Mike Elgan takes credit for the hard work of Tom Merritt

This cake was not earned by the current wreck of a staff at TNT. The glory belongs to Tom Merritt.
This cake was not earned by the current wreck of a staff at TNT. The glory belongs to Tom Merritt and the previous generation of TNT hosts for the 1200th show.

Mike Elgan trumpeted the 1200th “Tech News Today” show like he had anything to do with its success.

Not a word was spoken about the legendary groundwork laid by host Tom Merritt, Sarah Lane and Iyaz Akhtar.

Which leaves us only with the fact that Elgum is a shameless douche. And this sad cake is just an example of the empty-chair, empty-head attitude that reigns at the “new” TNT. So we at TotalDrama hope you choke on your cake, Gum. You didn’t earn it.

70 thoughts on “Mike Elgan takes credit for the hard work of Tom Merritt”

  1. I watched the first couple of shows after Tom left. They were so bad, I tuned out. For curiosity, I watched the show last week and I was astounded. Not only was there no improvement, Elgan actually got worse. I used to have the network on all the time and now I don’t listen to it at all. The downward spiral of the TWIT network began when Lisa starting making decisions. She is as unqualified to be the CEO of TWIT as Yoko Ono was to the Beatles success. The Yoko comparison is warranted. John Lennon was in love and was unable to see the damage she was causing. Leo Laporte must have the same blind spot for Lisa. He simply can’t understand that a network runs on personality and can not be carried by one person (Leo). For the network to be celebrating a milestone of one of its flagship shows is ridiculous. The show was build by talented and charismatic people. It has been destroyed by the useless and robot-like Mike Elgan. So Sad.

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    1. I agree with this sentiment to a certain extent. I don’t know that Leo has a blindspot; at times I feel he just does not give a fuck.

      Fuck Off Elgum! Out of respect you should have given credit to those that had served before you.

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    2. Clicktroll McGum can only be blamed for so much, he couldn’t have murdered TNT if he hadn’t been hired, and retained, by the people in charge.

      Thinking back, I wonder what sort of ultimatum Sarah pulled to get out of this show in early 2014.

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  2. Thanks Big Jim. Nice to have an opinion from someone who actually has done a podcast segment. At least I think I saw you somewhere.

    Mike can’t think, can’t talk. It’s a shell show to extract money from advertisers. Who can’t understand that they are getting no sales from whatever money has been spent.

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  3. Looking at that set, especially the hideous blue-backlit brick wall and the Made in China “antique” furniture really makes me question the design sense of those who run TWiT.

    Technology is all about what is modern, and what the future holds, not about the past. Yet the TWiT studio looks like something from the California Gold Rush.

    I can’t imagine how much they must have spent on that hideously bad set, either. Green screens would have cost so much less, and would have been so much more useful in helping keep the studio looking modern and cutting-edge.

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  4. I just noticed they’ve brought in Myriam Joire. Didn’t she get fired from Pebble? I’m not really a fan of hers.

    I dont think there is anyone who thinks things have gotten better since Lisa arrived.

    Do you think they will eventually have to move out of the studio? They’re hardly using it for what they originally wanted to when they took over the place.

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    1. If you don’t watch Myriam, you will love her, he, it. I think Myriam is one of the most intelligent and insightful people on Twit, I just can’t take the gender confusion.

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  5. Mike is the kind of guy that is always above it all. Despite all evidence to the contrary, even to himself he will not accept it. His manner of seeming more authoritative is to be “above it all”. Utilizing smug delivery and an aloof demeanor, he can fain intelligence. You can never change him, he will never acknowledge the real self, which is notably sub-par, even for a technology enthusiast.

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  6. Mach,
    Myriam is a great technology writer. She was the only reason to listen to the engadget mobile podcast. Since she left, it is non-existent. If people cannot stand her extra-ordinary appearance, at least listen to her, she has the background, passion and expertise to cover technology news more than Mike and Marone. I would wish that L&L inc. would have put her as the face of Twit. Quality would be expanded by at least seven fold.

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  7. Leo is a genius.

    You lot hate TWiT, and yet you’re TWiT’s biggest watchers. Your watching adds to TWiTs downloads and viewerships, which pads the advertising.


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  8. I think if Elgan gave credit or mention to Tom or Iyaz, he would have been handed his final paycheck by CEO Lisa. That said, I can’t believe he’s still allowed to do TNT. He hasn’t improved much at all since his first day.
    It’s really all quite sad to see TWiT devolve while under the ‘kuntrol’ of the woman currently ‘slobbing the knob’ of her sugar daddy.

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  9. >> Not a word was spoken about the legendary groundwork laid by host Tom Merritt, Sarah Lane and Iyaz Akhtar.

    Just a reminder, TNT started out with four co-hosts. You left out Becky Worley. She was there for several months from the beginning before bailing out for greener pastures at ABC.

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  10. The problem is no one wants to work at twit. If you notice non of tom’s friends have been on twit since he left. Veronica Belmont has told twit to fuck off more then once. No one wants to deal with them. Everyone that was a host on TNT or guest at one time on TNT is now on toms show. That is why most of time you get people you never heard of on twit.

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  11. “Content drives TWiT, not money. Money allows us to hire exceptional hosts, build sets, improve our website and push our network out to every possible platform available but sales is not our number one focus. I actually drive my sales team crazy because I say no more often than I say yes to new advertisers.”
    — Lisa Kentzell 2013

    How’s that working out, Yoko? By the way, love your new Audi.

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  12. Wow I just watched TNT episode 1 and Toms first episode was so far a head of where Mike is now.

    The energy, the fun, people you like delivering and discussing the news.

    Tom from home brought more life to the show than Mike in studio.

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  13. I’ve said this before but I wanna say it again. What I really hoped for from TNT was a refreshed version of Buzz Out Loud.

    When BoL was on regularly, it was amazing. They had a core group of 3 people (plus Jason, right?) and the chemistry between Tom and Molly was what made the show. There was such intelligence in the discussion, you wanted to hear what they thought.

    I never ever got that from Sarah, and didn’t get it much from Becky. When Sarah was with Tom on TNT, I never felt that same back-and-forth that you got between Molly and Tom. It just didn’t spark. I genuinely felt that Sarah never really had anything to say.

    But I was prepared to give it time, for one reason: I heard Buzz Out Loud #1. Tom was horrendous, really awful. He blossomed so much, so quickly. So I figured that they needed some time to bring the old BoL magic to TNT.

    It never really happened though. I really hated it when Tom started hosting remotely. On a personal level he did just as good a job, but there’s still something to be said for everyone sitting together, working out the show together, handing over to each other in the same room. It has a vibe that you never get when your hosts are remote.

    My biggest problem with Tom’s TNT was that there was no logic to the guests they had on. I can still clearly remember at least once every few days, he would ask his guest to discuss a story and the guest would have to say “this isn’t something I know much about” – because they didn’t say “this story about patents is important today, let’s get a writer who knows about patents” – they simply got “other tech writers”. It really didn’t work for me. And it happened so so so often.

    I felt that I never learned anything from Tom’s TNT, the way I did from Tom and Molly’s Buzz Out Loud.

    But I’m still a huge supporter of Tom, cos at least he tries. Any criticisms I have of him are friendly criticisms.

    I can’t say the same about Elgum though. I gave him a chance too, again cos if you listen to Tom’s first ever live podcast, he was truly awful. He sounded like Elgum. I figured, give Elgum 6 months to learn ‘dynamism’ and ‘character’.

    But, my god, the man really has got worse. It is actually quite hard to have a “radio persona”, but it’s a skill that you can learn. You can act or you can bring a livelier part of your personality out. If you actually care about presenting a show in an engaging, thoughtful, fun way, you’ll learn to do it.

    Either Elgum is that stupid that he just can’t do it, or as someone else said, his stock-in-trade is “I am above it all” – he really does think that his smug half-smile cynical say-50-things-when-10-will-do presentation style means he is a more serious journalist.

    But then, he is the guy who said that Facebook is the biggest threat to Apple’s “business model”. Not Apple’s “business”, but its “business model” (selling premium products at very high profit margins) is under threat from Facebook. The man is such a total idiot, but he has an employer, and his employer is the real idiot for not dealing with the wreck he made.

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    1. The Laporte/Kentzel symbiosis resists /resents admitting it has erred. Mr. Elgan undoubtedly has a contract. Should Mr. Laporte and Ms. Kentzel find a creative and cost effective manner to dispose of, or repurpose, Mr. Elgan, they will probably do it in such murderous fashion as to evoke sympathy, for Mr. Elgan, from the harshest of his critics in this forum.

      Just guessin’ and best regards.

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      1. They have no intention of finding a way to dispose of or repurpose Elgan. They are buddies – Leo is always talking about going over to Mike’s for supper and visits and stuff. They honestly think he is a great TNT host – THAT is the problem.

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  14. That was a well thought out intelligent post, are you on the wrong site?

    Sarah: Her weakness is that she doesn’t add a lot to the big issues. When it comes to things like ‘security vs privacy’ or issues like ‘Apple teaming up with IBM.’ But this does not mean she is not smart, she comes at things from a user POV, and she is great at that. She is almost never wrong when it comes to what will catch on and what will not, Snapchat and Pinterest vs Ello and whatever else. She gets that stuff right every time. Her view on (ie) ‘will people pay for HBO when it goes stand-alone?’ will be right. She also injects personality and humor into the show and her mind is quick. Iyaz, is pretty much the exact opposite/compliment to Sarah. Slow, methodical thinker. That’s why Tom picked him.

    Guests: Elgan getting bloggers who researched the story is not better than Tom’s guests that seem to have no rhyme or reason. In theory Gum’s idea should be better, but it is not. I prefer smart people that know nothing about a topic to bloggers who are boring and usually have nothing to add to their own story. Do you really think the Cult of Mac reporter who wrote about the stupid “Apple Car” story has more to say than a smart person who never “researched” the story? I don’t. Blogs ruined news, they all suck. The only good tech reporting is “The Information” and they charge, sometimes Gigaom.

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    1. Nice analysis of Sarah & her contribution – she’s said TC called out of the blue – BS – her agent was hard at work and both called in favors from old friends. L&L started working on her 10 months ago when she was perceived as deliberately sabotaging Elgan – (he does that well enough himself) . The fight about the set, the snipping about ads on IPT, the Reddit cancelation and the ‘retirement’ of TSH – Sarah finally took the hint/ L&L did not like her salary and particularly Yoko felt her ‘off the field’ activities were unbecoming (not too hypocritical) – her Tinder talk was actually a surprise to both Laportes and based on certain biases, she landed on the chopping block. IPT is basically over- no more than 3 or 4 episodes w/ SL left

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    2. Hi Richardya.

      Guests: Elgan getting bloggers who researched the story is not better than Tom’s guests that seem to have no rhyme or reason.

      Totally agree with you there. I would rather have Tom and random guests who actually talk than Elgum and experts who bore me to sleep. The key thing there is, one is a presenter who knows stuff and cares about the news, and has great rapport with his guests, while the other is an inveterate bore who doesn’t even know how to use sentences.

      Of course what I really want is Tom back with Molly, coupled with knowledgeable guests. With the TNT setup as it is, I’m bored out of my head, grinding my jaw at the sheer inanity of Elgum’s every sentence; so when they introduce a guest, I’ve lost interest. I stopped listening ages ago now.

      I guess ultimately, if you’ve got strong tech journalists hosting your daily news show, you don’t really need guests. Tom can handle the news, and he gets on great when he has his friends on as co-hosts/guests. You don’t really need special guests. If your hosts actually give a damn about the stuff they’re reporting on, they’ll be able to present it to us in a really detailed and interesting way.

      I hear what you’re saying about Sarah. I hadn’t really thought about that, but you’re spot on there as well – she gets that stuff right. I’ve been careful here really, cos I don’t dislike her, she just never speaks to me, I just don’t get anything from her. But I don’t think that’s cos she’s bad.

      And she certainly doesn’t deserve any of the shitty treatment and abuse she’s had to put up with.

      I tell you who I thought was bad but who could’ve got better: Dr Kiki. I loved the fact that this network was hosting a science show, but I found her hosting style to be horribly amateur; she had really bad habits, really poor guest handling skills etc. Lots of people complained about her. I haven’t listened to anything she’s done since her show was taken off of TWIT; (she could be brilliant now. I hope she is. I don’t know her story – I don’t know how Leo treated her.)

      But you can learn that stuff. She could’ve been coached, she could’ve been taught. But you get the feeling that Leo’s CEO doesn’t even bother training people, and the bad habits that she got into really stuck and got worse.

      Imagine that – you build this amazing studio and you don’t even open your doors to a “TWIT Academy”, teaching presentation skills, editing masterclasses etc. There’s money to be made right there, and Leo & Lisa could’ve developed some real talent.

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      1. MSTWiT has become, unfortunately, a monument to Mr. Laporte’s over-inflated and metastatic ego. Training would inevitably produce casters talented and polished enough to be perceived as challengers/threats by Mr. Laporte.

        Just lamentin’ and best regards

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  15. I found this site after seeing the Leo twitter hack and have been reading through a bunch of the articles. Pretty damn funny stuff.

    Full disclosure – I still have no issues with Leo and Jarvis as podcasters. I listen to many twit shows.

    But Mike? God damn! What an idiot – plain and simple. I honestly can’t listen to any show that he is on. When Leo was off on vacation and Mike was filling in, I was basically Twit free. Hearing his voice makes me laugh at stupidity and get angry at the same time because he is such an idiot.

    And I’m sure the current CEO’s business sense is the reason the network is tanking. Getting rid of key, likable and intelligent people who have a following is ridiculous.

    The worst part is that I genuinely think that they are doing a good job…

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      1. TboneGreen, lemme ask you: did you know of Elgum before you heard him on TWIT?

        I only knew him through TWIT, and never paid any attention. I remember him being on TWIT one Sunday, sitting in Greece or somewhere like that. I have no idea about him as a person at all – the only interesting thing about him was that he didn’t have a house anymore and instead lived on the road.

        Did you or anyone else have any experience of the guy before TWIT? What did you think of him?

        I’ve been back through his older articles, and he truly has always been an idiot…

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        1. I only became aware of him when the old TNT crew was torn apart and was told that mike was supposed to be this amazing tech news reporter who was taking over. His claim to fame? A bunch of G+ followers?

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  16. Great analyses guys. Just my 2 cents on Sarah.

    First, I love Sarah! She’s got a great personality and is very likeable. But I cringe at her “analyses.” She is a nitwit and has very little profound things to say. Her reviews are mostly superficial.

    But as a person and as a personality that I don’t rely on for deep, thoughtful thinking. I will take her over almost most other talking heads.

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    1. Something to be said for Sarah the Style Guru – just look at some of the big Apple hirings over the last 18 months / it’s a huge component going forward and whether you consider it a necessary evil or enjoy how it intertwines with Tech – it’s here to stay – my only complaint regarding the ‘Lovely & Talented One’ is her obsession with Apple- a little effort in the Android Arena would have helped – wish her all the best at TC – she’ll have a new show released soon and their programs can only benefit from her creativity. Seeing her w/ Tom on DTNS was fantastic

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  17. Some one hit on one of the major problems with the show.

    Mike interviewing bloggers no body cares about about there article vs Tom and guests talking about the news and how it will effect the user.

    Yes one problem with Toms TNT was the random guests, I remember one who they went to first up for a major Microsoft or Android story and all he could say was “I’m a Apple fan, so I don’t really know anything” . They were obviously going for an extra guest like them, rather than an expert in a particular area but at least most of the time they got it right and their was some personality and life in the show.

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