MARK SUCKLE JOINS QVC U.K. AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
LONDON--Mark Suckle has been named chief executive of QVC: The Shopping Channel in the U.K. Suckle, who headed his own product development consulting firm, replaced Peter Ridsdale, who ran the channel from its inception. The company's official word is that Ridsdale resigned, but industry analysts said he was forced out because of the channel's continuing high losses. The channel is a joint venture between QVC Inc., based in West Chester, Pa., which owns 80 percent, and British Sky Broadcasting. Analysts said Suckle, a Philadelphia native, who has lived here since 1971, faces an uphill battle. The channel, which was launched in October 1993, reaches only 3.5 million households in the U.K. and continental Europe. At the Edinburgh Television Festival last month, Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive of QVC Inc., admitted the channel is "losing money like a sieve." The U.K. shopping channel lost about $23 million in its first year. Diller said the channel would move to cut costs and boost viewership. QVC needs at least four to five times its current viewership to be profitable, he said. Diller said QVC in the U.K. can be profitable within two years. But analysts questioned this, given the channel's low acceptance by consumers.
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