RadioTimes publisher casts off shopping channel business

Update | All change for the shopping channels owned by RadioTimes publisher Immediate Media.

Jewellery Maker is in the process of being sold back to Gemporia, the current name of the business that owns Gems TV, from which it was originally spun off from in 2015. A statement from Immediate Media says the channel's sale is expected to complete in early December, but that "until then and beyond, it is business as usual" for the channel.

Back in 2015, Immediate Media's arrival in the TV and e-commerce sectors was seen as a “significant step” in the company's roadmap to "drive growth and adjacent revenue opportunities". Two years ago, Immediate Media was itself sold to Germany's Hubert Burda Media.

Meanwhile, responding to speculation over the future of sister channel Sewing Quarter, following reports that the channel's current black tag sale was actually a closing down sale, the channel's Neil Garratt has confirmed in a Facebook post on the "Sewing Quarter Fans" page that talks are ongoing regarding the channel's future and potential sale following Immediate Media's decision to exit the TV market, adding: "in the meantime Sewing Quarter will remain on-air and all orders will be fulfilled."

The channel was launched in February 2017 by Immediate Media as the UK's first teleshopping channel for sewing and quilting and has been available on Freeview as a part-time service throughout this time, alongside distribution on other TV and web platforms. The channel was seen as fitting in with the publisher's portfolio of specialist magazines, with opportunities for cross-promotion.

Under common ownership, Sewing Quarter and Jewellery Maker have operated a shared red button service on Freeview, whereby viewers with compatible connected TV sets or boxes can access internet streams of both channels via the red button on either Freeview channel 73 or 74. This has allowed Sewing Quarter to reach viewers outside of its regular Freeview terrestrial broadcast hours of 8am-1pm and enabled Jewellery Maker, which on channel 74 currently only reaches some viewers on Freeview, to increase its coverage via its streaming service.

Update 27/11/2019 23:14: Added confirmation from Sewing Quarter channel director Neil Garratt above.