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.
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.
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.