Friday, October 31, 2014

TWIT: Kicking puppies or The firing of OMGChad

I'll be honest here...

I really haven't been spending that much time with TWIT lately.  The house that Leo built continues what appears to be a slow slide into oblivion which isn't news.  That more and more people agree with that assessment isn't either.

It's not good to fixate on negative things for any length of time unless you're trying to learn to avoid them.  At this point the writing's on the wall for TWIT and fans and detractors alike are growing weary of the whitewash every time the network takes another misstep.  

It's like trying to find something positive to say about a train wreck by mentioning the scrap value of the mangled cars.

The latest round of "changes" as former bookkeeper now CEO Lisa Kentzell likes to call them is the...ummm....

Firing? removal? change in status?  Well, whatever they're calling it these days, "former" protege' Chad Johnson is no longer a full time employee.

Apparently Johnson, whose OMGCraft show had already left the network, has been removed from TWIT production duties on all TWIT shows including MacBreak Weekly and TWIT among others.

Which means he was fired...

In the October 29th "Inside TWIT" Laporte cited the need for a producer whose time isn't split between their own endeavours and those of TWIT's cash cow programming.  He followed up with expressions of affection for the newly unleashed Johnson not unlike those bestowed on Brian Brushwood and Justin Robert Young earlier this year.

Those "changes" became most evident, however, after Johnson had his own "Erik Lanigan-esque" moment (meaning he said he got fired but wouldn't elaborate.)  It came about during an impromptu call-in on longtime friend and mentor Brian Brushwood's "Night Attack" show during a discussion about his termination.

Much like the now "banished to the ether" NFSW 218 where Brushwood and Young praised TWIT for their help in nurturing the fledgling show,  Johnosn remained professional in his discussion of the events surrounding his dismissal and appreciative of Laporte's tutelege.  Hopefully we'll see that professional courtesy reciprocated instead of the Night of 1000 bans leveled at the former hosts of NSFW.

NOTE: Skip to 1:07:27 to hear from Johnson himself...

Johnson will continue as co-host with Dick DeBartolo on "The Giz Wiz" although that may have more to do with DeBartolo's pull than any act of magnanimity by Laporte. 

With the continuing drain of talent at TWIT, Laporte needs to retain the few popular hosts he has left.  With successful endeavors of thier own and fame earned long before TWIT even existed, DeBartolo and  others like Security Now's Steve Gibson have little need of the exposure TWIT affords them.

Meaning that after DeBartolo was effectively abandoned by Laporte to be replaced by Johnson it's likely he wouldn't tolerate another host change.  Of course it could also be that Laporte just didn't want to take back hosting duties on The Giz Wiz like he had to for Before you Buy when Morse left.

That or Laporte is just running out of hosts.

Speaking of Shannon Morse...

She's even closer to "out the door" now.   Her departure from co-hosting duties with Fr. Robert Balacer on Coding 101 was announced on the October 15th Inside TWIT page.

The change is reportedly the result of format changes to the show which for all intents and purposes is going to be less about learning to code (the show's premise BTW) and more like a "Triangulation" for coders.  (That's my phrase not TWIT's)

You have to wonder just how much more of this the ol' Padre is going to put up with...

Morse already had one foot out the door when she ceased producer duties at TWIT this year and now has been reduced to the cameo role of "reviewer" on TWIT's Before You Buy product review show.

One can only surmise that OMGChad's future at TWIT will follow a similar path as TWIT "contractors" tend to have short tenures.

The official explanation is below on the inside TWIT Oct 15th announcement page...

A big thank you to everyone for their support of Coding 101, because without our fans it would not exist. A show about programming has always been a part of our vision for TWiT, and starting this week we are making changes to the format of the show.
Instead of focusing on teaching code and jumping from one language to the next, we will be interviewing developers/programmers/coders and taking a deeper dive into their work. We plan to cover everything from coding to programming philosophy and plan to integrate more projects on the show.
With this shift in focus, Shannon Morse is leaving Coding 101, but she is not leaving our network. I am happy to announce that Shannon will be returning as a contributor to Before You Buy with weekly product reviews. While I know that Shannon is very busy with her work outside our network, we are looking forward to keeping her presence on TWiT.
Stay tuned as we continue to improve our existing shows and announce new ones!

And why not?  After all, we tuned into Coding 101 for the stimulating conversation right?  Yes, of course, Coding 101 will now be the Tavis Smiley of coding podcasts!

Ok, by now we know the "changes" that happen at TWIT these days are largely driven by Lisa Kentzell with Laporte blithely following her lead.  There's no doubt who's in charge of the network and the visiion is clearly not Laporte's regardless of his claims to the contrary.

Much like Brian Brushwwood on Night Attack 35, I'm having issues not mentioning what part of the anatomy I believe  Laporte's decisions are likely being made by.

All I can say at this point is that shafting Chad Johnson is like kicking puppies while drowning kittens.