From 112 Can Openers to a $12 Billion Industry

By Brianne Kimmel

Bob Circosta Image

With more than 20,000 hours of live selling on television and more than 75,000 separate product presentations, TV’s original home shopping host, Bob Circosta, has much to share with students at his alma matter.

As a Kent State graduate and television’s Billion Dollar Man Circosta broadens JMC students’ perspectives during his visit Feb. 28 to March 2. Circosta, a 1972 Telecommunications grad, shared his story and life lessons with current Kent State students. “I went through a great deal of trial and error to get where I am today,” Circosta said. “I started out as an emcee for a Sea World show in Ohio, then a dolphin trainer in San Diego, and I finally got my big break by selling 112 can openers over the air in Florida.” Circosta explained the correlation between flexibility and success to students. “Don’t limit yourself to opportunities, or they may just pass you by,” he said.

Circosta shared the in’s and out’s of the television home shopping industry. “It’s the perfect combination of broadcasting and retail,” Circosta said. He believes Kent State students are already positioned to succeed in the television shopping industry. Technology is a priority in the industry, and Kent State students understand technology.” The television home shopping industry requires all types of professionals: public relations, advertising, marketing, broadcasting and sales.  Kent State students are exactly what the industry is looking for, “these students are receiving a second to none education… it’s incredible,” Circosta said.

After working with the Home Shopping Network from 1977 to 1994, Circosta started the only on- air sales training facility, Bob Circosta Communications, Inc., in Clearwater, Fla.  Some of Circosta’s first clients included Vanna White, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon and other celebrities. He trains entrepreneurs, beauty industry leaders like Lancome and Benefit and on- air shopping hosts. “I’ve sold over a billion dollars worth of products, but I feel like I haven’t worked a day in my life… I love what I do and that makes all the difference,” Circosta said.

In addition to running Bob Circosta Communications, Inc., Circosta continues to sell products on HSN and speaks at universities and business conferences across the country. “There really is nothing like the home shopping industry, it combines two of America’s pastimes for a safe and fun experience.”

Visit the Web for more information about Bob Circosta Communications, Inc. or Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Brianne Kimmel is a senior advertising major and marketing assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

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