Background on the "This Week In" controversy

For background on the mini-controversy over This Week In, someone pointed me to this transcript from TWIT 237. 

The bottom line is a I asked for Leo's blessing and he gave it to me.

I'm now $150,000 in the hole on the website and my hope is to build a DIRECTORY of all the TWI shows in the world, of which our 15-30 will be but 10%. 

all is good in the world folks… let's not make too much of a big deal out of this.

best j

The TWIT 237 transcript

Leo Laporte Utah.

Jason Calacanis Utah.

Leo Laporte Prisoners. Jason Calacanis does a host of shows now. He is the king of This Week in…, you now officially take the title. In fact you have, right?

Jason Calacanis I got the clearance from the godfather. You gave me clearance to buy it, I bought it. And I hope to build a couple of shows and everybody is like, ‘Leo must hate you.’

Leo Laporte No, no, no, no.

Jason Calacanis ‘How did you do this to Leo?’ And I’m like, listen I asked for permission. I genuflected and I said, listen godfather I would like to…

Leo Laporte I couldn’t stop you, Mel Allen, ask Mel Allen; he’s the guy who owns This Week in Baseball. It’s the generic, but I’m thrilled that you do it and I am glad you’re doing it. You do This Week in Startups.

Jason Calacanis Yeah, and it’s doing great and we do This Week in Cloud Computing and that’s got sponsors.

Leo Laporte And you’re doing a This Week in Android apps, right?

Jason Calacanis And This Week in Android, yes. So it is going to do like niche one that you don’t get to, and, as you know, I actually even clear with you like, ‘Hey I’m thinking of doing these ones are you going to do them?’ So I am basically like I respect what you have done in the space enough that I don’t want to step in your toes.

Leo Laporte And there’s plenty of room, believe me. I need more people succeeding in this because I don’t want to be the only guy out here doing it.

Jason Calacanis What’s happening is it’s very much like Weblogs, Inc. We have all these blog stories building on each other. I get one sponsor, then they buy yours, and you know I forward sponsored onto you all the time. We are educating them on this new medium.

Leo Laporte Exactly.

Jason Calacanis Like, it’s worth sponsoring and…

Leo Laporte It’s early enough that there’s no competition going on.

Jason Calacanis There’s no competition right now. In another two years, it’s on.

Leo Laporte Yeah, I am going to kill you. I am going to kill you, Jason. Yer outta here!

Jason Calacanis [ph] The swords (79:33) are coming out.

Leo Laporte Yer outta here! Jason Calacanis

Brett Larson The garbage man’s coming to take you out!

Leo Laporte And the garbage man – if you find a horse head in your bed Jason, you’ll know where. Actually…

Brett Larson The snow clean up begins tomorrow. Leave anything you don’t need in the drift.

Jason Calacanis Actually this is my prediction. I predict that there’ll be three or four networks like This Week in and Leo’s and they’ll all wind up merging and be like this mega company.

Leo Laporte Yeah. I don’t want to run it

Jason Calacanis [ph] Adam Ferry’s (80:01) doing interesting stuff. No, I just think it’s going to be an exit for everybody because somebody will come and say hey let’s put five of these things together and get scale. You have five things making a million or two million dollars each. Put them together, all of a sudden you’ve got scale.

Leo Laporte Great idea.

Dwight Silverman And then you get rid of everybody.

Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s all right; by then I’m old, I want to be on the beach anyway. is Jason’s human-powered website that has great information on it. Dwight Silverman is at the Tech Blog at and you could read his stuff there, including his weekly linkroll which Dwight I had to confess gives me the backbone of the newscasts for the whole week.

Dwight Silverman Well I have a great time doing it. I think that I missed a link post yesterday because I was helping with our earthquake/tsunami coverage, and I felt horribly guilty and I thought of you Leo, I thought I’ve let Leo down…

Leo Laporte Yeah you have let me down. I don’t have any stories from Friday.

Dwight Silverman But we had good coverage from the tsunami and earthquake. So…

10 thoughts on “Background on the "This Week In" controversy

  1. No mention of the revision3 guys? I think they are absolutely crushing it over there, obviously they cater to a slightly different demographic, but it remains that they are doing the same style of shows in the same medium.

  2. I remember this episode. For the life of me, I’ve yet to see or hear anything from Leo except that mention that made it’s way to YouTube.

    HOW did this get to this point!?

    Jason? Was there anything that prompted this? Did he ask you to stop? Clearly he has been stewing over this for a while, I just can’t figure out why.

  3. This whole thing aparently started over the fact that one of Leo’s advertisers saw that Jason was doing This Week in IPad show and the adveriser was like are you doing it or Leo and Leo explained it was Jason and the advertiser said they would go with Jason then. I think Leo is upset because he was going to do a This Week in IPad show but Jason did it first and also the fact that an advertiser was confused is the only reason why this whole mess happened. Leo has all of 4 shows called This Week in…… Most of Leo’s shows arn’t even called This Week in…..

    Get over it Leo 4 shows doesn’t mean you can stop people from using This Week in even when they asked you!!!

  4. I remember that show well and I remember thinking to myself that Jason is a smart guy and he knows exactly what the future looks like. I think everyone is really missing the real value here which is that Leo didn’t just build a bunch of podcasts, a few of which are named This Week in XXX. In the last year or so, Leo has built an alternative 24/7 live network. But in order for this to be valuable, you need scale which Leo doesn’t know how to do. But Jason does. So during the show, Jason was already talking about a roll-up strategy and he already had a plan. But Leo really has no clue and once he sees what Jason has done, he realized that he had been had. Jason, integrity is never about what you did, it is about what people think you did. Every entrepreneur now thinks that you played Leo as a sucker and you won’t think twice doing the same to them. As an angel investor, your money is now toxic. Think really hard about this. Get out and get out now. Your brand is at stake here.

  5. Good thoughts, Denny Miu. I read your Buzz post and agree that Jason risks destroying his own personal “brand” if he moves ahead without resolving this amicably with Leo.

  6. BongBong, I never tried to demonize Jason. I actually think that what Jason is doing will make Leo a very rich and happy man. But it is like trying to harness a free ranch horse. You first have to convince the horse that they are in control and that they want to enter the race to win. It is not what Jason did that matters, it is what Leo thought that Jason did that matters. And right now I believe Leo thinks that Jason had pulled a fast one on him.

  7. I also think that this is how Leo reacts. He tends to overreact at first and then comes around. I predict this will all blow over in a month.

    Jason, if you positioned what you are doing as a *directory* of podcasts, some of which you produce and some of which others produce, then I think this would be more palatable for Leo.

  8. I’m sorry you guys are smoking crack. where in this transcript
    does Leo over react. Better yet what controversy i don’t see it
    or hear it on the podcast. This is kind of like that controversy over
    Leo hated Sargent. when he really didn’t.

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