By  on August 24, 2012

Saying that HSN has come a long way since its founding in 1977 would be a gross understatement.

HSN was born as a fluke when an advertiser on a Clearwater, Fla., AM radio station couldn’t pay his bill. The station owner accepted 112 electric can openers in lieu of cash, which he promptly auctioned over the air. The can openers sold out and led to a regularly scheduled shopping show, “Suncoast Bargaineers.” The concept in 1981 moved to local access cable in the Tampa area as “Home Shopping Channel.” It graduated the following year to a regular local Tampa area cable system. Home Shopping Channel launched nationwide as Home Shopping Club, broadcasting 24 hours a day on cable and local TV. From there, Home Shopping Network began attracting attention. It went public in 1986 on the American Stock Exchange, sold a controlling interest to Liberty Media in 1993, and caught the fancy of Barry Diller, former chairman of Fox Inc., who in 1995 acquired HSN and became its chairman. He is now chairman and senior executive of IAC/InterActiveCorp. HSN was completely spun off of IAC in 2008.

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