A catch phrase will go here soon.

My official statement on the @leolaporte ThisWeekIn.com controversy. #twit #twist #twi

4/18/2010
Yesterday, and earlier today, Leo Laporte made on-air statements that he was not happy with my use of the “This Week In” format of shows.
Someone posted a video of it on YouTube.
Obviously I’m shocked, and to be honest a little hurt, by this since I consider Leo a friend, mentor and a long-time collaborator.
Some background for the record
===============
1. Leo gave me his blessing for starting This Week In Startups and for doing my “This Week In” Network.
2. I offered Leo the domain name thisweekin.com before I bought it.
3. I would have never used the domain name without his blessing–this situation is EXACTLY why I cleared it with him in advance.
4. I’ve invested over six figures in the www.ThisWeekIn.com company and brand. My intent is to launch 30 shows in this space of three years.
5. I admire and respect Leo. I will not get dragged into a big public fight with him. I respect him, and myself, too much.
6. There are 500 possible “This Week In… ” shows either of us could do. There are also dozens of other folks doing independent TWI shows for the past couple of decades.
Some solutions I’ve proposed
================
1. Leo can have first shot at any topics. There are so many topics we really don’t need to fight over them.
2. I will partner with Leo on advertising sales for our two networks. Right now I’m guessing Leo gives 30-50% of his advertising revenue to his 3rd party ad network. I would give him 100% of his sales and take zero–yes 0%–of the advertising we sell for his network. If he sells into our network he could take 25%. The reason I would do this is obvious: we are much stronger joining forces as partner on advertising then apart.
3. We would partner with him on any shows he wanted to jointly. Can you imagine how amazing a DAILY show would be with Leo and I as hosts? I think our chemistry is second to NO ONE on This Week in Tech with the exception of Dvorak. When we’re on This Week in Tech together it’s powerful, funny, insightful and controversial–everything you want a RADIO show to be.
all the best, jason
  • http://calgaryguru.ca/ Calgary Guru

    I’d say this calls for a beer summit… It worked for Pres. Obama…

    It is never a good idea to work this out in text… Face to face is best. Too much is missing without the additional cues of voice intonation and facial expressions.

    My thoughts, anyway.

  • Mars Sjoden

    That was good Mr. Calacanis.

    I respect both yourself and Leo, and do hope ‘external’ frictions do not divide you both.
    I agree you and Leo provide very different and unique perspectives to which I believe is very healthy.

    Best of luck to you both.

    mars

  • great

    I’m sure leo appreciates your blessing on what he can and cannot do.

  • Justin

    An idea:
    Perhaps change your network to “The Week in…”
    So instead of “This Week in Google” it would be “The Week in Google”
    I think that’s a minor change that could very easily resolve this situation.

  • http://twitter.com/AffiliateSEOPro b

    Sorry to hear about the controversy jason. you and leo have that rare chemistry that we all love when listening to TWIT. i like your solutions and hope you can both work it out. those audible spots would not be the same without you.

  • http://Www.3messAges.com Matt

    Pick up the phone and call Leo and work it out. If you are that concerned about it work it out without us hearing about. We don’t need to know anything until you guys have it resolved. You’re both professionals act like it

  • Mickey

    Jason,

    You’re missing the whole point. There’s going to be massive
    confusion between these two networks. What we’re you thinking?
    You should do the right thing and pick something original for
    your show titles.

  • http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/ Don Dodge

    Jason is right here. I remember him asking Leo if it was OK to use the “This Week In Startups”
    name, and saying that he planned to start more shows with the “This Week In” naming mode.

    Jason does top quality shows with the best content and guests.

    I don’t believe anyone confuses Jason’s show with Leo’s show. Leo has no basis to complain.

    Don Dodge

  • http://www.justinherrick.com Justin

    Sounds like a very reasonable and beneficial response to this issue. It is best to defuse it before it is blown out of proportion. I have always held both you(jason) and Leo in very high regard and would hate for this to turn into some unneeded grudge match.

    I believe that Leo didn’t believe you had such a grand plan for This week in and is started to feel as if he’s been pushed aside. I think that has more to do with his personality than it does with the reality of the situation. I think the mutual cooperation between you two, as you suggested, is the best alternative for the viewers.

    No matter what happens, I’m hoping for the best.

  • http://tim.rocketry.org Tim

    Just won’t be the same listening to TWiT without the occasional Christopher Walken imitation :)

  • http://www.stillmusic.com The Lizard

    Looks to me like you guys are stirring stuff up for promo, but that’s just me….

  • http://www.waltspence.com wesy2kn1

    Jason, I can see both sides of the argument here. I don’t like to see you guys fighting either. I admire your business savvy and understanding of VC and as a small business that has hopes of making it big, I turn to your insight on these matters. The same goes to Leo when it comes to technology. I honestly believe that this will be resolved in the long run, but I don’t want to see it turn into a feud for the reasons you listed. I do enjoy having you on TwiT.

    Now this is what I can see on Leo’s side. As he himself said, he’s doing well for himself, he’s not interested in sharing Ad revenue. He feels that you’re infringing on his brand by making TWI a podcasting network and doesn’t want to have to deal with confusion from advertisers. He stated before the Tech Guy radio show just a while ago he feels that you are trying to nudge him into merging, which he’s not interested in.

    You have to understand why he’s not interested. As he said its nothing personal. Dane and Colleen themselves believe there are way too many shows they do that use this week in in their name. Also, Leo several times in the past has mentioned that he doesn’t want to have a whole bunch of this week in shows on a variety of topics. As a business man, I’m sure you understand why he doesn’t want this…it would hurt his brand because he is more about the value in terms of quality rather than quantity.

    Unfortunately I don’t see a resolution to this that either of you are going to be satisfied with the more I think about it. You have put a bunch of money into this brand by your account so I’m sure you’re not going to throw that away. Leo has to protect the TwiT brand…it is his baby after all and is doing quite well.

    I hope you guys can come to a consensus and I hope this isn’t too long.

  • Doug Wilson

    jason should do a show called “this week in backstabbing”

  • Chris

    Think Leo should have flagged up his concerns earlier, but I guess using the ‘This Week In’ brand was always going to cause confusion when Leo had already been using it for a long time…

  • http://www.rondavismusic.com Ron Davis

    I love your work Jason. I don’t question you’re a mensch. You show integrity in your response. But it’s optics. Using ‘This Week In’ serially looks like an encroachment on the hard work of a true Internet hero. It may not be so in fact. It still has that feel to it.

    Seems to me your challenge is to build in to your ‘TWI’work and network some up front acknowledgement, some recognition that makes it brain-dead clear to the outsider that Leo and his work are being honoured, not overtaken.

  • Markdek

    Jason, I too remember you giving Leo plenty of notice.

    You guys talked about this, and it seems to me Leo never gave
    it much thought….perhaps he should of.

    Good luck to you guys…I’m sure you will work it out.

    I like both of our networks, and perhaps they compliment each other.

  • Rayan

    Although Leo has a huge following, I wouldn’t really consider him an entrepreneur . The video made it seem like he was upset because though he had all the time in the world to execute the same idea, he didn’t and someone else is doing it and probably much better than he could ever do. Jason is a true businessman, how could you not expect him to try to go big with TWI? He should be mad at himself for lacking foresight instead of Jason for being Jason.

    That being said, It’s smart of Jason to try to partner with him. Leo has a huge following in the tech scene and probably not someone to make enemies with. Leo should take the deal that is being offered because its pretty win win for everybody involved including the audience.

  • Peter Vader

    How is Leo’s lawsuit against the Mel Allen estate going?

  • Andrew

    Perhaps, he now sees the potential of the thisweekin
    network and regrets not buying the domain. His network lacks
    branding because all the shows have different names. But leo
    is more about growing organically whereas you will try anything
    to see what sticks. I think like you but respect Leo as well.

    Hope it works out.

  • http://wholelottarob.com Dr Robert Schertzer

    You and Leo are really great together on-air and I hope you two work this out. It sounds like perhaps you are planning to over-use the “This Week In…” although he had said on air before that you can’t copyright a title as with books. Leo does have a good point that if you are indeed going to go ahead with launching 30 more TWi named shows, then you really are infringing on his ‘brand.’ Since Leo was there first and you guys should really get along, also since you only really have This Week in Startup and now This Week in iPad, whereas he has many shows developed over many years, perhaps you should look for a different name before you get much further.

  • scott

    I’ve heard Leo say a few times that he absolutely had no problem with *anyone* starting a “this week in” show since the idea wasn’t even his to start.

    I’m looking forward to hearing what he is now saying. I love Leo and what he’s been able to do, but you’ve done nothing wrong as far as I can see.

    You asked when you didn’t even have to, and he clearly said he had no problem. So what else is the problem?

  • http://twitter.com/romancaffeina Roman

    I don’t think you can just “get leo’s blessing” and have it mean your clear to do whatever you want. By doing this your basicly putting all the responsibility on Leo for not stopping you, which you should know is just not very friend-like.

    If you really do consider yourself a friend of Leo, it’s also up to you to be sensitive to his position in an issue like this. If Leo had told you no from the begining, that would’ve been kind of ridiculous, cause he obviously can’t, and shouldn’t stop anyone from trying to make a name for them selfs as a podcaster. But it’s also fair to asume, from a friend perspective, that you wouldn’t get so agresive about it, essentially building a whole new network around the same exact consept, with the same name.

    I mean, come on Jason, you know better than that, and playing the “i got Leo’s blessing” card is just cheap. There’s plenty of other cool ideas you can, and should pursue.

    Cheers.

  • Joe Bagadonuts

    Jason, I think you’re wrong on this one.

    Doing a couple of “This Week in…” shows is like borrowing
    your neighbor’s lawn-mower.

    The scope that you’re doing is more like going into his house
    and getting in bed with his wife.

  • http://stanford.edu/~droryomr omri

    I really hope this is nothing big, I love jason in twit and not only for the groaning @audible commercials.

    I started listening to podcasts at the twit network (twit, mac break weekly, twig etc) but also loves this week in startups and VC from jason’s network.

    As I see it 2 things happening:
    1) free market: everyone can do what Leo does, and as he got Tom Merrit from Cnet – you can get his guys and then it will be just about the content – who is better? much like CBS/ABC etc.
    2) some kind of sharing, you can compete on the same subjects or do different niches.

    Anyhow, I will continue listening to both of you – and If jason wont be in twit it will just make twit that much worse off.

  • Bon

    I am sorry to see this possible conflict. Hope U work it out

  • http://www.incrementmyworld.com rugland

    I really hope you two work this out, and preferably quickly. Really don’t want to see this turn into a “pissing contest” :)

    Best of luck to the both of you….

  • http://ampedup.tv Chris Penney

    I completely understand where leo is coming from and do think it his some fault of blame. He tends to go along with things before really thinking through. The whole network was built on just trying new things. I don’t think he fully understood at the time what you were talking about with whole “this week in” thing.

    There is no easy solution out of this. Leo is very set in keeping the network under his management. You can bring more money to the table and business mind set but he content on how things are.

    Hopefully this can be worked out

  • Martin, Germany

    Yes, you both should not argue about it, but find a quick and
    easy solution. I am sure 99% of your audience dont’t want to
    see you argue but and push and develop new media.

    You both are protagonist and an inspiration for
    many many people.

    Go the smart way ;)
    Martin.

  • http://stratetect.com stratetect

    Love you both..hope you can move beyond and not be drawn.

    good luck.

  • Commenter

    Very Surprising,especially given the efforts you always make to help push his advertisements.

  • http://photographers-northwest.com joseph scozzari

    All I can say is wow, I have heard him state numerous times that he did not feel he has a monopoly on the “this week in’ type shows (and really he shouldn’t) i do understand he has built a great deal of his branding around it and with your vigorous pursuit of this line of shows he could have some reason (rightly so) to make him a bit concerned, but really, this is what happens when you build your branding on something that is that open ( well unless you are Apple). I think it has more to do with the scope of your actions rather than the single shows involved, you are basically building what I believe he sees (and I would agree) as a competing and diluting brand. I truly believe you would be open and generous in partnering with him, but a forced partner, even a generous and benevolent one, still feels uncomfortable when you are basically given no choice.
    I do see some dilution of his branding, I think really every “This week in” show does, but as long as you use very different logos and graphics I think people would know the difference. I love your contributions and insight on TWIT and would hate to lose it, but I also do understand his concern about having you on his shows in the future.
    I really hope you guys can work this out, it sounds like you have a great deal of Time and capital invested already, not the type of thing you can walk away from, and I truly believe you could build something even greater together, I think this could take Mr. Laportes network to the next level really and I hope you two can find a way to work together.
    Good luck to both of you, business aspect aside, I hope you guys can work this out.

    JRS

  • Jude

    Jason, don’t insult your audience’s intelligence. Really? How could you not think this would happen, please…

    Leo can’t stop anyone from using “this week in”. Also getting a blessing for TWIStartups is a lot different than an entire network.

  • http://www.kashifpasta.com Kashif Pasta

    I think Leo was cool with “This Week in Startups”, but the idea of a *tech* *podcast* *network* one letter off from his own is understandably disconcerting.

    Leo is the king of slow, controlled growth and he likely doesn’t feel like the TWi shows are at the quality that they potentially could be.

  • Ryan Clarke

    Jason,
    Sorry to hear of this furor. Didn’t expect it at all since,
    as a TWIST fan I have heard you continuously say that Leo
    “blessed” you with the name. I admire your diplomacy with
    handling this delicate matter and agree with your strategy for
    resolution.

    Looks like someone didn’t expect you to blow up as soon as you
    did;).

    Keep bringing it with the quality shows people want!

    Leo: Don’t hate. Congratulate. Join forces and make this thing
    SUPER BIG! There is enough money in this for everyone, plus
    you guys make a killer combo.

  • Edin Kadribasic

    According to Leo, only the fist part of 1) is true.
    One of you is not telling the truth.

  • Andrew Perelson

    I sincerely hope this is some sort of marketing stunt.
    Because I’d hate to think that adults that I have grown to
    respect could behave like little children. Share please!
    And play nicely. And if you can’t do that, please don’t
    involve your fans in the mess.

  • http://stewsnooze.com/ Stew

    Frankly if he didn’t buy the domain *and* gave you permission I don’t see a problem.

    He seems to have a problem with your speed of execution. I wish people had problems with my speed of execution.

  • Gary

    Hi Jason, I have great respect for both you. Without Leo you would not have “This Week In X” and I think Leo should be able to launch the X whenever he wants to, it is unfair of you simply to offer first refusal. I’d hate to lose respect for you because i admire you, but I will if you pursue this with no full And current agreement with Leo.

  • http://Twitter.com/aaronjanderson Aaron Anderson

    Jason, Leo has a valid point, and so do you. This Week In… Is his baby that he’s spent a lot of time and love building. 30 shows in 3 Yeats could certainly dwarf the view of his network. I don’t think he had a fair understanding of how aggressive you would expand the name. I would feel similarily.

  • Dylan

    I’d have to go with Leo on this one sorry Jason.

    It sounds like he was being a nice guy and not minding the first one.
    But 30 shows planned soon with lots more to come ?
    That’s quite an aggressive move in anyones book.

    Why not just accept that someone got the good idea before you and move on to a different name ?

  • Charlie Cowins

    Have to side with Leo on this one. This week in baseball aired for years and Dr. Kiki
    was on radio show This week in Science, so Leo knows it is not something he can
    control. But This Week in Tech is a brand he has built up in the tech podcast area.
    He was gracious about this week in startups and Jason can obviously do what he will
    with buying domains, but I can see his discomfort with Jason trying to build an
    industry on what will be confused with his business that he is building himself.

  • Derrick

    I believe Leo is worried this will dilute not podcasts or streaming media, but the niche he has worked relentlessly to carve for himself. The TWI name is not a vertical or a format, podcasts and streaming is the medium. You, Jason, excel in making verticals in a format. Don’t belittle the TWIT brand with 300 shows. Be respectful and step back before you leap.

    Look at the mere fact Leo didn’t part take in the Streamy Awards; I feel you would have gone in with a This Week In network and wanted recognition for creating “verticals” in this space. And many would have been scratching their heads asking where’s Leo?

    Many of us have learned valuable lessons from your show TWIST and your business experience, be sure you can continue to teach lessons from this current situation. Business is business; however, as our personal lives are colliding with our online world emotions will develop for those building this space and for everyone watching.

    All the best.

  • http://thehiddenshamrock.com cathy

    Wow, this is really low.
    Stealing your “friend and mentors” brand?
    By Leo giving you permission, as a friend,
    to use the nomenclature for one show and you turn around and decide to duplicate his idea in name and concept and start your own network!?. Your Karma is fucked. You and Leo do not have a chemistry. You come across as arrogant
    and self absorbed. You obviously cannot come up with your own ideas.
    Change the name, its not that hard.
    You are doing nothing other than feeding off of confusion & misrepresentation by people searching for Leo and they end up getting the plagiarized version thinking they are getting a product endorsed by Leo.
    All of Leo’s hard work is now being leached by a really bad impression of the real thing. I for one could not wait for Leo to see through your sleazy self promoting megalomanic ways. You are a disgrace sir.

  • http://thetroystory.blogspot.com/ Troy Robbins

    I agree that since Jason has put a lot of money into the “This Week In” website that it might be difficult to drop it, but would it really be that hard to just change the name of the website, slash, network to something like The Mahalo Network or Mahalo.TV? The shows themselves could all have Mahalo in their titles: Mahalo Startups, Mahalo Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show, Mahalo Android, Mahalo Cloud Computing, Mahalo Twitter, Mahalo Youtube, Mahalo Social Media, Mahalo Books, Mahalo Venture Capital, Mahalo Gadgets, and Mahalo iPad.

  • http://twitter.com/mattargyle Matt Argyle

    I think the interesting point is the desire to team up on ad sales. I believe to an advertiser that would seem to imply a deeper connection than actually exists between the networks.

    I thought This Week In Startups was a great idea for Jason but feel this is turning into a land grab in order to take advantage of the TWIT networks progress. I don’t believe it is malicious in any way, but it is pretty lame.

    That being said, it’s all very inside baseball and probably shouldn’t be occurring on air.

  • Jay

    I would have assumed you wanted to do a show or two, not expand it into a brand with virtually the same name.

    I’m still puzzled why you did it…it seems like you used the poularity of his established brand to get early steam.

  • Jay

    BTW I’d like to add I’m a fan of both of you.

    But your co-opting of This Week In…honestly never sat well with me. I still enjoy your shows though! I know it’s asking a lot, but maybe you can transition into an original brand of your own. You are successful enough and have enough of a following to maintain your numbers through it.

  • http://twitter.com/Moobie Moobie

    I’m with Jason. When it comes to names and who owns the rights to what, it always reminds me of the dispute that Groucho Marx had with Warner Brothers over the naming rights to the film “A Night in Casablanca.”…

    http://www.chillingeffects.org/resource.cgi?ResourceID=31

    “I just don’t understand your attitude. Even if you plan on releasing your picture, I am sure that the average movie fan could learn in time to distinguish between Ingrid Bergman and Harpo. I don’t know whether I could, but I certainly would like to try.”

    I fail to see how anyone can possibly be confused between the differences of Leo’s TWiT network and Jason’s “This Week in”.

    We are not idiots, we can figure this out surely.

  • Skip

    I have to agree with the early posts. Leo has gone out of his way to help you Jason as a friend. He often gives you a plug on his radio show and assisted you with technical issues like the tricaster. It is obvious you are trying to tag off his brand. I think this will backfire on you since Leo has a huge and loyal following. If Leo should release the hounds it could get very ugly. I very much enjoyed listening to you on TWiT. I think you made a ill advised business decision this time.

  • Jennifer

    I hate to pick sides, but Jason it does look like by going
    with a “thisweekin..” network you’re copying Leo’s idea.
    It saddens me to see my two favorite pod people at odds…

  • Jeremy

    As a frequent contributor to Leo’s This Ween In… podcasts, why not think of something more original when starting your own network? Of course Leo didn’t invent the name, but when it comes to tech podcasts, when people hear This Week In…, they think of Leo Laporte. It’s a little weak that you couldn’t come up with something that’s not so similar.

  • Rudy

    Jason, you are an aggressive business man, but maybe not smart one in
    this case. Why would even consider choosing a Leo’s brand. TWI..will always be Leo’s and you would be just a poacher. I’ve followed Leo for at least twenty years. He crosses all age groups and you do not. Please go do you own thing and be creative. Good luck!

  • Israel Pattison

    Think I have to side with Laporte on this one. Seems like there could have been another option than ThisWeekIn. Leo may not own it, but he certainly cannot dilute his brand – especially after all of the work and investment he has made in TWiT. Jason, is it too late to reconsider? If not, then I think Leo’s decision is a good one.

  • A harris

    I can see both sides. Ultimately, though, Leo should have known that you would grow your network, like you do everything else, and said up-front if he disagreed with you starting up a podcast network. Leo seems like the kind of guy that would let things slide like that when it involves friends which goes back to his responsibility. He should have protected his brand more.

    And as it goes, since it certainly seems like you two are friends, this should have been done privately.

  • http://communico.co.nz Julian A Waters

    He complained about the quality of what you’re doing. Well… I hadn’t seen TWiT unitl I’d seen TWiST, and it sent me to sleep. No doubt you’ve learnt a lot from Leo, well maybe it’s time Leo learnt a thing or two from you.

  • Rising Son

    Hey Jason – You bring up some good points above and its a
    gracious offer you are making to Leo. But you gotta see it
    from his perspective. I suspect he is hurt also by your
    efforts with TWi. I suggest you go and have a meal and a
    drink with Leo and talk man to man. Certainly the both of you
    can talk it out and establish a mutually beneficial
    relationship. All the best.

  • http://www.contemplatingtech.com Mike Shea

    It may just be me, but it seems to me that when this whole “This Week In” thing started with you, it was seemingly focused on the business side of things, especially on the topics of business startups and venture capitalists. Those were, and still are, great areas to be in since there were not a lot of focus on them. Sure, Leo gave the nod of approval. He can not very well tell you no, and he knows that. He has even said it himself, numerous times.

    The issue is when you took it upon yourself to start jumping in on technology topics. You are talking about creating a technology podcast network that you knew full well that Leo has spent a tremendous amount of time, effort, and money developing. Granted, there are a TON of areas within the technology sector to look at and you have every right to do so, but when you start using “This Week In [insert topic here]“, you did not stop to think about the obvious confusion of brands? You are an intelligent businessman, and I just find that extremely hard to believe.

    As you continue to churn out show after show, it begins to look like a calculated plan even if the true intent was otherwise. I am sure that if the tables were turned, that the feeling would be understandably disconcerting to you as well. If you are truly the friend that you claim to be, you will take the steps necessary to avoid bringing it to an abrupt end. Especially over something that really is trivial. As someone who knows from past experience, it really is not worth it. I have followed and become a fan both you and Leo, among a few others, for some time now and try to learn everything I can and hope to do so for the foreseeable future.

  • Jac

    Jason, to be honest it does sound and look like you are trying to take advantage of what Leo has already built. If you do not mind taking advantage of other friends work, well, the best to you then. Hope the money makes a nice pillow.

  • Raymond Johnson

    It’s important to remember that Leo’s been through this before, when he disliked Twitter using a name so close to TWiT. When Leo registered the TWiT trademark I’m sure defending his brand from friends was the last thing he thought he’d have to do. That said, he knows he wasn’t the first to us a “This Week in” title, and wouldn’t be the last, and the idea isn’t his to own or give permission to use.

  • Fox

    I have been noticing Jason cranking out TWI show but did not realize he was trying to start a network.

    I can see how it could be confusing to someone just getting into the shows or the casual listener.
    But I can see how Leo could feel. Did he know This week in startups would turn into a whole network?

    And as far as giving Leo first pick on topic. Having just checked out thisweekin.com I can already see a couple show Jason started that Leo already covers: TWiG (this week in google) covers cloud computing, android, twitter, etc. and I see shows for those topics on thisweekin.com already.

    I don’t think Leo really has anything to worry about in the long run. For those already in the space and interested are most likely listening to Leo and probably don’t want to listen to whole other show covering the same topic. I know I don’t, which is why I haven’t checked any of them out.

  • http://BenENewton.com Ben

    Sad that Leo has to do this on the air. He is starting to show his alter ego little by little by being on the air so much. And I love Leo, been watching him for years. Sure seems like he could have handled this differently. I hope he is just making waves for views and you guys work this out. It just proves you are doing something right. He’s been doing his for how long and you are rapidly catching up.

  • Jordan

    The tipping point, awesome. Buy out/merge together and make a kickass network.

  • Joe Nobody

    Either of you, just pick up the phone and figure it out like adults. Otherwise I’m just going to assume this is all some lame attempt at theatrics to grab “ratings”. I know, I know, everyone does it, especially online but I thought you two would be above all that.

    JN

  • http://www.twitter.com/tleite Thiago

    Jason, as much as I like your podcasts, you must have seen this one coming… with or without Leo’s blessing, it was a matter of time until Thisweekin.com became big and it would upset the status quo… specially because your podcast is in the same genre than Leo’s…

    This is like you starting a bunch of blogs for ninche content like “iPadCrunch” or “StartupCrunch” and not expect Mike Arrington to have an issue with you. I don’t know the details, but it seems that Leo sorta gave you the “OK” for “This Week in Startups”, but not to start a tech-related “This Week in” podcast network, since that’s what Leo already has and does!

    I think it was naive of Leo not to expect you to make something big out of this, since (let’s be frank, you are Jason Calacanis), but I also think you’re in the wrong for using the “This Week in” name for tech related podcasts with or without Leo’s blessing.

    In my mind, this seems to be:
    a) a really bad decision/misunderstanding between you and Leo
    b) a PR stunt
    c) a bullish move from you to eventually force a merge between ThisWeekIn.com and the TWiTnetwork?

    I don’t know, I hope this was just a misunderstanding between you guys, we all love you both, so hopefully this can be resolved in a friendly matter. Honestly, I think you should just change the name of your network.

    Keep up the good work, and yes “we are entertained” :)

    Thiago

  • http://n/a Robert

    Jason, I really like the TWIT network, however I think your shows are way more produced. I am getting so tired of Leo every starting a show by saying, “let’s see, what’s the news for the week, not much happened…” gdgt, tekzilla, etc… They never have a problem finding content. I think Leo has gotten lazy. I find myself lately looking for other tech podcasts because he has gotten lazy and too much a fan boy. Jason, I think you are right on this one.

    Robert

  • wiredkiwi

    I really hope it was just an offhand comment on Leo’s part and that it is all a storm in a tea-cup,to be easily and quickly forgotten and swept under the carpet. I love Leo’s shows, and I love listening to your contributions. Here’s hoping ammends can be made nice and quickly. I applaude you taking the humble and positive approach, Jason – I hope that Leo see’s it that way too.

  • http://manontheroof.org Jeremy Lesniak

    Perhaps there’s more to this than we’ve seen – the clip from the show, I mean.

    But if there isn’t, Leo should have gone to Jason before airing this publicly. Yes, Jason’s growing this aggressively (and anyone that’s met or talked to Jason for more than 5 minutes should know that. I’ve never met the guy and I know this!)

    There’s no reason to do it like this, Leo – I’m sorry. I’ve been a supporter for a long time and 90% of my commute time is spent listening to TWIT podcasts.

    I don’t see a need to choose sides here, but Leo was wrong. It’s not too late to make this right, but Leo needs to extend the olive branch to Jason. Hell, if Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt can have coffe then you guys can definitely work this out – but you both need to want to. I don’t think Jason’s suggestion for a compromise on the ad revenue is necessarily the best way to go, but at least it’s an idea – it feels like he’s trying.

    It would hurt the entire tech news and podcast community were it not resolved.

  • http://www.iPhoneCTO.com Yves Neidlinger

    I agree with Leo and the previous commenters on this one. Jason, Leo made a gracious offer to you, not having a an appreciation for your master plan. He gave an inch, you literally took. Mile. The appropriate thing to do would have been to share with Leo your plans ahead of time to make certain he was ok with it. You didn’t and this is the result. I proprose ghat you took advantage of the situation and it’s cost your a friendship and and has hurt your reputation.

  • Tyler

    I’m a fan of both you and Leo, in this case I have to side with leo.

    I knew that TWiST was going well infact I remember watching the show on TWiT Live inwhich you asked Leo if he would be okay with it, but up until today had never heard of thisweekin.com. Personally the whole thisweekin.com startup seems to me to scream fly by night and cheap, something like a Mevio production, and so even though I love Adam Curry and John C Dvorak most of the shows produced on mevio scream fake and cheap. Shows from Rev3, TWiT, or even the now defunct 1UP.com line of gaming podcasts, had a soul, which is something that shows from Mevio or one your productions dont have in my opnion.

    Anyways I’m not here to rag on you, I just feel like Leo had carved out the This Week in market on the internet for tech shows and I think your network cheapens that.

  • Joe Ranft

    I have to admit I sided with Leo at first, but now I’ve come around to the position that “This Week in…” is not original enough to trademark or own. I can see how Leo would be threatened, but he shouldn’t be. How does he feel with This Week in Photography?

    I am curious. Is this the same reason the iPhone Alley weekly podcast did not keep the name This Week in iPhone?

  • http://www.samengland.com/ Sam England

    This is not a small misunderstanding between you and Leo Laporte. In essence, what has happened, whether intentionally or not, is that you have taken advantage of Leo’s good personality, generosity and his TWiT network. This could easily be seen as underhand, and malicious.
    What you asked Leo for was permission to use the “This Week In” name for a new podcast. Even though Leo is too kind hearted to say “no” outright, he would never see it as a threat to his network, and would be more than happy to allow you to run the podcast, especially since “Startups” are your own personal passion and interest. He might have even envisaged it becoming part of the TWiT network at a later date.

    However, Jason, your plans to launch 30 shows as part of a network within three years will undoubtedly dwarf Leo, and the TWiT network itself.

    Furthermore, it seems to me, even from your blog post, that you are trying to build and launch a new business (podcast network) off the back of Leo’s success. This is happening whether you intend it directly or indirectly. I know you are aware that, the “This Week In” brand has been built and nurtured by Leo over a number of years, especially in the technology field. Most people make the direct connotation between the “This Week In” phrase, and Leo Laporte – in turn, anything with Leo’s name on it means quality content, trustworthiness, reliability and consistency.

    It is quite underhand of you to aggressively leverage Leo’s TWiT brand and its values, profiting from it by creating several podcasts carrying the same phrase. The phrase automatically gives the impression of quality content, trustworthiness, reliability and consistency especially in the technology field which you are planning to expand in to.

    Evidently, it is nothing to do with the topics covered. It is everything to do with the phrase “This Week In”. The one and only amicable solution would be to immediately stop using the phrase “This Week In”.

    Your podcasts, especially shows like “This Week in iPad” will inevitably be of a lower production quality than Leo’s shows, because of the content available, the sheer number of shows in the network, and the rate at which they are produced with lack of consistency and quality control. Some will also be short-lived due to the nature of the subject. Not only will this permanently damage Leo’s network, but it would also completely destroy Leo’s brand values which he has taken so long to build up.

    I understand what you are doing from a business perspective, and it makes complete sense. It is not a bad idea in that respect, but if you continue with your plans you will most likely lose your friend Leo Laporte.

    You urgently need to weigh up which you’d rather lose, and which would be more beneficial to you in the long term. Either a profitable (but poor quality) tech podcast network, built off the back of the TWiT network (whether you like it or not), or, as you put it, a valuable personal friend who is a “mentor and long-time collaborator”.

    Sam England

  • Peter Trussell

    I could also see some confusion between the networks.

    I would like to suggest to Jason to rebrand or at least cobrand
    the shows with Mahalo. That way there is immediate recognition
    of which shows belong to Jason. Plus there would be easy sequeway
    to Mahalo to use as a social outreach for his shows.

  • jesse

    Leo is constantly streaming live and he comments on things most people say in private.He blasted Cali Lewis, he tells of the loathing he has for G4 and why he has not had Alex A. on TWIT.
    It does not surprise me if Leo gives his on the spot thought on something, I believe Jason and Leo will work this out.

  • Dave Karasik

    I find it hard to believe you feel shocked and hurt by Leo’s reaction. You obviously knew Leo might have a problem with the name when you wanted to do This Week in Startups. How could you possibly think he wouldn’t have a problem with you flooding iTunes with 30+ This Week In… shows? Especially when many of these new shows are closely connected to the subjects Leo already covers expertly each week.

    The thisweekin name is a great choice from a business perspective. Having your shows potentially confused as being part of the excellent TWIT productions can’t hurt your growth or ad sales. But it’s a lousy thing to do to a “friend”.

  • Bryan

    I think it’s too bad Leo changed his position on the TWi- monacre. I’ve lost some respect for him. I think he avoids constructive debates and discussions for some reason. I notice this on the show and I think the quality suffers. I don’t listen as much.

    His reaction to Mike Arrington, though provoked, I think is another example of this.

    I also think that talking about his concerns on air before seeking Jason is unprofessional.

  • Dario

    If I were Leo, I would partner with Jason. Sinergy!

  • Daniel

    Hey Jason. I’m a huge fan of Leo’s (and a fan of any TWiT with you as a guest), but I’m afraid Leo might be in the wrong on this one. It looks like he just didn’t think a few steps ahead and is trying to fix problems he didn’t anticipate. It’s a little disappointing that he’s taken this stance with you. I hope you guys can work it out.

  • Matt

    I’m with Leo here.

  • http://kevnetik.com Kev

    I think it’s an underhanded move, whether Jason had Leo’s blessing or not. I don’t think Jason played his entire hand to Leo when asking.

    To me, Jason is pretty much irrelevant.

    While competition breeds innovation, I see nothing “innovative” about Jason’s approach. There’s plenty of space for both, I will be sticking with someone with tact, originality and class, Leo Laporte.

    BTW, I’m sure this will be deleted, censored, or altered. It just goes right along with the “Jason” playbook.

    As I said, there’s room for both, I’m sticking with Leo.

  • BongBong

    Jason, you’re a hard as nails, not to mention successful business guy. Leo is 110% giver, so it appears his POV is you’ve taken too much from him. You’ve taken his baby. Even though you “asked” originally, I’ll bet it was an awkward “ask” and Leo being who he is, did not feel you’d be creating an entire network to go head to head with him. If you did that to me, I’d be really pissed also. Hey, business is business, so you’ll lose a friend in Leo but you’ll probably make another $20 million or more once you sell your venture. Sometimes friends are more important. IMO, you should have named your network “This Is Something”, or “New This Week”, or “Week In Review”… or something like that. Yes, you saw an opportunity that Leo had simply left on the table, but Jesus, don’t you think at least offering him stock in your company would have smoothed things over?

  • blackfeathers

    aaron anderson put the sentiments well on what i think about this too.

    leo has grown his ‘this week in’ revolving around all things tech. the aggressive expansion of your extra shows are causing brand confusion… and probably without leo’s hand in it. as far as i understand, he let you make a few shows but didn’t realize the full gamut of extra shows -some whose new show acronyms would overlap with this existing shows -ie. this week in google (t.w.i.g.).

    he’s put a lot of time, effort, and care into his branding. remember the reason he grew it out in the first place was because he wanted to have full control of what he does and didn’t want to compromise with network management. this extra variable that’s growing out of his control may be a threat to his core intentions of why he’s been doing what he’s been doing. i support leo’s decision on focusing on his own content and trying to keep his shows away from yours -at least for the time being.

  • Alberto S. Lopez

    Leo and Jason are astute business men and will work this out. In all honesty, even though he doesn’t own the rights, Leo was there first and should have the final say in anything that adds confusion to his brand.

    C’mon gentlemen. You guys are great together and should work WITH each other rather than AGAINST. I look forward to Jason returning as a guest on TWiT frequently!

  • http://jonathanbrown.me Jonathan Brown

    Jason, I have to side with Leo, and an astute businessman such as yourself knows you’d do the same if the shoe was on the other foot. Leo says advertisers are confused if a “this week in…” show is his or yours. That kind of confusion is devastating for both of your enterprises. Do the right thing. Move off the “this week in” and build something new.

  • Paul Burns

    Jason. Drive up talk before you announce you will be co-hosting. Brilliant.

  • http://ke9v.net/ Jeff

    It’s too bad but you should just move forward. I’ve followed Leo since the TechTV days and have to tell you that he is way over-exposed. I’m actually tired of Leo and haven’t listened to TWiT for months just because it’s too much Leo already. I’m looking for fresh new content… nothing against Leo, but too much is enough.

  • BongBong

    Paul Burns, I don’t think Leo had a co-host in mind and he probably wants to control his own network… so, I don’t see this as happening. OTOH, Leo ‘sorta’ got back to semi-friendly terms with Mike Arrington and I think he’s been on TWiT since their blowup. Leo is an emotional guy and tries to control too much perhaps, but he’s having the time of his life. There has to be a solution with Jason rebranding.

    How about the “Jason Nation” work on some ideas to float to Jason and fix this rift before it turns into something that hurts all concerned.

  • BongBong

    What would you do if someone started a new search engine called “Mahallo”? Think about it.

  • Jay

    You are trying to build a network in the same industry (Podcast) using a brand already taken by Leo for almost 5 years. If you continue the project with this name, you will create a huge confussion to the listeners and damage the hard work Leo have put in TWIT.tv

    Be original and don’t stole other ideas.

  • Muevete

    How about your name in the title? “Calcanis on Google” “Calcanis on Ipad” and so on. And take Leo out to lunch and end this silliness.

  • http://www.twitter.com/willpao Will Paoletto

    It looks like your strategy from the start was to create a situation where Leo would be forced to merge with you, or lose marketshare. This is gonna get really interesting/entertaining.

    It doesn’t seem like it would be in his best interest to mention your shows on his show. He’s playing into your hands.

    The incumbant ALWAYS has the advantage, unless they play their cards improperly, and Leo already has. He’s up by 40 points but doing things to help Jason win.

    If I was Leo, I would merge with Jason now because if he doesn’t, he’ll probably lose in the end. Jason’s the dirtiest player in the game. Doesn’t lose often.

  • http://nicholasmarx.com Nicholas Marx

    Jason asked Leo if it was cool before he bought it. Leo could have bought it, when Jason offered it to him but he DID NOT. Leo said it was cool.

    So, what is the problem?

  • Stephen

    Jason, I would have thought the most appropriate official statement should be made in a private conversation between you and Leo, rather than making a post on a very public blog. If I was Leo I would be infuriated even more after reading this.

  • http://dennykmiu.com Denny K Miu

    Jason, this comment will get buried since you have a lot of comments already but I hope you can read it. My advise to you is to back off right away because this will hurt your brand far more than it will ever hurt Leo’s. This is not about TWIT. From some of your initial comments on air, I knew right away that you were trying to do a roll-up. Your end goal is to acquire TWIT so that you can sell the entire TWIx network to a big media company. This is what I would have done if I were asked to provide a meaningful exit for Leo. But I would never claim to be his friend. Save yourself before it is too late.

  • Tom

    Personally I can see Leo’s point. I mean he has said that some advertisers are confusefuseing the networks. I think it will just take some time for advertisers to learn is all.

  • Casey

    Come on Jason, I can’t possibly see how you thought this wouldn’t upset Leo.
    Giving each shows original names would be much better than “This week in X”.

  • http://www.farseergames.com Jeff Weber

    I have to side with Leo on this.

    Jason, it seems Leo gave you an inch and you are taking a mile.

    I think you could have a successful network with diff. name.

    A while back you were railing on Mark Zuckerberg for “stealing” ideas. Granted you may not have been quite so blatant about it, but the end result is not far from the same.

    Hope you guys work things out because I enjoy listening to both of you.

    -Jeff

  • Turk

    I have to side with Leo on this one. Jason, why would you spend 6 figures on a name you knew you were taking from Leo.
    I’m sorry, but don’t cry the money blues when you knew you were encroaching on Leo’s territory.
    Leo offered clearly because he was open to “podcasting’s” growth in the market. You are now taking advantage of the situation. Good luck, but you’ve lost a listener.

  • Specie8470

    I am with you 100% Jason you asked Leo if you could use the Name this Week in for shows your are doing and he said ok. Leo has all of four shows that have This Week in something as a name. Most of Leo’s shows arn’t even named This Week in. I think what Leo is doing is very upsetting considering you asked him for permission and he doesn’t even have the name trademarked or anything. I think Leo is upset that an advertiser was confused with you and Leo and that you started an IPad show before Leo was going to. I tried to get Leo to talk to you about it like adults but obviously thats not going to happen anytime soon. You did everything right Jason Leo only has four shows with the name This Week in… its not like all of his shows are called that.

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    I’m mixed on this one. While I understand Leo gave permission to use the name, I think that maybe he wasn’t thinking it would turn into an entire network of This Week In shows. That’s my best guess as to why he feels jilted in this.

    I hope you two can work this out, because if you can, it’s best for the tech community. If not, then there needs to be an olive branch and a slightly reworking of the branding in order to keep both you and Leo in good terms for the long haul.

  • bud

    Leo was fine with This week in Startups, because that was a show that you would definitely be
    better to handle. It is merely that he didn’t realize or think that your grabbing a domain name
    of ThisWeekIn.com would result in your pouring of resources into “This week in EVERYTHING
    ELSE under the sun”, since you hop on buying domain names like other people eat tic tacs.

    You should just give him the domain name, offer to help expand and provide content for TWIT
    TV the way that Quinn Martin productions did for the old broadcast networks. Or move on
    without stepping on his toes so. He doesn’t need another g4 in his life, and you should be more
    of a mensch.

  • Mike

    Jason I although you’re obviously very succesful, I also get the impression that your are a guy that has some deep-seated integrity.

    Whether or not Leo gave his blessing surely you can see this is just not right? My recollection is that you asked Leo for permission on a live show. This is a very high pressure way to ask someone to make a decision that could have a profound impact on their business in the future.

    I would like to hear podcasts from you, but you seriously need to think about re-branding before spending any more cash.

    I agree with a previous poster though in that I think Leo is doing far too many podcasts himself now. Since starting Twit Live the quality has certainly steadily fallen, and shows such as Twit and Macbreak Weekly are shadows of their former selves.

  • BongBong

    This is the web we’re talking about. Jason realized that the “root word” of Leo’s show was as impotant as the full word, it’s a smart, dirty trick by a guy who should never have been given an open door by Leo. Kids, let this be a lesson to you. Never trust Jason Calacanis.

  • BongBong

    Not to beat a dead horse, but…

    Jason has now registered “www.twitquestions.com”.

    You really take the cake Jason. Stealing Leo’s livelihood like a bandit. Nice, man. Real dick move.

  • BongBong

    Here’s a suggestion to all domainers— buy up every possible topic beginning with “thisweekin—-” and “—–answers”and sell them to Weblogs, Part II in 4 or 5 years.

  • http://www.twitter.com/willpao Will

    @BongBong, shhh.

    Just bought ThisWeekinHoodlums.com

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English Bulldog

Hello, my name is Jason. Welcome to my blog on the interwebs. You can reach me on twitter @jason and by email at jason@inside.com. My Skype is jasoncalacanis, and my mobile phone is 310-456-4900.

I only pick up numbers I recognize, and in terms of emailing me, the best strategy is to write short, blunt and to the point requests. I can quickly respond to short messages, and many times I simply don't have the time to read five page pitches. In terms of taking meetings, I only do that after reviewing an actual product (not a business plan). So, the best time to ping me is when you have mockups or an alpha site. I don't read business plans, and I've never written one.

Other twitter accounts you can follow: Inside.com, Ticker, This Week in Startups and LAUNCH Festival

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