everything about my upcoming adventures, without any silly contracts prohibiting me from disclosing details of where I’m going and what I’m doing. Thank You all so much for your support and I look forward to what lies ahead for myself and my family. Stick around, I hope to surprise you”
The much loved, and equally maligned, former host of the distant number three shopping network, ShopNBC, ShopHQ, Evine has called it quits and is leaving DirectTV channel 227 where he barks for SWI. Unlike ShopNBC, where he was fired, we’re not sure if he is the one calling the shots on this move or not. I’ve wondered what his baggage would mean to Clearlake Capital Group, the investment firm that bought SWI back in December of 2012. Without Lior to protect him and corporate wolves focused on profit and flying below the radar, what would happen with Jim? I’ll state that I have zero knowledge of his contract details, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Skelton was working for base, plus commission. With watchgeeks.net gone, how was Skelton marketing to anyone? His FB page revealed thousands of fans that always lamented their financial woes whenever he added product placements for his shows. He couldn’t have been selling much.  I’d hardly call his Strider watch collaboration with Android’s Wing Liang a success as the price was halved for a few months and he still hasn’t been able to move the total production of 500 units. My prediction: Jim Skelton makes a move into knives and tries to duplicate the success he had in TV horology with the apparent vacuum left by the exit of the Frost Cutlery guys.
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ValueVision Media quietly reported their 2nd Quarter results a little over a week ago an it seems that the apparent firing of Jim Skelton did not impact watch sales as ShopNBC brass noted that they improved.

“The Watch category benefitted from a more diverse product mix and achieved improved productivity per minute with attractive margins, as part of a strategically planned reduction in air-time.”

FANS of Skelton may point out that since he left, a lot of watches have been offered on 6 Value Pays. I’d agree that this helps sales but do not think the move is to entice Skelton’s fan base or as a response to a purchasing drop off by those most ardent of fans, something he suggested on his Facebook page. Rather, it is a response to the continued malaise that is the Not So Great Depression.

Even if you’re not a fan of the mostly Chinese made watches featured on ShopNBC, the network have made a point of expanding their offerings and most of these are within the 38 mm to 47 mm size range as opposed to the caricatures that have marked Invicta designs over the past few years. These new brands are also selling out while Invicta doesn’t seem to anymore. So it’s possible that the core consumer has changed.

With the reported return of Daniel Mink and Renato, it will be interesting to count the sell outs and compare them to the same, tired Invicta rehashed designs. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in Shop’s green room when he shares it with Invicta’s Technical Brand Manager and convicted felon, Michael “fuckin” Davis.

You’ll remember he used Watchgeeks.net to famously call into question the shady sales exercise of the Renato Tourbillon, suggesting that people cancel their orders, which conveniently coincided with Invicta Watch Company’s hinting around at their coming Chinese Tourby offering.

Maybe it’s just me, but Invicta’s continuing slide in quality of both workmanship and materials, coupled with tired and boring designs is reminiscent of Detroit in the late 70’s. Can the brand continue to be the Shop’s cash cow or will one of these new brands claim the crown?

IT has been widely speculated that Jim Skelton has some connection to the Imperious watch brand which, after many denials, was revealed to be a trademark of Invicta.

Part of what fueled the Skelton / Imperious connection were comments by Skelton himself regarding his design of watches, as well as his constant admonishment of people wanting to know who designed such ground breaking pieces as the X-Wing and Jailbreak. I remember him finally getting fed up with people hinting at his involvement on WGs and he said something to the affect of “…do you know who the designer of the Speedway? Does it matter?”

NOW after fire sales at ShopNBC, the only source for this brand that was going to “dominate it’s class”, and a very interesting post on Jim Skelton’s Facebook page from a May 24th inquiry regarding new models and the very future of Imperious.

Jim’s response:
“I don’t know how much longer you’ll see them. Last I knew, there was still new product in production, and production on these takes about 3-6 months due to the complexity, so I’d assume you’ll see one or mayyyybe two more rounds of them. What Shop will do now with recent changes though, I cannot predict. There were still one or two brand new models due out plus new variations of the current models (one for example was an automatic 3 hand X-Wing)”

Another posters asks if Skelton believes that the “brand” is going to fold.

Jim Skelton responded “I don’t think “fold” is the right word, but it is possible that they might stop offering them.”

Hmm. It is widely believed that Skelton has some skin in the Invicperious game. ShopNBC fires him and now they are not going to offer any new models and ShopNBC is systematically blowing them out.

Draw your own conclusions.

Liza Nutal was about four years older than me and was really passionate about beating my ass. I was about seven when it started. She would call me to her, “Hey Ronnie baby – come here…” At which point I would run in the opposite direction for home, hoping to pick up a shovel or sizable stick to fend her bull dyke ass off. I usually failed as her future record setting softball base running calves would close the distance, like a Peregrine falcon against a pigeon. They were massive and think but shaven clean. She was a hairy beast at twelve and she had a mustache and unibrow that helped to emphasize her massive and manly face. She looked exactly like Nancy from the comic strip.

She probably outweighed me by 35 lbs. Pure muscle; as compared to my fat gut and big ass in my so-blue-they-looked-black Huskies and my third grade style Special Ed unbreakable eye glass frames.

This continued until I was about ten. Now I know you’re probably thinking, “what a pussy” but you have no idea what it is like to be man handled by a huge manly girl that you could tell was getting sexual gratification from giving you sailor taps until you pissed your pants. Her huge nipples popping out of her chest as she straddled you and smiled while she felt the urine in her own crotch. Kids now a days get hot teachers and MILFs – I got a pre-teen leaning toward Lesbian, built like a linebacker with tits and a face like a bulldog.

AT some point, I became friends with the Claude. She was a few years older and was an Italian tomboy. She had an older sister who called Liza out one day. She was about seventeen and she was not going to tolerate this shit going on around her little sister. It ended that memorable summer day; very similar whether wise to today in the west of Pittsburgh.

SEVERAL years went by. I was a few years out of school, having done a stint at the Harvard on the Allegheny and this particular day found me at my Grandparents house. My uncle lived with them and my aunt by marriage lived next door. Auntie popped in at my Grandparents. “There’s a friend of yours next door.” I followed her next door, “She knew you when you two were really young…”

I followed her through her door; into the foyer past the kitchen and into the living room that looked like something out of the show Clean House. I turn right and Nancy looks up at me sheepishly – “Hey…how ya doin?”

“Are you fucking kidding me, you brought me over here to see this…this fucking giant Lesbian bitch that used to make me piss on her…this fucking piece of shi-”

“Hey! That’s enough – she is my friend – you can’t talk to her like that!”

At that I see red. “Try giving me some sailor taps now bitch – bring it on!”

MY aunt chased me out of her house saying to me, “…I didn’t know; she said you were friends…” I left it at that.

Every now and then I used to say to her jokingly, “Where is that bitch, Liza at?” The last time I asked, she didn’t think that joke was funny anymore. “You know, she rides a bike 18 miles a day. She’ll kick your ass.” I reminded her that Liza was fired from a local daycare for shaking a two year old. And we never saw eye-to-eye after that point. I think she hates the fact that I told people the story. I can’t figure out why though – it’s not like she has some sort of ‘fault.’ Recently, I was told that she was sent upstate for being a mule, or small time dealing – some bullshit. Unfortunatly it’s an American prison, so she probably has a few wives and is enjoying her stay.