Jewelry Television Eliminates 215 Jobs

Jewelry Television announced Friday that it eliminated 215 jobs as part of a restructuring the company said is needed to improve its competitive position during the economic downturn, according to media reports.

The network also plans to put the Shop At Home facility and equipment it acquired in 2006 for $17 million in Nashville on the market, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. No sales price has been established.

The shopping network, which sells fine jewelry and loose gemstones on television and the Internet, eliminated 150 jobs at its Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters, the newspaper reports. The positions range from supervisors to vice presidents. Sixty-five employees in Nashville were notified two weeks earlier that their positions were being phased out. In total, about 10 percent of its work force, which consists of more than 2,000 persons.

There are 25 technology and e-commerce support personnel who remain in Nashville and will be relocated to a smaller facility once the 70,000-square-foot Shop At Home building is sold, the newspaper reports. In March, Jewelry Television ceased broadcast operations at Shop At Home, a sister television network it acquired from E.W. Scripps, parent company of the News Sentinel.

The company reportedly said that affected employees will receive severance packages based on tenure as well as outplacement and transitional services.

“The economy is not within our control; however, we have a responsibility to implement a strategic plan that adequately addresses an increasingly competitive environment,” Tim Matthews, chief executive officer and president of Jewelry Television, reportedly said in a statement Friday. Our primary objective is to provide stability to the remaining majority of our employee base and continue delivering great jewelry and gemstones at value prices to millions of Americans.”

Jewelry Television airs live cable and satellite programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company, which also sells jewelry and gems on its Web site, said its TV network is the 11th largest fine jewelry retailer in the United States, distributed to approximately 58 million full-time households. It also claims to be the largest retailer of loose gemstones in the world.