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Old Dec 5, 2013, 10:41 PM   #1
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Tom Merritt Fired from TWiT

So it looks like Leo's ego got in the way again as he fired Tom today.
http://inside.twit.tv/blog/2013/12/5...it-part-1.html
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 10:42 PM   #2
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 11:20 PM   #3
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Nooooooo! Tom was the only reason why I even tuned into TWiT!
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 11:35 PM   #4
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Nooooooo! Tom was the only reason why I even tuned into TWiT!
More from Leo. He wants a full time in house news director. And has hired Mike Elgan.
http://inside.twit.tv/blog/2013/12/5...it-part-2.html
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 04:43 AM   #5
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More from Leo. He wants a full time in house news director. And has hired Mike Elgan.
http://inside.twit.tv/blog/2013/12/5...it-part-2.html
Mike Elgan? Seriously?
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 05:34 AM   #6
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It sounds like that the Tom not working in the same studio was hampering the production of the show. Skype can only go so far, at least it seems for this situation.

I can't say this is a good or bad move until things shake out a bit more.
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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Tom Merritt - Understands tech and genuinely loves talking about it.
Sarah Lane - Boring, distracted, Nearly clueless about tech and seems to only work at TWiT to fund her globetrotting vacations

I'm sad that Tom was let go but I understand why they had to do it. But what has always been a puzzle is why they continue to keep Sarah Lane on board. I'm sure she's a nice girl (well, not really because she seems pretty condescending) but for a Tech commentator then she just seems so disinterested in everything tech.
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 09:16 AM   #8
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It doesn't sound like Tom was fired per se, but that his contract wasn't renewed and the fact that his distance and therefore lack of presence in the studio had more to do with it than Leo's ego. This of course is based on what Leo wrote in those two blog posts. Call it what you will, but I don't view it as he's be 'fired' as in let go because of wrong-doing. Unless Tom speaks out and gives a different story, that's what I choose to believe.

As for Mike joining the team I'm sure he'll do a good job. I'm not a huge fan of his, but I don't dislike him either.

Sarah is fine host IMO, but I only watch her on iPad Today and no other shows.
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 11:15 AM   #9
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Leo said he wants a real news division. So far all they do is read stories off the web. Elgan is supposedly a great journalist so will they do more in house reporting and investigative stories now?

I agree that Sarah is dead weight there, she would make a decent host but has no business reporting on tech.
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 12:32 PM   #10
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So it looks like Leo's ego got in the way again as he fired Tom today.
http://inside.twit.tv/blog/2013/12/5...it-part-1.html
To me it sounds more like he let him go, since he wasn't in house and wasn't local. The Skype thing was only going so far. Doesn't sound like a firing to me at all.
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 01:30 PM   #11
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Sarah Lane - Boring, distracted, Nearly clueless about tech and seems to only work at TWiT to fund her globetrotting vacations
Though I think she does prep for her shows I would agree that she is not Twit Tv's strongest hosts technically.

----------

It just sounds like they want someone a bit more full time I am sure Tom will do well.
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 01:52 PM   #12
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I think Tom wanted out long ago, he saw the direction TWiT was going in and how he could be more successful elsewhere. Leo really is tanking his own network just to make more money.
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 04:12 PM   #13
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Tom didn't want to leave.
If you've read his tweets, blog or watched him today on TNT he was genuinely surprised and unhappy.

If he had better prospects he would have split, just like his wife did.
When he moved to LA his show with Veronica Belmont, "Sword and Laser" had just done a deal to move to YouTube as part of Felicia Day's "Geek and Sundry" channel.
That deal didn't work out though. "Sword and Laser" was dropped from "Geek and Sundry" last March.
Even though it's been picked up by Boing Boing that have to have been a big disappointment to Tom.

He had a great deal with TWiT. Easy money.
Being able to do his shows remotely from his place in LA...you couldn't ask for a better setup. Especially considering he didn't have to commute everyday from Oakland anymore.

The problem wasn't Skype.
The problem was that without Tom in the studio there was no chemistry, no energy and his absence has sucked the life out of the show.

Sarah has been (literally) phoning it in for awhile.
She complains about the commute, arrives at the last minute, reads her copy, does her segments, rolls her eyes at Leo's rude comments and is gone.
(I'm guessing that the absence of MG Siegler on any TWiT show has something to do with it but I don't want to digress into gossip.)

Sara and Tom had good chemistry and with him no longer there
she looked less than excited to be there.
That's understandable.
I'm sure when she joined TWiT she did so because Tom was going to
be her co-host of TNT. She knew he was like her ie; stable, funny but not flip, focused, and smart.
They made a great team, especially before Iyaz arrived.
With Tom no longer there I'm sure Sara started thinking about what her next move is.

IMHO Tom was the best reason to watch TWiT.
He gave it a foundation, that unlike Leo, never shifted with the tech trend du jour.
He's the EGO to Leo's ID.
The Yin to the Yang.
When he subbed for Leo the shows were much more focused, detailed and interesting.
It's a shame he's leaving.

Mike Elgen is smart and, like Trey Ratcliffe, has done a great job of marketing himself on social media.
That seems to be his claim to fame these days...because that's all you ever hear Leo talk about when Mike is on TWiT.
He's also very dry, and IMHO does not have the charisma necessary to host a show like TNT.
Plus he's a boomer.
Part of TWiT's early appeal was that it carried the GenX nerd energy that TechTV had.
It was fun, irreverent, didn't take tech too seriously.
Leo was like the cool baby boomer uncle/professor who who'd buy you beer and take a hit off the bong at your party.
Mike has none of that.

BTW -As a daily watcher of TWiT since the beginning I'm completely baffled by Leo's man crush on Brian Brushwood. I can't stand the guy. He never says anything new, repeating the same platitudes over and over, shilling his projects, and generally being annoying.
His one redeeming quality is bringing in great talent to TWiT like Chad Johnson and Justin Robert Young. Both are fantastic, creative, intelligent...all the things Brushwood struggles with.
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 04:53 PM   #14
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I don't mind Shwood If he is not doing schtick. NSFW is a horrible show. Jury is just trying to imitate Charlie from always Sunny, and Chad is horrible and really doesn't have a clue.

Sarah has phoned it in since they made the move.
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 11:50 PM   #15
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I haven't listened to TWIT in well over a year. I found 5by5 and ATP and those fill my tech fix with news and insightful commentary and opinion.

Last I listened to TWIT and MacBreak Weekly they would spend 45 minutes talking about twitter follower counts, then do a 30 minute book review from Andy "please land this plane" Inhatko and then Leo would go on about how great Android was...Has anything changed?
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Old Dec 7, 2013, 07:21 PM   #16
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I stopped listening to MacBreak when I found the succinct and enjoyably funny CultCast.

It seems like Tom was growing too popular for Leo, and his Google connections are probably perceived as a threat. I think that he could handily anchor a rival network, and by anchor I mean "be the foundation of."
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Old Dec 8, 2013, 11:12 AM   #17
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According to what I read by Leo on Twitter, Tom’s contract ended back in July. Now assuming that is true, it sounds like there was negotiation or renew it and they just couldn’t agree on terms. Tom wasn’t an “employee” that was fired. He was a contracted host and that contract was not renewed.

Now, I can believe that Tom was hoping that things were going well in negotiation and that he was hopeful that it would be fruitful. It didn’t end up that way, but given that they had been going on since July I can’t believe that he was totally surprised unless Tom thought that Leo would never not renew - something that no one should assume.

Tom is a competent host, and he is likely going to do very will outside of TWiT - I have no doubt in that. However he probably is doing whatever he can right now to get attention to his status so that someone will sign him up. It sounds to me like things just broke down and Leo just decided to not pursue it any longer - it just wasn’t worth it.
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Old Dec 8, 2013, 11:29 AM   #18
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So it looks like Leo's ego got in the way again as he fired Tom today.
http://inside.twit.tv/blog/2013/12/5...it-part-1.html
'Fired' is pushing it a bit I think.

Personally I feel that the shows that have the host in the studio are a lot better than those that do not.

It might not be a big difference for those just listening to the podcast, but for people like me that view the video streams it makes everything a lot better.
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Old Dec 8, 2013, 11:33 AM   #19
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'Fired' is pushing it a bit I think.

Personally I feel that the shows that have the host in the studio are a lot better than those that do not.

It might not be a big difference for those just listening to the podcast, but for people like me that view the video streams it makes everything a lot better.
You don't need a host to be in studio for it to work. Look at Windows Weekly, Paul is never in studio. Neither is Gibson for Security Now.
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Old Dec 8, 2013, 11:37 AM   #20
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You don't need a host to be in studio for it to work. Look at Windows Weekly, Paul is never in studio. Neither is Gibson for Security Now.
Yep. And I think those shows are far less interesting to watch than shows like This Week In Tech.

If you are only listening, the difference is not that obvious of course.

It does not surprise me at all that Leo wants people to actually use the studio he has poured tons of money into. That Tom moved is likely a big factor in that they could not agree on a new contract.

Edit: And there is no doubt that the video part of traditional podcasts will be hugely important in the coming years with the widespread adoption of devices that can stream to not only tablets, phones and computers but also to TV's. Podcasts that are stuck in the 'radio days' and do not have an option of a good and interesting video feed as well will surely lose out in the long run.
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Old Dec 8, 2013, 11:40 AM   #21
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Yep. And I think those shows are far less interesting to watch than shows like This Week In Tech.

If you are only listening, the difference is not that obvious of course.

It does not surprise me at all that Leo wants people to actually use the studio he has poured tons of money into. That Tom moved is likely a big factor in that they could not agree on a new contract.
This Week in Tech is horrible since Leo won't let anyone else ever talk. In fact most of the shows Leo does are so Leo centric that you never get any information out of them at all.
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Old Dec 8, 2013, 11:44 AM   #22
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This Week in Tech is horrible since Leo won't let anyone else ever talk. In fact most of the shows Leo does are so Leo centric that you never get any information out of them at all.
I think we have to agree to disagree about TWIT - I think their flagship show is the best 'tech light' podcast out there by far. I do agree that it would probably benefit them to tighten it up a bit and make it something like 30 minutes shorter though.
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Old Dec 8, 2013, 11:47 AM   #23
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I think we have to agree to disagree about TWIT - I think their flagship show is the best 'tech light' podcast out there by far. I do agree that it would probably benefit them to tighten it up a bit and make it something like 30 minutes shorter though.
Leo has done everything he can to make the network about him. Regardless of what he says about wanting other people to step up.

I would say that is the main reason Tom was let go. He was more well known than Leo.
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Old Dec 8, 2013, 12:41 PM   #24
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...since Leo won't let anyone else ever talk. In fact most of the shows Leo does are so Leo centric that you never get any information out of them at all.
I can agree with that wholeheartedly. Leo does like to talk and talk a lot. So much so that he annoys me to the point that I won't watch most of his shows. It's one of the many reasons why I love Security Now - because Leo talks less and Steve talks more and I learn a lot from him.

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Leo has done everything he can to make the network about him. Regardless of what he says about wanting other people to step up..
This I also agree with.
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Old Dec 8, 2013, 05:16 PM   #25
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I don't blame Leo Laporte

Leo Laporte has every right to want an in-studio news director and TNT host. Merritt moved to LA because his wife got a job with YouTube. So what?

Good luck to Merritt...he had a good thing and he is unlikely to find another opportunity as good as TWiT.
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