A one-time on-air host for Home Shopping Network is suing the giant St. Petersburg-based omnichannel retailer for breach of contract a day after it was sold to rival QVC.
Akos Jankura — known as “The Solutionist” — is the host of My Cool Inventions, a radio show that markets listener-submitted inventions. Many of those products were sold through its website, MyCoolGadgets.com.
Jankura also serves as CEO of Inventures International. A native of Canada, His inventions and opinions have been featured in the The Wall St. Journal and The Martha Stewart Show. Jankura was also recognized in 2011 as Best Live Shopping On Air Guest at the Electronic Retailing Association event, and recently served as a judge at the Palm Beach Film Festival.
In a suit filed July 7 in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, Jankura claims that HSN contacted him in 2015 about creating a similar invention-focused show on its network. Later that year, HSN launched American Dreams, with Jankura serving as one of the on-air marketing partners and hosts.
By April 2017 The relationship between HSN and Jankura hit a rough patch, purportedly because HSN believed John Cremeans, Jankura’s business partner (also known as “The Doctor of Shopology”), had begun selling a similar product via a competitor.
HSN terminated the contract with Jankura, and later Jankura entered a new agreement with Evine Live, which is also an HSN competitor.
HSN then threatened litigation against both Jankura and Evine.
But the lawsuit, filed by plaintiffs Jankura and Inventures International, came one day after HSN announced it was being purchased by QVC in a $2.1 billion deal.
Jankura is accusing HSN of breach of contract.
While the lawsuit claims Jankura is a Pinellas County resident – records show he owns a home in St. Pete Beach – a search on Inventure’s domain name gives an Ontario address. Jankura’s St. Pete Beach home does not have a homestead exemption, according to property appraiser records.