TWIT Takes a Big Step Backward

By | 2014-01-03

I think that most tech geeks and IT people have likely heard of The TWIT Network and may listen or watch one or more of the shows they produce. My favourite TWIT show was Tech News Today, also known as TNT. This was a show developed around tech podcaster Tom Merritt after he left CNet. I have been a listener of TNT since day one, having been a fan of Tom’s previous show at CNet called Buzz Out Loud, or BOL.

I was an early listener of BOL, and watched the show that appeared to be a hobby that the hosts produced on their break time, to grow into a fairly big deal in tech podcasting. As a BOL listener I watched as it grew in content length and quality, plateaued for a while, and then went down hill and straight into the toilet, in my opinion. I stopped downloading and listening some time before Tom Merritt left the show and CNet. When he did, I followed him as a listener to TWIT and he carried on a very similar show, that for the most part I enjoyed, but regardless listened to on a daily basis.

At some point in December, Tom announced very briefly that TWIT (Leo Leport) was not renewing his contract and was instead bringing in someone to be an in house news journalist, or something to that effect. The way it was worded sounded to me to possibly reflect the fact that Tom originally worked from inside the TWIT building, and then later moved to another city, and did his part of the show remotely. I could very well be wrong about this, but that’s what crossed my mind. As an audio listener it made little difference to me where he was located. As a business owner or manager I could easily see where this could be a concern.

His replacement is someone that has been an guest on various TWIT shows from time to time. Someone that I felt made an okay guest, and better than many TWIT guests. But as a listener I find the “new guy” to have a tedious monotone voice that wears on me. And of course he has his own style and direction for how the show, now his show, should go.

I’ve listened to the first episode of the revamped TNT and their pre-show New Years episode. And I’m very disappointed with the changes TWIT has made with TNT. Not only is Tom gone, but so is one of the co-hosts, Iyaz Akhtar, who has left for CNet. There was no mention of this prior to the new guy taking over. Leaving only one co-host behind, a very smart and capable co-host named Sarah Lane, a well known cord-cutter, but also very long winded at times. I’ll miss Iyaz on the TNT show, as he developed into a competent and interesting co-host.

Unlike Tom, the new guy is painfully monotone, long winded and currently seems to not have the journalist skills of knowing when to cut a guest off and inject some content, or change a subject, letting the guest go on and on far too long.

All these changes are very disappointing, not only due to simple change, but a change to a less interesting and pleasantly sounding host, but also a loss of a good co-host. It obviously isn’t going to be the same show at all. So why keep the same name? I suppose to keep the existing podcast feed followers.

Unless miracles happen with TNT, I’m pretty certain I’ll be deleting the TNT feed from my list soon. And if not it certainly won’t be at the top of my listening list anymore. I no longer look forward to listening to TNT once a weekday. It will now be an experiment to see how long it will take till I remove the feed from my phone.

10 thoughts on “TWIT Takes a Big Step Backward

  1. Alex

    I could not agree more and from what I have heard, other FORMER TNT listeners feel the same.

  2. Michael McNutt

    I also agree. I’ve turned off Leo Laporte several times in the last 15 years. But when Tom went to Twit it seemed like Twit was gaining more quality content. Now it looks like, I’ll be turning him off again. TNT is awful, most other TWiT shows are also not too great. I think ill be deleting most of my TWiT feeds and only hope that Sarah Lane and Jason Howell get out of there as soon as possible.

  3. abstractviews

    Thanks for the comments. I’ve now listened to a few of the new TNT shows, and they are worse than I expected. Mike has a painfully monotonous voice that bores me to thinking of other things. Within seconds I tune him out and the podcast is invisible to my brain. I constantly realize I didn’t pay any attention to what he said. At the best of times I hate the ad-lib TWIT commercials, but listening to Mike fumble through them brings them (for me) to a whole new low. While I listen to the shows now, I actually feel sorry for Sarah, and embarrassed for her, that she has to tolerate these low quality changes Leo has made. In my opinion, the only TWIT show that is now worse than TNT would be anything with Brian the magician on it. For me he ruins any show he is on, with his endless interrupting, useless comments, and immature babble. I wouldn’t be surprised if Leo selects Brian the magician to be the next TWIT host replacement.

  4. Dan Godlewski

    This new host of TNT is, while perhaps a very good journalist and news director; is the absolute worst pick for a host that could have been decided. There seems to be a host (pun intended) of changes at TWIT that appear to have not been too carefully thought out.

  5. Michael G

    No longer is Tech News Today on my Apple TV list of favorite podcasts… I agree wholeheartedly with the comments above!

  6. Tryphoon

    Tech News Today deleted from my Stitcher feed. TWiT app deleted from my iOS and Roku devices. Just spent (sorry lost) an hour trying to listen to the new versions of TNT and TechNews2nite… Sorry, people… no regret!

    Even giving $5 to Tom and his Daily Tech News Show…

  7. Patrick Perkins

    it would seem Leo’s political views are changing the network.. first tom and now sara.. i think the reason why sara left was because of leo’s comments about not having slept with her..!!!!

    1. abstractviews

      I did hear that Sara was leaving the TWIT Network. I like Sara as an on-air personality. But since she was only on the news show (that I know longer listened to) I don’t get to listen to her any longer. I wasn’t aware Leo made a comment like you mentioned. On which show did that happen? I still listen to Leo’s shows, This Week in Tech and Security Now. Maybe I missed that comment.

      Is Sara leaving to work on another tech podcast? If so, maybe I’ll have to give it a listen. I wish her good luck.

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