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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The Future of WOW.tv

March 19, 2013

BASED on a recent thread over at Watchlords, one cannot help but wonder if WoW.tv’s days are numbered. The Ustream infomercial-as-shopping network is no longer being carried on several cable systems, including Time Warner, FiOS or Dish. A look at wowtv’s website reveals that they are only on DirectTV.

WHAT can we attribute this pull back in spending to? Might it be a result of the losses incurred by SWI’s unsuccessful litigation attempting to take the trademark “Swiss Made” away from the
Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry?

OR might it be the result of the new owners of SWI, Clearlake Capital Group. There has been some speculation that the sale was necessary because of the fight with the Swiss Federation but with this new infusion of capital (and new board members) it may just be nothing more than a change in direction. It could be possible that the cost to included the programming on the cable networks is far more than the actual returns. Couple that with the salaries of the hosts and you have to wonder how much ROI there is even if it is streamed exclusively via the Internet.

In any event, what once seemed a potential challenge to ShopNBC watch sales now looks to be little more than a vanity, basement Internet show.

AFTER the miserable failure of Jim Skelton’s last watch designs manufactured by Invicta – Imperious – he’s just announced another attempt at a watch brand.

His first release will be a tool diver; which is perfect because he’s the biggest tool in the world of TV horology.

We can expect Swiss automatics with Super Lume and sapphire crystals, as well as the all important link screws instead of pressure pins – the mark of quality and a point of pride for TV watch brands.

He’s stated that Lior is not involved so I suspect the new parent of Renato is likely the source for these, probably, Chinese cased watches. They’ll also be limited production and limited edition – as limited as a GMC limited edition, and another important selling point for TV horology aficionados.

No word on the packaging, which is also very important to any rumdum who’ll sport a Skelton original on their wrist.

Invicta to Acquire Renato?

February 2, 2012

DANIEL Mink has be lying lower than the Chi as it goes on 9 months with the undelivered Tourbillon that turned into an advanced order. Mink has stalled on a big announcement and has outright ignored complaints and threats from disgruntled customer on their ignored Facebook page.

Michael Davis, Invicta Watch Company’s Technical Brand Manager, just this morning posted on his Facebook that a big announcement will be made tonight on Larry Megan’s web show. Now “Big Announcements” from Invicta are a dime a dozen, but interestingly enough, Koi from the watchlords forum has a source who has told him that Renato has been sold and that Invicta bought up the Tourbillons that Mink couldn’t afford.

UPDATE 11:20 PM: So the big announcement is actually that Michael Davis is getting his own webs how? Jesus, these Home Shopping TV guys are like the rap moguls that run their labels out of the parents basement. Move over Skelton – Davis After Dark is here to challenge you on LiveStream. Watch the throne!

I still wonder if an Invicta takeover of Renato is eminent. I hope so – I wanna buy Renatos at JC Penny and Costco.

May that big announcement be that Renato has ‘joined’ the Invicta Watch Group?

INVICTA, I mean Imperious, is headed back to ShopNBC on February 14th with an “upgraded” version of the X-Wing and Man-O-War. The Gearhead and Jailbait Jailbreak are nowhere in sight. While there was much speculation that Ustream host Jim Skelton was the man behind Imperious, you have to wonder if those two ‘game changing’ and ‘class dominating’ designs that are not updated or appearing could be Skelton’s only contribution to the brand.

If you ask me that X-Wing looks a lot like the redesigned Bolt Zeus which, according to some sources, seems to have tanked.

The show on Valentine’s Day will also be the premier of a new face for Invicta Imperious, former Atlanta Falcon Jamal “Dirty Bird” Anderson. He’s been hired as the Brand Ambassador which is odd that he’s presenting. And I thought most BAs were still active in their respective specialties?

Anderson’s debut on ShopNBC marks the three year anniversary of his arrest for felony cocaine possession and a misdemeanor marijuana charge. It has also been revealed that the Georgia Department of Revenue is claiming he owes $102,797.06 for the 2007 tax year.

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One can only imagine the stories that Anderson and Davis can swap at the company pot luck. The Jailbird and the Dirty Bird… You just can’t make this stuff up.

EVEN though Jim Skelton has been reduced to “hosting” a Ustream show, he still feels the need to lash out at Tim Temple. Posted on Watchgeeks was a thread entitled Presentation Skills Advice for All TV Hosts wherein the poster questions the behavior of TV presenters that fawn all over the product as disingenuous.

Moby Dickweed surfaces to add his two cents to the discussion. And what he states is revealing on several levels:

You can ask Michael.. I kiss no one’s butt, and I’ll be brutally honest about the products that I am asked to sell. If I lose the inter-office battle to air an item (again.. I no longer have to battle about this these days), I have been known to even go as far as to mock the product on the show. Of course that is an EXTREME case (remember the faux chrono?? Remember when they tried to slip one single Stauer into my show???).

Skelton seems to be stating that he was trying to exercise more control over what product aired. This was reportedly the same mistake that Temple supposedly made which ultimately led to his dismissal. This would seemingly contradict Skelton’s initial statements that the breakup was mutual – something that anyone with a brain in their head knows was not true. But one has to wonder if his behavior on WG and taking of fights to the SNBC airwaves; his alleged misuse of personal information and his other on air antics and statements didn’t lea to his demise. Maybe it all came down to arguing over product.

His next statement of “have(ing) been known to even go as far as to mock the product on the show” probably didn’t put him in the good graces of management. It also seems to suggest that if he was bold enough to “mock the product” that when news of Temple’s return to SNBC became public that his erratic behavior that I detailed and was attacked for was surely his “mocking” of the network brass.

I am also surprised that Michael Davis would allow Skelton to dismiss Stauer considering Invicta shares airtime with the brand. It’s funny, I don’t disagree that Stauer is a real stretch, yet Skelton ignoring the fact that he was there to sell seem to be what got him tossed out. Temple gets it and that’s why he has his job back.

And it’s why Skelton is on Ustream.

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.