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Leo takes leave of his senses

December 3, 2009

Vista busy cursor Interesting, Chief TWiT Leo Laporte has openly decided to appropriate voluntary contributions to the This Week in Tech podcast network for his personal income.

This is in the name of establishing a direct link between his income from TWiT and his consumer approval rating, measured by said consumers’ voluntary contributions which were originally solicited as needed to help with the running costs of the (then infant) TWiT network. This arrangement replaces whatever income he would otherwise be drawing from TWiT. He promises to be transparent, and publish his income based on the contributions.

Despite my tongue in cheek opening paragraph, I don’t think Leo is attempting to do anything underhand but neither am I sure it makes a whole load of sense. I rather suspect that Leo is embarrassed about being perceived as rich. It recently became public knowledge that TWiT is turning over around $2.5m per annum. Listeners are aware of Leo acquiring no end of gadgets, going on expensive holidays and buying pricey cars, because he hardly makes a secret of any of these things on his various shows. Put that together with the turnover figure and suddenly Leo appears to be coining it.

Of course, it’s not as simple as that. TWiT now has a staff of 7 full time employees, considerable running costs as it gets technologically more sophisticated, and a good part of the advertising income presumably goes to pay co-hosts on the different shows. All the same, I can’t help wondering whether Leo is doing this to pre-empt criticism that he is making a mint from TWiT, not that there is anything wrong with that. He has been successful on merit – why can’t he reap the reward?

Maybe he has been given a big raise on his “old media” radio show and decided he can come over all frugal and responsible at a time when many are heading towards a recession-hit XMAS.

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2 comments

  1. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’ve drifted away from all of the TWiT podcasts except for Windows Weekly, and it’s mainly Leo’s fault. He doesn’t listen to the other hosts (how many times does he ask a question which the other person explained just a minute before). He goes off on pointless tangents, particularly when he’s trying (and failing) to be funny. He does insulting accents whenever foreigners send emails. He keeps forgetting that the main audience is listening, not watching. And so on, he drives me up the wall, and that’s why I haven’t contributed. Perhaps, if he gets soaked on this exercise, he’ll straighten up.


  2. I’m not at all sure of the legal aspects of redirecting the voluntary contributions to his own pocket when they were originally solicited for a quite different purpose. I’m sure he must have taken legal advice, and in fairness he is being extremely public about all this.

    My guess is we’ll hear about little else for the next few episodes of This Week in Tech, Windows Weekly, Security Now!, The Daily Giz Wiz, etc., etc.



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