Women used to appear on TWiT
Women used to appear on TWiT (See the long hair)

The fallout from the Apocolypse of 2014 is still being felt today, eleven months later. The positive network effect (of the former TNT, and other shows) was overlooked by TWiT’s founder and CEO. Losing those programs and people is now having the opposite network effect on the failing network and this loss is too big for even Doubting Saint Thomas to deny. Thanks to the hard work of Tom, Sarah, Jason and Iyaz, the admittedly expensive show TNT finally broke even in the 2013 ledger, even under TWiT’s skewed accounting practices. This feat was a huge boon to TWiT finances. TNT was a daily show that anchored the live views. A whole host of internet stars were brought in by Merritt, unheralded ancillary shows were popular, much of the  audience from CNET came over, shows from The Social Hour to Framerate brought in audiences and a percentage of all those show’s audiences became TWiT viewers. All this at no cost to TWiT as the TNT show broke even.
It must be said, this was a commendable plan to grow the network. A plan developed in a day gone by. A plan that worked as they grew without fail, year after year.

         Sample Invoice
Fake Invoice – *NOT REAL*

But that was not enough for the new TWiT, they wanted all that money. As everyone who was not asleep under a rock knows, in the interest of saving a few bucks, the hallmark news program was torpedoed to save a few thousand dollars a year. The loss of the bulwark show had immediate repercussions.  Friends of TWiT were friends no more, chatroom members were banned for speaking out, other shows were cancelled, TWiT birthed its own competition and no new shows were working. Today, no one at TWiT seems able to right the ship as they neglected to employ anyone with a management background. Money is being thrown at scammers who use phrases like “increasing brand image to vertically integrate programming.”
My friends, the emperor has no clothes.

More money coming his way
More money coming his way

Now the falling dominoes have reached the previously untouchable, This Week in Tech. The show that seemed invincible, is not what it once was. Week after week, more and more people unsubscribe. Firing Chad seemed like a stretch as Leo blamed anyone and everyone (including TD.N) but himself. Jason has been thrust into the glaring spotlight and we hope he is not next to fall on his sword.  Fabled tech hero, John C. Dvorak has been begged and wooed to appear more often on the flagship show and other less noteworthy voices have been offered money to be on the program, but nothing is working. Desperation is settling in. The show with the most ads and highest downloads is falling and falling fast.  We all know that TWiT was keeping the network afloat. Can they survive without its success? How long until someone comes up with a competing show that deals the death blow? Maybe Kevin Rose or Dvorak himself will do it. They will have to sell a lot of shirts to make up the lost revenue, maybe V-necks will help, I like V-necks.

*Update* The invoice is not real, it was meant to illustrate how podcasts are billed. Twit does not have the final numbers on DL’s until two or three weeks after taping. Totaldrama has estimated CPM rates, not actual.

30 thoughts on “THIS WEEK IN TECH: NOW SINKING!”

    1. People will do some things out of loyalty for close friends. But they mostly act in their own interests when it comes to their careers and money.

      So anyone thinking many guests wouldn’t appear, just because of Tom, or Brian, or Chad? That’s nonsense. Guests look at
      measures like the number of hits, or new Twitter followers, they gain. They have ways to tell how worthwhile an appearance is, without ex-hosts or other factors being involved.

      The bottom line is many guests no longer appear to consider these appearances have enough boosting effect to be worth
      giving up 2 hours of their Sunday afternoon or evening for. Ouch!

      Of course there’s secondary factors, such as how he treats guests, or the sorts of language he uses about women and
      other races (funny accents and all.) How long does declaring “I’m a liberal!” buy you a pass with that stuff?

      He often acts like it’s the guests honor to be on his show. Like he’s doing them a massive favor. Don’t you know how important and influential his show is?! Then there’s the insults – either direct or indirect. An example of a regular indirect insult is to say to the board op “So you asked all these other people first?”

      Suggesting a guest was 20th in the line, and they’re scraping the barrel to have them, is probably not the best way to endear them to you. But, now they know their place, they should give further thanks that he’s given them this amazing opportunity. Thank you Soup, Thank you! That’s right, Gina Trapani levels of insincere sycophancy are expected if you want to be a regular panelist!

      His lack of respect is often evident, sometimes even before shows, given how prone they are to starting on time. The bottom line is, if others dared to treat him in the same manner, do you think he’d have something to say about it? Oh, you bet he would. You can’t continue to treat people in these ways and expect there to be no consequences. Eventually people get sick of it. Guests have had many years to observe how he acts, and word spreads.

      It’s bad enough being on a show full of 4 minute long native ads, or listening to someone who has the tendency to talk
      about themselves, and enjoy the sound of their own voice, a little too much. But, when a guest is sitting there for no
      reward, what’s the point? To stroke the ego of this abusive clown? He sits there earning a rather large sum of cash, but
      expects others to do the exact same thing for free?

      He’s neither well liked, nor regarded as influential enough, for them to bother any more. Unless someone’s doing a promotion blitz, and want to plug something, he’s going to have to do that most unpleasant of things – start paying people. Not working? Then here’s a top tip for him – Try offering less insulting amounts of money. You think Dvorak drives up there for $50? Try adding a zero to the end of that and you’d probably be closer to getting into the ballpark.

      But, if that fails, there’s always Padre as a guest, right? C’mon down Bobby (Cue “The price Is Right” theme.. )

      The reason for the difficulty in getting guests wasn’t Chad, and it’s not Jason. Nor is it the phases of the moon, nor the time of year. The reason is looking at him in the mirror. And that trend’s only going in one direction, long term.

      All the effort to make sure he remained “80-90% of revenue”, and that his “flagship show” remained the focus, have paid
      off. But perhaps not in the way he planned. It’s given his critics (or trolls, as he prefers to label all of them) one easy place where they can observe his decline in action every Sunday.

      Fortunately I’m even spared viewing that, since Total Drama’s started posting updates on the crash in progress. And we
      know things are only going to get better. How long before he starts lashing out and blaming his beloved CEO for the
      decline? You know it’s gotta happen as he starts to run out of other people to blame!

      (grabs popcorn)

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      1. nice comment. we also no longer listen to twit, and stayed tuned here to see its collapse. Padre is really sickening creature. One of his comments was twit misuses women, and it goes for the catholic church also, appoints only men, like recent Chicago appointment. Twit and the catholic church will always misuse women. And they get away with it, and always justify their misuse of women. The church does not care about equality, that is evil in their eyes.
        I mean bs is bs, why waste time, it will never change.
        Twit has become meaningless, no longer has any insight into almost …..everything except money, twit and the church.

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  1. It is a foolish man that refuses to listen to warnings. No that is not right, he does listen to those warnings and then blatantly ignores them or excludes those that warn of the terrible road he is strutting down, kind of like John Travolta playing Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, holding a couple of paint cans in each hand and probably singing a Bee Gee’s song to himself to obscure those warnings.

    He seems to ban, either publicly or privately anyone that indicates that something may be wrong and like a blinkered horse he ignores the world around him. He ignores a News Director that has operated his own agenda, has driven away viewers with his statements and comments and his ineptitude.

    Yes the show is ripe for failure but as the show that acts like a king pin on a trailer it is what holds the company together and there are so many cracks in that king pin now that one day the show will steer one direction and the company itself will continue on in a catastrophic crash.

    Leo’s probably left it too late, just way too late, to do the remedial maintenance. I’m sure that he is desperately trying to recover the glory of 16-18 months ago. I believe that within the next two weeks Mike Elgan will tell everyone that he is moving on, that he has itchy feet to travel. Possibly the statement “the visit to the Middle East has left Amira and myself feeling the urge to enjoy more of that wonderful lifestyle and it is time to live in that region for a while after all I have always made it clear that my family life to roam from place to place”.

    The Elgan Grift is almost complete, they have done what they can and gambled that they could scam the viewers of TWiT that he is a competent news person, and he knows that he has failed to pull it off with the exception of the one or two people that really has to be conned!

    I am sure that Sarah Lane will succeed him as News Director but I don’t think there is enough left to fix and deep down I just don’t think she will be capable and Leo has alienated so many people that it may be too late. We all know that the Elgan format does not work and will Sarah manage to find a new, fresh design that works and does not look like a rip off of a rival.

    With TWiT fighting on life support and I am sure This Week in Trolling (whoops Google) losing viewers (I haven’t seen figures but I am sure that I am not the only one that now chooses not to watch because of the Whining about Trolls) will it also be losing viewers. Can they survive with the $13.80 for the Padre’s corner or will he decide that he needs to go to Rome a little sooner and be another rat deserting the sinking ship?

    I believe that TWiT needs to scythe through the shows and concentrate the themes. There are too many shows that are the same meat but with a different gravy splatted on it. Too many ‘vertical shows’ that repeat the same old crap.

    No need for This Week in Google and a show just about Android. No need for a show just about iPad app’s, what about iPhone and iPad App’s? No need for a separate App Arena for Android and no need for a Padre’s corner and Marketing Mavericks.

    What about having midweek or evening show where people can either email in questions about Tech and have them sit and deal with the questions. Sure they have “The Tech Guy” but it really needs more people that know more. Why not have a show that runs for an hour or two where they get questions via email and then they focus on those problems and answer what they can and with enough detail where they help the person instead of washing over it and guessing the answer.

    TWiT’s problem is it is trying to have too many shows and anything that ‘glows’ just gets lost in the background light of those that are merely burnt out embers of failure and some of those that would get better ratings are not promoted or not given time to go from a faint glow that can be mistaken for failure into a roaring success!

    Trouble is Leo Laporte is Toxic, he refuses to accept criticism, he treats those that are critical or offer pearls of wisdom as being ignorant or as trolling.

    We all know it must drive some of the co-hosts of shows like Windows Weekly that they have all this news but can’t tell anyone because to explain it properly will leave it a show talking about a couple of things and skimming over the subjects.

    Sadly, blindly canceling shows to cut costs rather than trying to fix what is wrong and blowing on that barely alive glow gently and bringing it to life. Instead we have a CEO that is too busy wanting to blow on something else and probably in the server room and a business owner that refuses to see that there is something wrong and believes that the two foot of water and rising he is wading through is merely a pool of dog pee and not that the ship is sinking and sinking fast!

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    1. I don’t see Dvorak doing a competing show, as I think his interest in tech is limited in interest….he writes for PCMag and gets a good paycheck from that…but for anything else, he just wants to focus on No Agenda.

      And he should, because No Agenda is a great show (not every ep. is great though) and has an audience that actually pays John & Adam enough (thousands per week usually) just to talk. The show has no ads, and if it wasn’t quality stuff, donations would stop.

      I wouldn’t be shocked if John & Adam both bring in $100k at least from No Agenda annually, before taxes.

      Good for them.

      As for Leo and TWiT, I personally haven’t listened in almost 3 months. About the same time I started following this blog. It wasn’t just this blog though – the TWiT shows were just boring and had the same no-name lousy guests over and over.

      No one important wants to be on TWiT anymore. The fascination wore off.

      I think Leo’s obsession with turning the company into some big network turned off guests too. I mean, obviously people tune in to hear roundtable discussions – not for Leo alone. That’s what The Tech Guy is for.

      So answer me this – if I’m Patrick Norton or John C. Dvorak, what’s the incentive for me to appear regularly and keep Leo’s numbers up by making the panels interesting? I’m thinking those two show up out of pity/as a favor.

      Lesser known people (yet industry pros who have been doing this for years) have even fewer reasons to appear – they likely get paid a couple hundred bucks at most to appear…if that.

      Only no-name people show up now, as they are desperate to get their tech careers started and think TWiT offers some form of legitimacy.


      I think this site is right in predicting another big announcement shortly – likely for staff/show changes in 2015.

      Wouldn’t shock me if Elgummo is out and TNT is scaled back even more. (TN2N is likely gonna get axed too). Wouldn’t shock me if Sarah gets axed as well.

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      1. The podcast “Sleep With Me” describes itself as “a bedtime story that progressively gets more boring until you fall asleep.”
        Twit is using this story line, listen for just a few minutes and you, two, will be bored to sleep, and with twit, you get fat scary monsters and nightmares at no extra charge.

        ONLY reason I could come up with that anyone would listen to twit.

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  2. whats with the pre record of TNT tomorrow 11/17??? is this the end of Gum??? Is TWaT banking TNT ??? I thought TNT was all about breaking news?? Soup are you there?? opps, sorry Soup is busy stuffing his face with thigh meat.

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  3. I unsubscribed from all of the shows except mac break weekly. The only reason I stay with it is because I really like Andy ihnatko. I used to subscribe to just about all of the twit shows. But between my disenchantment with Leo and the rudeness of the chat room, I just cant bear to listen to the shows anymore. They are all so bloated and cover most of the same news/subjects ad nauseam.

    Most of the people I wanted to listen to are gone. Very few of those who are left have much to say that I care enough to overcome the problems with their formats and guests I can’t really relate to.

    I would have liked one show with a Mac, pc, search, social media, tech news and a how to segment that lasted all together for an hour or an hour and a half. Instead I got 6 or 7 shows that go on for nearly two hours….

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    1. Just goes to show TWiT is the only show on the network that pays the bills, and Leo vastly overestimated his ability to turn that one show into a programming network megacorp with a pithy budget and too much control from him and Lisa.

      They should have NEVER left the cottage.

      But, like his fascination with Apple and the latest gadget, for Leo everything is about the image. All style, no substance.

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  4. I have been watching and listening to the TWiT network from a land down under for many years now and am dismayed, annoyed – well down right pissed off – that my weekly tech shows have gone south at a rapid rate of knots, since the move from the cottage.

    Since a lot of live shenanigans that go on are either in the middle of the night or early morning , I am beginning to see a lot of what I suspected was happening in the well crafted posts and comments.

    So the shows that I generally watch are twit, twig and occasionally the tech guy. As a veteran of the IT industry there is no way I am going to listen to Kim Kommando(!!), so what are the alternatives out there?

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    1. Agreed. Since XMas 2013 it has been downhill all the way. I never watch live, so this blog has been a great source of info. I found it when I searched for reasons on why Chad was booted out. I was never a big Chad fan, but it seemed like such an unexpected and sudden departure that I felt there had to be more to it. Normally when people leave shows on good terms they at least get to say something on-air, right? Like “this is my last show guys”, not silence and cover ups. Very odd.

      Anyway… other shows…

      Tom Merrit’s DTNS has remained good. He has kept doing a show like TNT as it was in 2013, before it got Gum’d up. Iyaz even makes an appearance every now and again.

      I also listen to What the Tech, although the host Andrew can be really irritating, and the intro music is deafening and crap. Paul rehashes most of Windows Weekly sans MJ and reduced to 60 mins. Semi-recommend, but when they go on about how much they spend on internet/music/video/game subscriptions per month I turn it off (“Ohhh, I spend $100 on Internet!”, “well, I spend $300 on cable!!”, STFU I think)

      Trapani’s old In Beta show is still going. Kevin P can be pretty funny (when his analogies don’t miss the mark completely) and the Mozilla lady has a rather dry sense of humor, though she doesn’t talk much and occasionally does the “my wife” thing.

      I have other tech shows in my RSS feeds, but they are probably too niche. I’d be interested in hearing alternatives too now that I’m unsubscribing from the Twit network. Thinking about it, I dunno why I listen to podcasts, they all piss me off one way or another!

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      1. I’ve been listening to MacCast and I really like Adam’s delivery, clearly he researches each show and incorporates listener feedback , he has presented information that if Leo had been listening it would have helped him to answer several Mac related TTG questions. There is no TWiT podcast, other than Ryan and Patrick’s computer hardware show that I feel presents unbiased content relative to the shows premise.

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  5. If that invoice is legitimate (and I have no reason to believe it isn’t), then it speaks volumes about the company’s financial situation. The invoice is dated November 16, and the payment due date is November 17. That gives the sponsor a whopping 24 hours to pay up or be in default!

    I’ve never heard of a business other than one hanging by a thread that insists a client pay within 24 hours of the issuance of an invoice.

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  6. The show deserves to die at this point. I only tune in when Dvorak appears. I really DON’T WANT to dislike Leo. Despite the distortion field being perpetuated by the clueless, unskilled, miserable cunt, he has to realize at his core that there’s a fucking valid reason so many of his former fans are upset. He should be fairly well off financially (if he stops squandering) and can find someone else. For God’s sake, fire and break up with Yoko and save the Goddamned network that YOU worked to build. Jesus I’m sick of this shit.

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  7. Regarding the invoice (if its a real invoice). Those numbers are not good but help explain why there are 6 commercials that last 4 minutes each. Even so the are probably just barely paying the rent and staff at this point.

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    1. The short one day due date is most likely the result of accounting tricks to extend payments. I really doubt Soup & Co are getting paid at anything less than 30 days net, the one day due after invoice date is most likely the result of the accounting practice called (EOAP), end of accounting period. EOAP is collecting all invoices during a given monthly period, then start aging the collected invoices per payment terms, usually 90 days, that’s what Alcoa is doing to its vendors, it adds a average of 15 days onto the invoicecd payment cycle. At best TWiT is getting paid @ 30 days. My feeling is the advertisers are in the drivers seat concerning payment terms

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  8. • I find Mike Elgan difficult to watch. So I don’t.

    • I can’t stand Lisa, so even if I hear her voice in the background, I’m out of there. Fast.

    • The discussion on yesterday’s TWiT (11/16/14) about net neutrality was one of the best I’ve heard. It framed the issue in my mind much more clearly than it had been. The two ISP owners with differing views both made good points, and I now see it as an interesting complex issue.

    • I would rather see Jolie O’Dell or Film_Girl (or Dwight Silverman for that matter)) on TWiT than Myriam, but you can’t get everything you want. Actually, I would rather see anyone than Myriam. She didn’t say much during the net neutrality segment, so there was that.

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  9. Adam asked JCD if he’d be on TWiT Sunday. JCD sain maybe next month. To that Adam said something like maybe sometime next year. I think Leo has finally banned JCD. It makes sense. With ninth tier guests JCD would easily reveal the lack of knowledge the bottom of the barrel guests and Leo have.

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    1. Why then did Soup&Co buy $5,000 Dells?? Can’t edit content if the contents not there, so the Dell’s will be used to edit Soups countless in studio sexual advances on his COHO and any unsupecting female passing thru.

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  10. I try to watch some programing occasionaly. I find it is a series of nothing like it used to be. I am so tired of Soup interrupting a guest about to make a point, or finish their thought for them. He talks over them, neither is audible. Shut Up and let someone talk soup!
    From the beginning I remember him at the end of The tech guy show, he would talk to the chat room. He continually reiterated about how he had dreams of trying to turn twit into another assembled Screen Savers show. “I would like to get Sara” etc.
    What a sham it started in a positive note, and looks like it is going into the ground.
    It will be interesting where 2015 lands this Twit network, but the real moneymaker according to Soup is the radio show. Maybe just do that from home huh?

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