After getting kicked out of its studio and shutting down its financial-news television show, 5th Avenue Channel Corp. will get into the home-shopping business.
The Miami-based company, which had shut down Net Financial News
last fall after landlord Globecast America locked it out of a studio, cut a deal with Paxson Communications Corp. last month to distribute 5th Avenue Channel Shopping
to Pax TV satellite and cable homes.
5th Avenue also has a new management team: CEO Melvin Rosen and executive vice president Eric Lefkowitz resigned last month, but both remain on the company's board. Sandy Goldman, a former Skymall.com, PictureMall and Cable News Network executive, was named president and CEO.
"We all agreed if I came on board, it was important that new management was coming in, and old management is going out," Goldman said.
5th Avenue has a troubled past. The company, originally a wireless-cable provider, had once planned to launch a luxury goods infomercial channel backed by Ivana Trump. After dropping that plan, it distributed its Net Financial News
program on Comcast Corp. cable systems and the now-defunct America's Voice Network last year, but was dropped by both companies for nonpayment.
Last year, two former executive vice presidents with the company also accused Lefkowitz of abuse, and obtained temporary restraining orders against him. Both men, Adam Taylor and Ron Wishna, left the company.
5th Avenue, which was delisted by the NASDAQ in January, remains under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for making alleged misrepresentations in press releases, according to agency filings.
Despite all of the baggage, Goldman said he's optimistic about the company's future, thanks to the Pax deal.
"It's a turnaround situation that's very, very feasible," he said.
The Pax TV paid program, 5th Avenue Channel Shopping, markets jewelry, watches, coins and other products, Goldman said. It debuted on Aug. 18, and runs from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.
5th Avenue Channel Shopping
reaches about 20 million cable and satellite homes in areas where viewers can't receive Pax TV from one of the company's television stations.
5th Avenue continues to operate a retail division that supplies the Body Jewels teen cosmetics line to retailers, along with the EZ-Fill permanent gas cap for cars. It also operates a small wireless-cable system in Wisconsin.
Goldman said the company is considering its options regarding continuing those businesses. "Everything is under review going forward," he said.
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