Ellen Rubin, a spokeswoman for QVC, said that hosts are paid a fixed salary no matter how much they sell. But Mr. Velez, a 34-year-old from Astoria, Queens, who is now pursuing an acting career, said yesterday that hosts are under pressure to sell. A host's salary is not formally based on sales commissions, he said, but contended that sales volumes affected raises, bonuses and contract renewals.
Mr. Velez said that as a late-night host, he earned $80,000 a year. Some hosts working the prime-time periods earned over $500,000, he said, because of their higher sales totals.