If Barry Diller’s new home shopping network Q2 looks like a news network, it won’t be by accident. Q2 has hired network news execs to program the channel, which is set to launch in May.
Making the jump from news to shopping are Jeffrey Gaspin, most recently vice president of prime time programming and development for NBC News, and Clayton Gsell, senior operations producer for Fox News.
Gaspin will serve as senior VP, programming; Gsell was named veepee, broadcast operations. For its chief financial officer position, Q2 went into the TV station business and hired Ann Sardini, vice prexy and controller, WWOR-TV New York.
“We are trying to bring a more editorial approach to home shopping,” said Gaspin, “and not just put product on TV to order it.”
As for his own decision to make the leap from network news to home shopping, Gaspin said, “There are a lot of development executives in news, but not a lot who can come up with new concepts for TV like Q2. I could do things that have been done before or things that are brand new to me and everyone in the business.”
Gaspin will be responsible for developing programming around Q2’s lifestyle categories.
Unlike many home shopping channels, which usually just show product after product, Q2 will carry programs dedicated to certain products in hopes of creating appointment TV.
“Is it different from news?” Gaspin asked. “Look at the ‘Today’ show. Many parts are about lifestyle or family issues. The difference is, we are providing the ultimate service. Not only are we introducing the person, but selling his product, as well.
“Granted, we’re not covering Russian-American summits.”