Leo Laporte Explains Why TWiT Is Screwed

TWiT marketing handout (“Our listeners continue to grow”  © 2020 Artisanal Agency)

After 15 years of providing second-rate, and at often times, laughable coverage of the tech sector, it looks like TWiT is finally finished.

From one time boasting about having 14 million in annual sales, and owning 25% of all podcast revenue, Leo Laporte recently acknowledged that TWiT is screwed because sponsors now want proof that there are actual listeners, i.e. analytics that can’t be faked.

Man wins Oscar For Best Underperforming Host at a Sham Podcast Company (Video #2)

Here at TotalDrama we’ve been reporting on TWiT’s decline for years. From the elimination of certified on-air talent to the recruitment of questionable talent, Leo Laporte has continued to choose lavish vacations over investing money back into the business.

Coronavirus statement: “I will not be maligned by these disgraceful statements and slanderous accusations.”

As previously covered, sponsorship continued to decline in 2019 and now in 2020, Leo Laporte admitted on March 3rd that first and second quarter sales have plummeted, blaming this on the coronavirus. However, it is obvious to anyone who runs an agency these sponsorships would have been sold and finalized in late-2019, so you can’t blame this one on the “invisible enemy”.

However, the current pandemic has undoubtedly made things worse, and while Lisa Laporte has shamelessly been spouting “coronavirus discounts”, sponsors do not seem to be interested:

<~Leo> Lisa and her team have pursued more than 700 companies in the past few weeks, with one sale.
<~Leo> Listeners dropped off at first, but it's come back.
<~Leo> I'm not too worried about the audience, but advertisers are dropping like flies.

We will continue to watch this with pitying interest but firmly believe Leo Laporte will retire because it is the easiest thing for him to do.

Update: During today’s episode of Security Now (Apr. 21, 2020), Leo opened up further about TWiT’s current problems to his chatroom sycophants.
<Sawgrass> @Leo - another $480B just passed for small business
<~Leo> well that's good Sawgrass
<~Leo> I'm sure we'll need still more
<~Leo> we haven't had to hit our line of credit yet
<~Leo> but things aren't looking good
<~Leo> we're starting to see slow pay and no pay for advertisers, numerous others have cancelled
<Sawgrass> @Leo - still should get in line for $help
<~Leo> I really don't want to take any loans
<~Leo> I'd prefer to shut down than owe a bunch of money
<Sawgrass> @Leo - keep you staff and it becomes grant?
<~Leo> no it only becomes a grant if you don't make any money
<~Leo> and the owners can't get paid
<~Leo> I love my staff but I'm not working for free so that they can get paid
<LonnDawg> Leo, you could apply for the business loans, Trump just said that people who abused the first allocation of money, are now by his own personal words are going to pay it back, however they manipulated the system... They been caught, so the next round of funding is in play and should be available in the next few days, don't fire anybody and you can keep the money ...  I know you know all this stuff
<~Leo> we'd have to repay the loan if we made a profit or if Lisa or I took a draw
<~Leo> I love you guys but I'm not working for free for a year
<Sawgrass> @Leo - time to retire like many of us :)
<~Leo> we'll just ride it down - we're working very hard to get new advertisers who are still solvent
<~Leo> but even solvent companies aren't doing much advertising, especially on podcasts
<~Leo> as always, we'll do what we can afford to do
<LonnDawg> Leo... I don't particularly like this particular individual because he's kind of testy... In his speech, but the information he hands out has been accurate, maybe Lisa or whoever does the accounting could review some of this guy's past updates,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgEFrvjnQJw to me, I think there's a misunderstanding, a business owner can take a portion of the money
<~Leo> No we consulted with our CPA and it's clear that the terms were not suitable for us LonnDawg
<~Leo> We got expert advice, I promise.
<LonnDawg> ok...
<~Leo> One of the principals I've always stuck to is living within our means. We only borrowed once and that was to build the brick house and we paid it back in six months.
<~Leo> I'm not a high flyer. I'm not speculating on the future.
<~Leo> We do what we can afford.
<LonnDawg> Leo...  A electrical company I used to work for had the same principle, he pretty much paid for everything and had very little loans on the business, mostly because construction is an unpredictable ride in the economy...
<~Leo> That's why we don't carry a bunch of shows that don't pay for themselves.
<~Leo> I'm not trying to build CNN.
<~Leo> I'm not that ambitious.
<~Leo> Lisa might be, but I hold her back.
<~Leo> From day one there's always been two risks: loss of audience and loss of advertisers
<~Leo> we wouldn't survive either - and I wouldn't want to
<LonnDawg> Leo... that's interesting... Because Lisa is part salesman.... And I can see... Sometimes, they have to be held back for their own sake. :-)... Not all problems in the world can be mastered with salesmanship
<~Leo> She's much more than a sales person, she's an entrepreneur.
<~Leo> I'm just trying to do my shows in peace.
<~Leo> It's a lucky thing she came along.
<LonnDawg> yep...I know that Leo... It's not easy to put my thoughts in one sentence, she is a fantastic person with a lot of talent...
<~Leo> The day I hired her I asked her to tell me why we should do anything but the five most profitable shows.
<~Leo> she convinced me
<~Leo> but I might win in the long run - we've had a great ride. I'm very content.

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68 thoughts on “Leo Laporte Explains Why TWiT Is Screwed”

  1. You have to wonder how much butt wipe Leo is secretly hording?

    Isn’t leo a bitcoin billionaire yet anyway. His shit nerd vlog podcast went down the crapper a long time ago.

    “twit4.0 a show for grannies, truck drivers and shut-ins. We shun the tech journalism and talk social distancing. Hot tips from shut-ins on how to stay at home.” –twit

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  2. Once the fat Padre left, it was all downhill.

    No, wait, once the fat Padre came on board with his fake smile it was all downhill. Then Oh Doctah and other tech experts kept things happening along with various fruits who came and went and came again.

    Let’s face it, once Leo left his wife and married the small town bookkeeper, this story wrote itself. The sex chair and dick pics said it all. Vacations with “the boy” all over the world, the $2000 Leica lens for a guy who can’t frame a photo. It’s all excess and no common sense. The end result? Patreon? But hey, they got to see Italy and East Bumfuck, North Africa..

    It was a nice try, but since it was all really TechTV II, it was bound to end up the same way.

    It’s a miracle he wasn’t arrested for sexual misconduct and for groping every female he ran across except for the lesbians.

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  3. Remember when Leo had a PayPal “tip jar”, but at the same time was also bragging about his new (red) Mustang and hot tub and all the other expensive goodies he was buying with his ad money? And yet he kept pushing the tip jar? Was all that a subconscious “Fuck You” to the listeners dumb enough to donate?

    This was back during the cottage days, when he still had a good reputation and lots of goodwill to capitalize on. How much would a Patreon generate for him today? Maybe enough to buy a cruise each year and hopefully keep Lisa happy? I hear those are pretty cheap nowadays.

    Let this be a lesson kids. Manage your finances responsibly and stay out of the fast lane.

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  4. The death of TWIT can be traced all the way back to 2 main events.

    1. Lisa taking control of Twit
    2. Leo Canning Erik

    If they would have kept younger talent in it would have made it more relatable to a younger generation. But thus you cant have a vampire at the top of the company.

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    1. The death of TWIT can be traced all the way back to 2 main events.

      I think there should be one more added.
      3. Tom and gang leaving.

      To me that was when things started to go downhill.

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  5. I’ve been saying for years that TWiT’s future is Leo hosting the core shows out of a home office via Skype.

    You could write a book about the downfall of TWiT, or make a really good 60-90 minute YouTube video. From the heydays of the cottage, to the victory lap at the Brick House, to the cheating scandal, Lisa pushing out the next wave of talent (Tom, Sarah, Iyaz), the dick picks, the falling out with Dvorak. This list is endless.

    It’s a shame to see what happened to Leo. He was an OG that should be revered in the tech community. Instead he’s a laughing stock, a footnote.

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  6. The only show that I was listening to a few years ago was Windows Weekly but between smartass Leo & smartass Paul, I couldn’t stomach it. Best part of the show was MJ’s cat hopping up on the desk. Everyone is supposed to be impressed because the VP of whatever at Microsoft walked by & knew who Paul was & then Paul creamed his pants.

    Too many decent podcasts out there to waste time with TWIT.

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      1. But she doesn’t have looks either. She legit looks like shit. She has this manly scowl that’s ever-present and not nice to look at. I can’t think anyone would honestly find her attractive..

        If it’s sex he was after I’m sure hiring an escort once a week would have been far cheaper in the long run than throwing away his marriage and shacking up with a butch dyke. It’s insane what men do when they hit that midlife crisis phase, I hope there’s a cure by the time I’m that old.

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        1. Jimmy Jam:
          But she doesn’t have looks either. She legit looks like shit. She has this manly scowl that’s ever-present and not nice to look at. I can’t think anyone would honestly find her attractive..

          If it’s sex he was after I’m sure hiring an escort once a week would have been far cheaper in the long run than throwing away his marriage and shacking up with a butch dyke. It’s insane what men do when they hit that midlife crisis phase, I hope there’s a cure by the time I’m that old.

          This is a surprisingly solid point for this site! Dont worry though… going down this pathetic road isn’t a foregone conclusion. Many of us older guy do manage to dodge this.

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  7. I’m surprised you didn’t include the part where Lisa admits to fucking up their taxes, so they had to pay a big chunk out of pocket. Discussion starts around 1:20: https://youtu.be/5l_u8kvwC94?t=4850

    But don’t worry — the business owners are the martyrs because when times get tough, they don’t get paid as much. Which is kind of the point. You want praise for taking the risk of starting a business, but then you want sympathy and bailouts when things don’t work out.

    Eat the rich.

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  8. He wants to quit, he gave up giving a shit 10 years ago. Now he can say”welp, the Coronavirus did us in” instead of admitting his shows have been utter dogshit since forever and nobody cares.
    PS Leo the reason you don’t get invited to Apple events is because you are utterly and completely inconsequential

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  9. Amazing rise and fall. I remember looking at The Apple podcast most popular list and twit had like half the top twenty.

    Gotta be the only podcasts that didn’t increase numbers with the huge growth of podcasting.

    Bad decisions. Deteriorating talent. Couldn’t seem to change for the marketplace. Didn’t get on all the platforms early enough.

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        1. Rmartin:
          He wanted to be the CNN of tech. Maybe with the state of CNN these days we can consider that he succeeded.

          Nah, CNN’s been doing pretty well lately. From Mediaite:

          Even though Fox remains king of the hill, its worth noting that CNN nearly doubled their viewership from March 2019. The network’s daytime viewership was up a whopping 88 percent from March last year, and prime time saw an even bigger surge, up by 109 percent.


          Twit’s viewership is cratering. Only Leo could find a way to shrink a captive audience. Even that dumb new service Quibi had an okayish launch because people are home, bored, and consuming more content than ever because of this pandemic. TWIT seems to be the only media company not seeing huge raises in the ratings.

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        2. Only old conservative a-holes, and young delusional red pill a-holes, watch cable news which is why Fox dominates. Dont confuse what’s going on in the 27% lunatic echo chamber with reality.

          That said, Leo should have just allocated a show to “shit week in social issues” and reserve that for raging incessantly at FB and Google and Twitter, covering social impact issues (which really isn’t “just politics” anymore), etc.

          This Week in TECH should be about Tech. And the notion that “well that’s what tech IS today!” is just wrong. Every other tech show that’s actually doing well is proof of this. It’s just that Leo, and the people he brings on, ONLY want to talk social commentary, not that actual tech news no longer exists.

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  10. lol this all reminds me on those TV shows about sportsmen or whatever who spent their money on stupid sh… not saving or investing at all…. -.-

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  11. Leo pushing out Tom, Sara, Iyaz, etc was the start of the end.

    The new talent was overshadowing Leo, he realized it, they realized it, and as a result he slowly got rid of them.

    And once you get rid of the new talent, and don’t do anything else to make the content better, you lose.

    Leo couldn’t handle not being the star, and TWiT is dying because it is.

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  12. I tried to watch this week in google today but I could not. There was no tech talk just a lot of one sided political opinion. I am surprised that any company would advertise on podcast that does not even live up to its name.

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  13. Downfall red flags:

    1 – Treating Sarah and Megan with never ending 7th grade sex quips. Bad move.

    2- Paying for taxidermy of your dead dog. Ozzie’s member goes up and down using a motor and a blue tooth controller. That’s just not funny.

    3- Annoying people who make a difference like John Charles Dvorak, Adam Curry, Brian Brushwood, Martin Sargent.

    4- Did I mention the endless googie sex comments.

    5-Photos of your weiner.

    6- Having a guest index Leo’s computer live on air and come across the teen porn links.

    7-Being a dick to people who were kind to him. He likes to say he doesn’t need to repay that because he gets bored with people quickly.

    8-Pissing off Shannon Morse.

    9-Having on Oh Docta as a pundit

    10-Making Carstin Bondi wear a bow tie. Be careful it’s really a camera.

    11- Hiring Mike Elgin and the This Week in Lady and the Ham Radio men and everyone else who is ancient.

    12-Not kissing Jason Calicanis’s rectum as demanded by Jason.

    13-Anyone want to add to this list?

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  14. If Twit goes away, how will we find out Public Intellectual Jeff Jarvis’ Number of the Week on TWIG?
    Can it be incorporated in White House Press Briefings?
    Or published on the WHO website?
    The Smithsonian?
    Please tell me someone is taking steps to preserve this valuable resource and contribution.

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  15. Jeff Jarvis.

    I’ve come to recently realize that I have despised this guy most of my life. He just never goes away. Always finding some way to bloviate his opinion.

    Self righteous, arrogant, pompous windbag.

    Horrendous. Just horrendous.

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  16. Twit haiku, from Karen in the HR office!

    Tech priest went away.
    Remote controlled dog Weiner.
    Somewhere, Sarah smiles.

    Ozzy is stuffed
    What ever happened to bricks?
    Somewhere Jason smiles

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      1. Red pill Cult45 “anti woke” angry young (and old) white male psychopaths, who live in an alternate reality created for them by Q and Sean Hannity where *donald trump* is some kind of superhero, and not a corrupt scumbag at all, are 25% of the country, so that’s 25%. Maybe another 25% from people who “get it” but dont want to constantly beat that drum and want to hear some actual tech news.

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  17. I’ll always wonder what would’ve happened if we’d stayed in the cottage and turned it all into one big set, rented/bought the cinderblock building next door for the editors and off-air staff, and just done something more Dan Patrick-style rather than trying to become the CNN of tech. I’m glad he’s finally over that.

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    1. Fred:
      I’ll always wonder what would’ve happened if we’d stayed in the cottage and turned it all into one big set, rented/bought the cinderblock building next door for the editors and off-air staff, and just done something more Dan Patrick-style rather than trying to become the CNN of tech.I’m glad he’s finally over that.

      Leaving the cottage was the start of the downfall. The capital and debt for the Brickhouse caused decision that took away from the atmosphere that attracted true tech fans. Then he turned things over to Lisa…and things went really downhill. Shows lost their “geekiness” in favor of mass appeal and others were filling the void with YouTube and podcast channels on a much lower budget than Leo had – he never evolved and people like Linus Tech Tips, Jupiter Broadcasting and
      many others took the audience he had from the Cottage days from their home studios.
      He should have stayed at the cottage and worked with hosts to make home studios instead of building the Brickhouse..

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  18. Missing in the explanation were two primary reasons for TWiT’s demise.
    TWiT is cheap and lazy.

    t takes work to research and present new tech ideas and products. Leo does no show prep and burps up Theee Tech Guy answers garbled out of his fleeting, addled understanding of Windows 98 and XP.

    TWiT had several chances to hire or retain vibrant viable journalists only to pass on spending money.

    Nothing in Leo’s explanations hits the mark.

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  19. It is difficult to comprehend anyone so feeble minded as to think others might believe this:


    86% of the TWiT audience made a purchase based on an advertisement they heard on TWiT

    78% of TWiT listeners have a graduate or advanced degree

    63% of TWiT listeners are involved in their company’s decision making

    If these are Artisinal’s assertions, no wonder prospective sponsors want proof.

      » Quote comment

  20. Thing is, the big 2 platforms (YouTube and Twitch) is filled with content like this now from far far better, likeable, and younger people. When TWiT first started, you really didn’t have a go to option – maybe you did on YouTube because Twitch was Justin TV then (it was all just chatting streams). When Justin TVwas bought to Twitch it was just about gaming, then they allowed IRL streaming and podcasts etc.

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    1. I think most people on here just moved on, or now are laughing at lolcows on the Internet.

      I wouldn’t consider Leo a lolcow.

        » Quote comment

  21. Decided to dip my toe back into the TWIT pond a month ago. Shocking to see how few views they are generating. The few remaining shows are ponderous and lengthy. Leo was always a prat, but he has driven away all the younger talent. In a way it’s sad, but Leo earned this. How he attracts guests is a mystery.

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  22. The downfall started with moving to the brick house. The cottage and “prosumer” equipment worked well, also proved guests and even hosts didn’t have to be on-site to make the shows work. I know he had talked about another cottage style studio on the East coast somewhere – personally, I’m was thinking a UK “cottage” would have been great, they could each produce programming during their daytimes and not really overlap…But for a “new media” pioneer, making the cottage work on a modest budget, he quickly went to the traditional, “big media” model at the brick house and decided to spare no expense……….Then Lisa became CEO……..

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    1. Excellent analysis. And if he had moved to and BOUGHT not leased space in the Brick House, it would have been smarter. I’ve never seen such a pair of dummies Leo and Lisa. The could have had a multi-million dollar empire that could have sold for big money like Gimlet and others. Talk about stupid.

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