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The New TWiT (Page 18)
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subego  (op)
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Dec 23, 2013, 09:14 PM
 
I forget that everyone here isn't up on minutia.

The station's dark for the week. Leo isn't due in until Saturday. It's definitely "**** you" timing.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 24, 2013, 04:36 PM
 
Becoming something of a restless native.

Long past time for Leo to have commented. Though he was able to fire off a tweet from the game at Candlestick park of the commemorative glow stick they have him.

It's clear Leo got blindsided, but I'm having trouble imagining a scenario where it isn't totally his own fault. Either TWiT writes contracts which let talent bail without warning, or TWiT let his contract run out without finalizing negotiations.

The latter is exactly what happened to Tom.

The only X factor is how much money they each were asking for. Maybe it was unreasonable. Who knows? Whatever the case, if you let someone's contract run out, there is no such thing as being blindsided by them quitting.

It's possible this is an exception (again, the X factor), but almost every time I've seen a contract negotiation where the old contract runs out, the lack of a current contract is being used as leverage against the employee.

IMO, thats one of the shittiest tactics in the book.
     
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Dec 24, 2013, 05:23 PM
 
The CEO has to get blame here too, right? Is she good at her job or is she bad but staying put because Leo is banging her?
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 24, 2013, 05:42 PM
 
Hard for that not to enter your mind.

One would presume she was in charge of contract negotiations.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 26, 2013, 06:18 PM
 
I can't bring myself to even turn on TWiT with all the "best of" shows.

The whole deal feels like "let the best of TechTV warm you up for this new G4 thing we're doing!"
     
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Dec 26, 2013, 06:26 PM
 
G4 thing?
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 26, 2013, 06:46 PM
 
G4 Thing... as in "everybody got fired from TechTV and it became this pile of shit known as G4".
     
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Dec 26, 2013, 07:38 PM
 
My eyes glossed over TechTV as TWiT but I did get a hint of that gist.

I was thinking more like< "Here's the best of TWiT 2013 – 2014 sure as hell won't live up to it!"
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 26, 2013, 08:24 PM
 
If things had stayed on a steadier course, I was looking forward to the 2014 lineup.

They were doing the game show for geeks. I thought it was a riot.
They were coming up with a fitness show. Great idea. Nerds are tubby.
They were going to do a weekly show on dinosaurs. Five minutes long because dinosaur news is thin.

Note the past tense. All being headed buy the guy who quit. Not to mention he was the obvious replacement for Tom to host their show about cord cutting, and ran their only "how to" show. That still has the Padre, so it's not quite a smoking crater like the rest.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 28, 2013, 12:30 PM
 
Leo's back today. I am almost assured this will get ugly.
     
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Dec 28, 2013, 02:15 PM
 
Think this all hurt his pride?
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subego  (op)
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Dec 28, 2013, 02:25 PM
 
Almost undoubtedly.

So far, he's mum. Chatroom is being surprisingly quiet about it as well.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 28, 2013, 02:34 PM
 
Leo's official statement:

"He quit... what do you want me to say?"
     
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Dec 28, 2013, 03:02 PM
 
Ah, the old "I'm as surprised as you are" routine?
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subego  (op)
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Dec 28, 2013, 03:18 PM
 
I want to give him some form of benefit of the doubt, but it's getting really hard.

People in TV don't just "quit". The way contracts are written makes that close to impossible.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 28, 2013, 03:39 PM
 
I think one of the reasons this is pissing me off is I learned Iyaz was recently divorced, and his ex-wife and little kid moved back home to New York.

So, Iyaz basically hit Leo up for his dream job, moved his family across the country because of it, and now both of them are the proverbial smoking craters. Iyaz even mentioned he's considering moving back to New York himself.

Very similar seeming to Tom. Excitement in the beginning for something that by all rights should have been really big, and then somewhere along the line it goes horrendously wrong.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 28, 2013, 08:51 PM
 
This makes me want to cry.

     
subego  (op)
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Dec 29, 2013, 02:12 PM
 
The official official statement:

"We are disappointed to announce that Iyaz Akhtar has chosen to leave our network, but we are thrilled to continue Know How… with Father Robert Ballecer."
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 29, 2013, 08:45 PM
 
Well, I'm officially done. Leo claims that by doing a show on cord cutting like he did on TWiT, Tom (and I'm using Leo's words) stole one of TWiT's shows.

No more updates.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 29, 2013, 08:54 PM
 
What's ironic here is one of the most valuable lessons Leo taught me about the industry is "million dollar ideas are free. It's not the idea, it's the execution."

So yeah... that million dollar idea Tom's been executing. He stole it.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 29, 2013, 08:59 PM
 
To be fair, I should mention Leo claims Iyaz just signed a year-long contract and then bailed in an email. Iyaz is being allowed to leave even though he could be forced to stay.

Iyaz was originally a lawyer by trade, so I have trouble buying that's how he played it, but whateves.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 30, 2013, 08:38 PM
 
Saw Tom's last show.

Unbelievably class act. Nothing but thanks and praise for the guy who just called him a thief.

I really made a huge mistake in letting myself get close to Leo instead of Tom.


As Leo looks for yet another replacement as he approaches retirement, I hope those he courts are sure to take a look at how it went down with the last two he took under his wing.
     
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Dec 31, 2013, 12:10 AM
 
Sorry, but he seems like a real snake-in-the-grass (Leo), I can't see how he'd be able to attract any real talent after the shit he's pulled. I couldn't even watch all of the last show, because all I could think about was what a prick he is. I think I'm probably done with it.
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subego  (op)
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Dec 31, 2013, 01:03 AM
 
The network has a few shows which are top in their class, like Security Now and This Week in Enterprise Tech, and of course there's the Shwood and Jury show. I'm not going to deny myself those, but I've already stopped having the live stream on like it's the radio.
     
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Dec 31, 2013, 03:45 PM
 
I was watching Tom's last show as well. What a class act, and a mic drop to boot. BOOM! Tom has left the building.

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subego  (op)
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Dec 31, 2013, 04:02 PM
 
Yeah... that was pretty ****ing awesome.

Strangely even more awesome because everybody had started crying, even myself.

Darren I felt was the most pointed. He had his poker face on, but refused to wipe away any tears.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 1, 2014, 05:01 PM
 
You know, I don't even think I can watch those shows I listed above, at least for awhile. I considered firing one up a second ago and the idea just made me depressed.
     
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Jan 2, 2014, 04:02 PM
 

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subego  (op)
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Jan 2, 2014, 04:17 PM
 
A daily news tech show? Didn't TWiT invent that?

What a ****ing THIEF!
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 2, 2014, 05:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
You know, I don't even think I can watch those shows I listed above, at least for awhile. I considered firing one up a second ago and the idea just made me depressed.
Now this is making me feel like a schlub. I'd imagine Shwood and Jury are depressed about it too, and their response was to come into TWiT and (from what I've heard) knock it out of the park.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 6, 2014, 09:36 AM
 
Leo claims (via Twitter) Tom asked for too much money, and he expects Tom's departure to chase off all the listeners he brought in (he got that second part right in my case).

I'm wondering how that math works.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 6, 2014, 11:10 AM
 
I'm also feeling really bad for Mike Elgan, who I really like a lot.

Haven't seen his show, but I've barely heard one nice thing about it. The problem is he's not a TV guy.

One can learn that skill, but the paradigm is usually to do that learning before hosting a daily show on a big network. What was really scary is there were indications on the first show Mike and Sarah had never met (she asked if he had kids).
     
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Jan 6, 2014, 01:52 PM
 
I just watched 3m of the latest show. It just doesn't work. He has no life in him. Maybe he'll grow into it.

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Jan 6, 2014, 02:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
I just watched 3m of the latest show. It just doesn't work. He has no life in him. Maybe he'll grow into it.
Maybe. But I think we can agree that he will not ever reach Tom's quality or naturality.
     
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Jan 6, 2014, 04:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Leo claims (via Twitter) Tom asked for too much money, and he expects Tom's departure to chase off all the listeners he brought in (he got that second part right in my case).

I'm wondering how that math works.
Doesn't Leo make an order of magnitude more than Tom did? You can't expect people to stick around if you aren't paying them what they're worth. Is he implying that Tom was being greedy and ungrateful?
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subego  (op)
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Jan 6, 2014, 06:52 PM
 
Leo bought a house with the CEO, is leasing a $100,000 car, and bought a $10,000 dollar TV, so he's certainly doing okay.

I don't begrudge him that BTW. Shit, he's almost 60. Totally reasonable for one to reap the benefits of several decades of hard work at that point. Likewise, I don't think anyone can slam his work-ethic. The guy's a machine.

It was also stated on the record Tom was the highest paid employee.

Further, TWiT somewhat openly has a "hire 'em young, pay them nothing, show them the ropes, have them leave for greener pastures" model. A happier story, involving their former chief engineer, had her saying up front "if Google wants to hire me, I'm going to have to quit". Leo's response was "hell, yeah... I'd quit too". Google did end up hiring her, and she ended up quitting.

The darker side of that was Erik Lanigan, who was getting to do 9 hours of call-in talk a week (i.e. much rope learning), but was so on the outs with the CEO she had forgotten to pay him. They also didn't invite him to the Christmas party. He got to watch everyone play in the bouncy castle right outside his apartment window.

The original TNT setup was different. Not only was Tom a well established pro, the original show had ****ing Becky Worley, and was about to have Molly Wood sign on the dotted line when CBS counter-offered a supposedly ridiculous amount of cash.

That lineup is going to cost you money. No real way around that.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 6, 2014, 07:55 PM
 
To say something halfway nice about Leo, one of those being a "TV guy" things Mike Elgan seems to lack, which Leo and Tom have in spades, is the ability to appear upbeat and casual when your personal life is going to shit.

Like when Leo's daughter lost her mind. You knew what was going on as a live viewer, but his actual on-air stuff was as smooth as silk. As a pretty adorable aside, she got very mad about him being public with it, and Leo said her reading him the riot act was when he knew she'd be okay, because it was her acting like her old self.

To switch back to saying bad things about Leo, I can't fathom him not realizing this is a skill, and it's a skill Mike Elgan doesn't have. I'm not implying Mike's personal life is going to shit in the traditional sense, but it is in the "I'm way out over my skis at the moment" sense. It's going to take a month or two for him just to get basic balance down, and only then is he going to be able to let his natural personality come out in the artificial environment of a TV studio with a camera pointing at him. Add at least a few more months for that.

Again, I'm curious how the math works on this. The only way this sort of makes sense is if Mike is working for peanuts. The show is starting almost literally at square zero.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 6, 2014, 07:58 PM
 
Thanks everybody BTW, for indulging me and my TWiT blawg.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 19, 2014, 08:15 PM
 
It's alleged Tom's original salary was $200K and he was asking for $300K.
     
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Jan 20, 2014, 02:59 AM
 
Is that really good in that field? I have no idea. Without knowing the pay scales and revenues I don't know if that's an unreasonable request.
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Jan 20, 2014, 09:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It's alleged Tom's original salary was $200K and he was asking for $300K.
Considering the implication of what Leo makes that doesn't seem out of line.

I'm under impression Tom had the heaviest workload/schedule of the talking heads. Am I mistaken?

Of course, I could see some pushback given that Tom was now working remote, which I think would be deemed less valuable.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 20, 2014, 02:38 PM
 
Actually, Sarah has the biggest workload. Five days of TNT, iPad Today with Leo, The Social Hour (social network news), and iFive, which is a short show, but it's produced.

On top of that, she seems to be the only one to go out of her way to record a show off-schedule to place on days when the station is dark.

A lot of people are ambivalent towards her (I personally like her), but no one can slam her work ethic.


Tom had TNT, and FrameRate, though was obviously taking a lead role in producing TNT.


All that said, what Tom was asking for doesn't seem unreasonable to me. It's a tough job, he's very good at it, and it's not cheap to live in either LA or SF. With most people at TWiT living in Petaluma, one could argue sympathy for that issue is limited.

With regards to Leo's lifestyle, he would say that's based on the shows which make good money are all shows hosted by him.


My commentary: TWiT used to have the show "Dr. Kiki's Science Hour". Leo mentioned once how the show didn't make money, but he had (his words) an obligation to spend resources on that kind of programming which isn't necessarily profitable.

Yeah. That show is long gone.

Some may remember a time when the news you got on television was something worthy of respect. The era of names like Cronkite and Murrow.

We respect those names because they're from an era where news didn't have to make money. Now it does, and it sucks.

The best daily tech news show, bar none, isn't going to be profit center. The only reason to have that is one feels an obligation towards it. What we have now is talking-head training school. We can see where TWiT feels its obligation is.


P.S. I want to repeat again how I think Mike Elgan is a great guy. I've always liked him. I appreciate the value of old-media style journalism, and would actually like more of those types to get the training it takes to do TV well. Totally not his fault he got the offer as part of a contract fight, and I almost never begrudge someone taking an offer. My issue is it being offered in the first place, not him taking it. On top of that, he's getting a lot of undeserved criticism for not being Tom. People should really stop that.
     
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Jan 20, 2014, 02:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Actually, Sarah has the biggest workload. Five days of TNT, iPad Today with Leo, The Social Hour (social network news), and iFive, which is a short show, but it's produced.

On top of that, she seems to be the only one to go out of her way to record a show off-schedule to place on days when the station is dark.

A lot of people are ambivalent towards her (I personally like her), but no one can slam her work ethic.
I'll have to make a note of this.


Originally Posted by subego View Post
My commentary: TWiT used to have the show "Dr. Kiki's Science Hour". Leo mentioned once how the show didn't make money, but he had (his words) an obligation to spend resources on that kind of programming which isn't necessarily profitable.

Yeah. That show is long gone.
Leo did a lot of scaling back and panicking after making the brick house. I get the impression that he either didn't realize the cost or overestimated the boon to the network.

Shortly afterwards is when TWiT ballooned to 5 commercials.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 20, 2014, 03:22 PM
 
The big pivot point seemed to be Game On. Not a single ad. $250K totally down the drain.

After that was, umm... I know I shouldn't call it "the night of the long knives", but I'm going to anyway. That's when Kiki got the shank.
     
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Jan 20, 2014, 03:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The big pivot point seemed to be Game On. Not a single ad. $250K totally down the drain.
Yeah, I think that was the big symbol of how caught up Leo got in expansion/move. I think it's unfortunate that that show ended up unintentionally killing off other shows and changed the network for the worse.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 20, 2014, 03:38 PM
 
And completely missed the fact that what people want from gaming TV is people playing games.

Which costs... nothing.
     
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Jan 20, 2014, 03:40 PM
 
Though getting to see V explain pedobear to Tim Schaefer was worth at least $50K.
     
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Jan 20, 2014, 03:43 PM
 
The problem was they made a Game TV show instead of a Game podcast. The opening was so gaudy and overdone.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 20, 2014, 03:51 PM
 
And long.

All the preproduced stuff had this SNL feel of "we paid for this ridiculous set, so we're going to make this joke work for three minutes even though it has less than 30 seconds of juice in it".

On top of that, Leo always said he didn't want to do a gaming show because gaming is too fragmented. He was correct then, and he's still correct now. I like simulations and RPGs. FPS and RTS can suck it.

That said, I'll totally watch an FPS being played.
     
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Jan 21, 2014, 03:52 AM
 
FPS is more like watching someone play a sport, because so few people can do it very well. I'm an RPG junkie, because anyone can play Skyrim.
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