TWiT is Hiring

TWiT logoThis Week In Tech (TWiT), the podcasting network founded by Leo Laporte, is advertising a job opening in New York. Until now, nearly all of TWiT’s shows have been produced at the company’s Petaluma, CA studios. The position has been posted on the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism website:

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is planning to launch a live, weekly webcast about New York’s technology industry as part of the TWiT — This Week in Technology — network.
The show will feature discussion of New York’s technology scene with a regular host, Jeff Jarvis (CUNY J-School professor and a cohost of the network’s This Week in Google), a rotating cast of co-hosts, and guests from New York startups, venture-capital firms, incubators, media companies, universities, government, and elsewhere.

The listing goes on to say that the job will officially start in January of 2016. It will be full-time for the first six months, with a planned launch of the New York-based shows in May of 2016. After the footwork has been completed to get the show off the ground, the job will become a part-time 20 hours-per-week commitment. Initial training will begin in Petaluma. Then, it’s back to New York to help design and set up a New York studio. From there, the new show’s producer will receive help from, “students and alumni from the Journalism School (that) will assist the producer by researching topics for each show and identifying and booking guests.”

To learn more about this job opening and apply, click here.

Academy of Podcasters Awards Nominees, Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Academy of Podcasters logThe Academy of Podcasters has announced the nominees for its first ever “Academy Awards of podcasting.” The organization has also finalized the list of inductees into its Podcasters Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony and the awards ceremony will be held on Friday, July 31, the night before the first day of the Podcast Movement conference in Dallas.

The Podcasters Hall of Fame will honor six podcasters in its inaugural run of inductees:

  • Adam Curry (Adam is considered by many to have “invented” podcasting along with Dave Winer)
  • Danny Peña (host of Gamertag Radio)
  • Leo Laporte (founder of the TWiT podcasting network)
  • Mur Lafferty (host of I Should Be Writing)
  • Scott Sigler (bestselling author who built a large fandom thru podcasting)
  • Todd Cochrane (host of Geek News Central and founder of RawVoice)

The Academy of Podcasters has nominated ten shows in each of its fifteen award categories. The complete list of shows is too long to post here but the categories are:

  • Business
  • Comedy
  • Entertainment
  • Food & Drink
  • Games & Hobbies
  • Ideas & Education
  • Lifestyle & Health
  • Music & Commentary
  • News & Politics
  • Parenting, Family & Kids
  • Science & Medicine
  • Society & Culture
  • Spirituality & Religion
  • Sports
  • Technology

One nominee will win an award in each category. The categories have five nominees each that have been ranked as the top five in those respective categories on Stitcher, along with five more shows that were selected by “a combination of input from the Academy, the board, and from other podcast rating services.”

Congratulations to the inaugural Hall of Fame inductees and best of luck to all podcasters who’ve been nominated for a Podcasters Academy Award!

TWiT To Shutter Chatroom as part of Live Format Change

TWiT logoLeo Laporte’s long-running podcast network TWiT is about to make some big changes to how it handles live broadcasts. Starting next week, TWiT will no longer host a chatroom for live viewers on its website. The network will also be changing its live video feed from an “always on” format, which often showed a lot of the behind-the-scenes action at TWiT’s Petaluma, CA studios to something that looks more like broadcast television. The feed will only go live to air “pre-produced shows.”

Leo gave a somewhat somber monologue as he talked about the reasons why TWiT is making these changes:

…unfortunately, the trolls have gotten so out of control and what you don’t see is the behind-the-scenes battle the mods fight, pretty much constantly.


“It’s sad to me because I feel like what we do behind the scenes, the live interaction, is so important… But not to the point it becomes a problem for my family, our employees or our hosts.”

Laporte has always been outspoken about the problem with “trolls” in his chatroom. He’s also been critical of social media sites like Twitter, as he feels they don’t do enough to curb user harassment.

Leo said that from now on, the network has asked its hosts to stop monitoring the live chatroom and that TWiT may look into creating some kind of invite-only chat in the future. He also encouraged users who want to continue chatting during  TWiT shows to create an alternative chatroom elsewhere.

Podcasts Officially Coming to Spotify

Spotify screenshotIt was rumored earlier this year that streaming-media service Spotify could be adding podcasts to its platform. Today, those rumors became truth as Spotify announced it will be enhancing its products with new offerings like podcasts and videos. Until now, Spotify has only provided music streaming with some limited ability to download songs for offline playback. This move brings Spotify more in line with competitors like Apple’s iTunes, which has offered multiple types of media for years.

There aren’t many public details as of yet about how podcasting will work within Spotify. The screenshot shown here was taken from a Spotify promotional video. In it, we see a mockup of the mobile app with familiar and predictable podcasts such as WTF, Nerdist and Startup. Spotify appears to be launching its podcast support with a closed, curated directory instead of a user-driven directory like iTunes.

Spotify will be working with a slate of new content partners to beef up the offerings of its platform. The only names on the list that are particularly interesting to podcasters will be TWiT, WNYC and Slate. The rest (such as ABC, Adult Swim and Comedy Central) will likely be bringing video to the service.

No information is available yet as to how content producers can become Spotify partners. But something tells me Spotify is in no hurry to work with smaller, independent creators. We’ll see what happens over time.

Which Podcasts Have The Most Ads?

Your Ad HereSince the early days of podcasting, advertising has been a bit of a touchy subject. Some claimed that having ads in podcasts would be the ultimate sellout. An end to the medium’s purity as a by-the-people-for-the-people creation. Others waited with marked anticipation for the arrival of parties who were interested in providing money in exchange for sponsored messages. Whatever side of the fence you’re on, advertising in podcasting is definitely here to stay. With that in mind, I decided to do a fairly unscientific poll of which podcasts actually have the most ads. Using an Evernote document, I made a simple tally of the number of times I heard an ad during podcasts I’m subscribed to or podcasts I work on for clients. This includes preroll, post-roll, and mid-roll ads, whether they were live reads or prerecorded. If a show had a simple, “This podcast is sponsored by…” tagline, I didn’t include it unless the message was longer than five seconds. Here’s the results: Continue reading