Playing Hookey

I’m supposed to be at the gym right now but I’m playing hookey. I’m soooo tired. I know I would probably feel better if I worked out, but I just can’t force myself to. I’ll do it tomorrow.
This new schedule is going to take some getting used to. TechLive is much more work than I thought it would be. I have to ad-lib so much that I actually need to know what I’m talking about. That means I now have to be an expert on finance and tech news, too! Well I’ve always enjoyed a challenge. Plus 90 minutes of the Screen Savers ends up being about twice as hard. Maybe that’s because we’re packing so much stuff into the new show. I watched the repeat last night and I did enjoy all the different segments and the fast pacing. But please shoot me if I ever wear that sweater again! I looked like an inflatable Pat Boone.

Here’s the weird thing: I’m working without a contract right now. My deal expired on Monday and even though Greg and I supposedly agreed on the main points of a new contract a month ago (see the Archives), I haven’t seen a single piece of paper yet. I wonder if they wanted to see how TechLive and the new Screen Savers worked out before committing to me? Of course, that cuts both ways. I can take a new job, too. Anybody got a gig for an overfed gray-haired goofy techno-geek?

45 Replies to “Playing Hookey”

  1. I love your shows. I do think you are trying to cram a bit too much into them though. The more people you have to cover, the harder it is to cram it all in and still keep the same jovial air which has made us all avid viewers. I am glad you guys went to 90 minutes. and even more so that you repeat the show a couple hours later. I have lost call for help since my cable company starts coverage of tech tv at six, but on the whole I get to watch more now with the repeats. I have had gym memberships myself. and I’ve always found that I don’t keep it up for very long. so about a year ago I purchased some home gym equipment. I set it up in the living room so I couldn’t ignore it. (Obviously single of course) I haven’t missed a day. I do four exercises, two every other day which last about a half hour. I couldn’t drive to and from the gym in that time. I might cut them short now and then but missing a day is not an option. that’s the only way I’ve found to keep them up. I miss your talks with your news women. I think the banter you exchanged with Erica and the other girls was hysterical. It was a highlight of call for help. but mainly it’s the funny way you have of keeping us informed. Keep it up.

  2. Leo,
    I know this all started as a way to allow you to spend more time with your family. I applaud you for your efforts. If only more men put family time ahead of their work, this world would be a much better place. TSS is still the best show out there! You’re getting to spend more time with the family! So the changes can’t be all bad. Eventually those of us who watch it just for you Leo, will get used to the new format. In a way it is an improvement, as I am not glued to the set during your reruns anymore. Instead, I leave it on and try to get used to the new format, while actually getting stuff done here at the house, or on my new Athlon 1.1 PC (between ME & IE crashes) for my work at home job. I find the show is less distracting from my daily routine, only grabbing my attention when I hear your voice, or when I hear something of interest. πŸ˜‰ Kind of like the way my mother-in-law leaves her TV on CNN all day for the noise, only sitting down to watch it when something catches her ear that’s interesting. Maybe that is what the network is going for, who knows. All I know is, I think you made the best choice for you and your family Leo, to spend more time with your them. We all will need to make some sacrifices: You working harder and missing CFH, us missing the old CFH, and all of us getting used to the new format. Those of us who are true Leo Laporte fans will eventually get with the program and quit complaining, merely adding constructive criticism that we hope the networks will take into consideration. (For example: It would be nice if they would make the stock bar on the side smaller, so the main picture wouldn’t be so tiny.) We love you Leo and should support you in whatever you do. I for one plan to do just that!

  3. Well Leo…ya know I like ya…
    …like ya enough to steal your “red hat”!!! You’d better watch your desk! =P
    bwahaha…

  4. You should be proud of The Screen Savers, its a great show, the best help show I’ve ever seen! Heck, you guys should make training videos. (a+ certification with Leo and Patrick anyone?)
    Sure your well paid, thats the advantage of being talent! Truthfully, for all the leo fans out there, we only lost a half an hour of “our” Leo so its not so bad. And Joyce, Leo’s Boot Camp is a great thing, its shorter for sure, but it gives a bit of that old Call For Help feel to the show.
    I like Becky, think its gonna be fine, if only they would get off that set! sheesh.
    I tend to ramble this time of night, but I’ve been up a tad too late trying to teach my rather dim cow not to poop on the villagers…
    I decided to stop by the chat room today when someone said “I like msnbc, but Tech Live is better!” The host said “Thats the spirit!”… so I suppose thats what they are going after, as long as I have The Screen Savers, and if Call For Help sorts itself out… I’ll be happy enough.
    Now… about that cow…

  5. i think, likely, that the new format is doing some of what it was meant to do (although i’m just guessing): marginalize the truly geeky stuff to TSS (ironically enough, the strongest show of the new lineup by a mile) and use the rest of the time — remember, the amount of original programming this channel is now producing just went up by 45 hours a week — to appeal to a broader audience.
    but it seems that the new, broader material has been defined more by what it’s not (_not_ TSS, not geeky, not, as leo said, “funky, under-the-radar”) than what it is.
    i think that’s where the sense comes from, among this group of geekier-than-average leo fans, that techlive doesn’t have much to it.
    my advice to techlive would be to pick a couple of things that they can do that nobody else does, or at least, nobody else can do better. almost every show on the old TechTV did that. TechLive, it seems to me, is the exception.
    and leo, flex your muscles a bit. your “skill set,” as the horrible consulting set likes to say, is unique — you sit at the crossroads of broadcasting and geekiness and are darn good at each. they need your advice more than you need their hassle.

  6. Thanks for all your comments. I know that many many people miss Call for Help as much as I do. But you should know that I’m partly to blame for what happened to it. I told them I only wanted to do one show. The show was Call for Help, true, but I would have been just as sad to leave the Screen Savers. The irony is that I’m doing even MORE TV than before! But I really can’t complain. People like Stacee are working MUCH harder than I am. And I get well paid for what I do. OK very well paid. I may complain, but I’m very grateful for this job. It sure beats working for a living. It’s just, like all of you, I think we could be even better.
    On the bright side, I’m very proud of where we’re going with The Screen Savers. We want to make it the best show on TV. Maybe even syndicate it in time. And our team is busting their little heinies to make it happen. They’re the best.
    Brandon: I do have the filter on here. Maybe I’ll take **** off the list, though! πŸ˜‰
    And Joyce: thanks for the heartfelt words. It’s fans like you that make it all worthwhile!

  7. Elizabeth, I AGREE with Joyce and everyone else that the current turn of events is a bad one, and I’ve written so repeatedly here. I just thought Joyce was sounding awfully over-the-top on the subject: “My family, my friends, we all just can’t believe how this has all been ruined for us. It breaks our heart.”
    I mean, Leo et al. still have jobs, at least one of his shows is intact, and in the scheme of things nothing particularly terrible has happened.
    The new station format stinks (will THAT word get by the blog-filter?) — everyone here seems to think so (actually I haven’t seen TechLive yet). But as Leo has made clear he does NOT own the “means of production” so there’s little he can do.
    It’s a pity, yes. I think Leo (and the audience) deserves better. It’s just that Joyce sounds literally heartbroken, and I would hate to see someone get that worked up over something that (a) she has no real relation to and (b) is in the end just a TV show. Although clearly I am impassioned on the subject as well, since I keep writing comments to the L. Blog. In any case, no offense was intended.
    — Brandon

  8. Leo,
    I feel for you today. I can’t even imagine how exhausting your week has been so far, and it’s only Wednesday! I just hope eventually everything works out for you. It’s my hope that they do keep you on. That they listen to the viewers constructive critisim on the show, and that they make the necessary corrections to keep you and the viewers happy! I will watch you no matter what network you are with! πŸ˜‰ And if it’s not TechTV, then they will loose a regular watcher! As I think you, and a select few others from TechTV, are the best thing TechTV has got going for them.
    I haven’t watched yesterdays shows yet, as I had an out of town visitor to entertain. But, I did record it from your segment on TechLive through TSS. I plan to watch it as soon as I can (fast forwarding the boring segments in between of course).
    Chin up Leo! No matter what, you’ll always have your true fans to follow you!

  9. Admittedly, I suppose those responding to your weblog are self-selected Leo fans (although enemies could show up too I guess).
    But I along with all the others here seem to be saying that YOU are the thing we look forward to on TechTV / ZDTV v. 3.0.
    You’re a rare combination of personality and know-how. And you seem to visibly enjoy it.
    If TechTV were to lose you, I can’t imagine a reason in the world why I would continue to watch it. Frankly everyone else (with the possible exception of your TSS cohorts) is just too “professional” and therefore bo-ring. Teleprompter readers are NOT hard to find, mix-and-matched from other channels.
    I thought from the beginning that a job like TechLive was going to **** more of your resources than your initial optimistic predictions, and I’m sorry to hear that it’s so. I just hope you are getting home earlier as you wished.
    As far as I’m concerned, it’s TSSTV for now.
    By the way, I’m glad to hear that Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Sweater of Doom is NOT the new standard Leo uniform. Maybe there are a few bowling / Big Hawaii shirts left in the closet?
    — Brandon

  10. Hey Leo,
    I’m sorry about all the extra stress this new format is putting on you. You and Pat have done a GREAT job with the new 90 minute “Screen Savers”. I watch every night and really think it’s great. I also think it’s terrible that you have to go through having to learn all this financial stuff too. The only shows I ever watched on Tech TV were TSS and Call For Help. So in other words, the only reason they have ANY of my ratings is because of you!!! They about tore my heart out when the screwed up CFH. Which sucks SO BAD now! Not giving you a contract to sign is pretty rotten. Here’s a note from one guy that WOULD NOT watch Tech TV if not for you doing such a great job.
    As far as getting that new job, I know what you mean. I have been on the orange grove business for the past 10 years and am selling it off. Hopefully it will be done by the end of this summer. I don’t know what I am going to do with myself! Hey, I have an idea! You an I can put together “Leo TV”! You can do like two different shows a day, and then we’ll run them all day long on a constant loop! It will be all Leo all the time! I’ll bet your fans that have been screwed by the Tech TV regime would love that!
    We’re all behind you. And I hope that you get a huge contract that you deserve. Peace, Rob.

  11. Leo! Great TSS show today! You sure got out of that last question! (The fax question that Martin read.) LOL

  12. 1.) First off the new Screen savers is a KILLER. These are some of the best episodes I have seen since the series first started. great stuff!
    2.) C4H is just “ok” It still seems early to see how things might evolve. I am reserving my judgement. I can tell you the computer screen that becky talks about and Scott “drives” is very clunky. Go figure.
    3.) TechLive overall is pretty good for a bloomberg type service. I got some good info and some of it was very interesting. I fear, however that the target audience is the urban professional not the regular TechTV audience. That’s a sensible choice if the network feels they need a shift but what doesn’t make sense is the timing of the show. It would seem that the audience you are trying to reach is working at the time.
    4.) I can tell that all of our regular TechTV regulars are working themselves like crazy on the new format. I hope everyone is holding together. I noticed Steve gettinmg frustrated at the slow response of the graphics he wanted called up and someone was screaming at the top of their lungs during a short segment with Victoria in the newsroom. I wonder what that was about πŸ™‚ Not only are you working hard kudos to the lovely Stacee who seems to have TONS of segments.
    5.) As far as you saying “they seem to be waiting to see how Techlive goes before they decide” I would not worry about your own personal situation. I would never believe they would be dumb enough to not realize the asset they have. However, before I read that comment you wrote I was thinking to myself that they seem to be taking every TechTV person we have now and put them in multiple segments thoroughout the show. I think they are overdoing the number of people purposelly here at first to weed out who doesn’t seem to be the best on camera. media is harsh! I am glad that they decided to at least TRY all the talent in the new format first before getting rid of a bunch of them to start out with. I wouldn’t be secure if I were some of the on screen talent now though. But, again, they may not know WHY you are such an asset to the channel, but they should know that ARE.
    BTW this is the first day I actually got to watch m,ore than a few minutes of TechLive as I am working on most weekdays. The Screen savers timing is great for me though. Gotta love that!

  13. I haven’t got a chance to come on the blog for a few days so I missed the big discussion on the new format. I just want to say that no matter what TechTv does to their shoes, as long as your on there Leo… I’ll watch. You make learning computers fun and simple. I rarely laugh at shows that are on television yet I find myself laughing at you, Patrick, and Martin all the time. As sad as it sounds I could watch reruns of TSS all day and still laugh cause you guys are great. I have to give a quick thank you to all the people that make that show possible cause it is by far my favorite show.
    I think the new TechLive format could have worked better but it the I can’t stand the whole news and stocks ticker… they take up the whole screen. I just watch when your on anyways though so I can handle it. Keep up the good work Leo.. oh yeah.. and that nice amount of money they’re paying you… your well worth it πŸ™‚ Talk to you later
    Martin

  14. HEy Leo,
    Josh Ptterson and i started Techlive fans, and i kinda think that it sucks a little bit.. I never get to see you, i get homr as cfh is starting, how do u expect us school age geeks to watch techlive when i miss everytihng, I want to see yuo and erica, but i cant. SUre People like it, but they can watch it. I’m knda steamed taht Techtv is doing this, one they gpt rid of palace, and this i chat, is taking to long to get used to.I dunno maybe its just me, but if i could watch the entire techlive, maybe i woudl think different…
    But i’m not going to know, because even my geekness has to wait for school to get over.and when i get home, i only see you for the mac tip.. Tss is good, but i’m not used to times. its kidna weird though.
    WHo knwos, maybe u need to put in your contract that u want fans to ome first.
    ~~~~~~
    Corey Maertz
    Techtvfans.com
    Techlvie Fans
    Cfh-fanatics.com
    COrey@techtvfans.com

  15. I absolutely hate the new format. I too used to have TechTV on all day long – and kept an ear out for anything that I might have missed from the night before. Now I might as well be watching and of the financial networks – and what is this with Scott Herriot? Are you taking your cue from Monday Night Football with the comic routine?
    I honestly think that you will see your ratings go in the ol’ crapper –
    TSS is great but Call for Help is NEEDED. Since I have convinced most of my frineds to watch it – my phone rings about half as much as it used to with basic computer questions.
    Please bring back my beloved TechTV.
    Change is good – but change for the sake of changes is….

  16. Leo, Live Tv is a killer, and I hope your new contract rewards you handsomely for all the hard work you are doing… I love the new Screen Savers, can you whittle your day down from Tech Live and just do that? Probably not, so, I hope you remember to get some sleep and take care of yourself, we fans of yours are so grateful you are still having fun… we hope it all works out for you!

  17. Leo,
    I, along with most here on your blog, would love to save YOU and, of course, Pat, Martin, and all the others from the apparent hell techlive is becomming. I believe that this might be the worst thing on tv. I hate to say it, but I am only watching TSS from now on. I am a grad student and I used to watch all day while writing papers, grading paper, and reading. However, I will now have to revert back to my soap operas!
    I turly wish you could find a way to do something about this crap they are putting the viewers through, but I understand that you have a family and a life that depends on keeping a job. Good luck!

  18. Leo,
    If the deal at TechTV/TechLive doesnt workout boy do I got an option for u! How would u like to come work at my college in St. Augustine Florida; well the library at least. The school needs a better Techie to work here because half of all the computers are running all the time; plus a virus sneaked into the network yesterday so even less are working now. Doesnt it sound like a great deal work at a college library and deal with all the computers and having to teach the newbies how to work them too??? IF THIS LIKE A JOB FOR U LEO get back to me: Dark_Meir@lycos.com
    —>Jason Rempala(your biggest fan!!)

  19. Leo- I can’t believe you don’t have a contract. I miss the old Call for Help- But I like the new Screen Savers better!You and Patrick are the Best.
    Sometime in the next couple months I’m going for my A+ test. I hope you get a Contract very soon! Best of Luck to you Leo!

  20. My worst fear has been realized. Scott Hairnet doing the news! Anyway, i do like some of the new format…not much but some. Leo,who says you HAVE to be knowledgeable about finance? Play it like you’re the part of the audience that doesn’t understand!

  21. Hey Leo loved today’s TSS show… and glad there wasn’t a leounderwearcam…
    but tomorrow you should ask martin and patrick if they wear boxers breifs or go w/o shorts in retribution?
    i’m really miffed that scott herriot has taken over part of your duties on CFH… doesn’t anyone know he’s too snooty to begin to impart wisdom to the rest of us?
    you and patrick rule… you are why we watch TSS… so why are we being subjected to the new busty chicks for geek site of the day? seems a tad lewd if you ask me… beside if you wanted the female presence there was always the lovely michaela?
    and like everyone else we’ll watch you wherever you (and patrick) may wander…

  22. Leo, I don’t know who the mental midgets are that came up with this format, but they are driving people away in droves. The new shows **** and I will not watch them.. TSS is still a good show.. I guess it is only a matter of time till they screw that one over. They really need to ditch the two losers , Scott and Steve. Where did they pick them up anyway, at the docks? Keep us informed of your whereabouts. Your fans will follow you anywhere, if is not Techtv, they they are the big losers.

  23. Leo,
    Sorry about your contract woes. I didn’t catch the new 90 minute Screen Savers yet, but did manage to tape an episode of the new Call for Help. I just popped the tape in a few minutes ago and pressed play. Unfortunatley, I stopped the show about 15 mintues through. I coulden’t take it! It looks like the show is being broadcast from a warehouse floor! The intimate one-on-one feeling you gave CFH seems all but lost. Also, what’s up with all those graphics on the screen…it’s like I’m watching CNBC or something! Too much information to swallow! I think I will just stick to taping just The Screen Savers. Thanks for letting me speak my mind on your website.
    Dave

  24. Leo, I really hope your contract negotiations go well. In my opinion TechLive is a big expensive mistake. Even the cameramen are confused as to what’s going on on that ridiculous set.
    Screen Savers is on my Tivo waiting for me every night at 11PM while I feed and burp my baby. I’d go insane if I had to watch anything else. Stay with us!

  25. Ah ha! I thought Mr. Laporte looked the part (champagne wishes and caviar dreams)!
    Anyway, tried TTL again this morning. It’s getting better, but I still think the segments are too short on “tech” items. During the half hour I watched about 5 minutes was on a tech item, the other 25 (minus commercials of course) was all stock market related. Now sure, the market is up right now, but still…

  26. I have to agree with everyone here. The New format stinks big time. I Can’t even watch CFH anymore as it is over by the time I get home from work. I do like the new TSS format but wish it was a little latter. I also agree the Leo is TechTV. Without Him I feel that they would lose a huge number of viewers. I used to tell people to watch CFH to learn About their computers. Now what can we do for help. I think it’s time we all start moaning and yelling Till the fix TechTV. They killed the only chanel I Watch. I got a Dish just so I could have TechTV. Leo keep up the good work and we will all hope for the best in the future of TechTV

  27. Hey Leo, I still like Techlive and The Screen Savers. I watch Techlive everyday when I get home from school and chat with my friend that watches it also. The Screen Savers are better then ever and even though I miss Call for Help with you as a host, It’s great how you do news and Tech tips. I may be the only person that likes Techlive but I only watch because you are on it. The extra stress will probley die down soon Leo so don’t worry. There is always weekends!
    Eric

  28. Leo
    I always said you are to ZDTV/TechTV what Emeril is to the food network. (As a matter of fact I had entered a video to “You Made It” spoofing that.)
    I hope TechTV realizes what a “find” they have in you. In my opinion you have the correct vision as to what TechTV should be.
    BTW, I think with Jennifer joining the show, I wouldn’t skip the gym if I were you! πŸ˜‰

  29. come on people! This is a family Blog. take a cold shower and curb the lewd comments about the female talent featured throughout techtv. I am sure Leo doesn’t appricate those comments at all…there are a few scattered thoughout.
    [read Leo’s blog entry about content techtv commercials]

  30. Leo-
    I’ve been watching you for over three years and I can say that my wife and I watch only because of you. You also inspired me to become a computer tech and have been loving life ever since. Thanks Leo and hang in there…your die hard fans will follow you where ever you may go.

  31. Leo: Is this typical of the broadcast industry or just TechTV to not respect their talent by making sure they’re working with a contract? I’m a little stunned that they allowed you of all people to work without a contract. I mean, you can go anywhere now if you wanted to right now. That’s just plain dumb.
    -Vincent

  32. Leo,
    You can come work for my company anyday. I’ll even spot you the $3500 referal fee they would grant me for finding you. It is a shame what they have done to CFH. I do like 90 minutes of call for help, but until I get my DSS/TIVO I cant watch regularly. Hope they pull the head out soon.
    Dave in Vacaville

  33. If you still have not seen a piece of paper about your contract, then it seems to me that they are leaving it open to see what you will do. I hope this is not the case, but maybe they are hoping you will leave. PLEASE DON’T GO! If you have no contract telling you that you have to do Tech Live, why not just skip it and just do TSS?

  34. Oops! forgot 2 salient points.
    1.) TechTV news is terrible. It seems to be just a “Best Of TechLive”. Victoria’s charm and skills can’t save that format.
    2.) Don’t be “dissin” da Boone man”

  35. Leo,
    I feel sorry for you. I think I have it bad, you have to sit trough TechLive every day. I hope there is hazard pay in your new contract. TechLive is definitely hazardous to your career.

  36. Leo, ThirdGeek.com could use a big goofey guy like you ;0)
    Hope everything works out, will follow you no matter where you go.

  37. I sincerely hope everything works out for Leo. You ARE techtv! I’m so sad that
    about the new call for help, it just isn’t fun to watch like it used to be. Wishing all the best for you =) Colin

  38. What?? You must have some blog-censor-ware installed. I think I said “s__k up more of your resources” above, and it got ***’ed. Cheezy, man.
    — Brandon

  39. I agree with everyone else. Our family would follow you anywhere you go. It seems to me the very best thing about TechTV is you. Call For Help was the most wonderful show and now it’s ruined. I can’t even keep it on long enough to watch it anymore. It’s simply horrible. The station should realize that we all tune in just to see you. It all revolves around you. You make learning computers bearable for our whole family. It’s because of your presentation that the non-computer user in the family will let us watch your show. He is even learning without knowing it! And the lengthened format for Screensavers may be OK, but it’s too long to watch in the evening when there’s so much else going on. That’s why I loved the reruns during the day – which are now gone in favor of that horrible 9 hour long stock reporting mess that’s now being shown. Why would TEchTV try to become a regular news station instead of sticking with the format (teaching computers) that worked? I think Paul Allen must be “on” something to make that kind of decision. And to not care at all about the viewers who have loyally watched from the beginning. Just who is going to watch these shows now? I cannot believe that everyone wrote in and said to change the shows. They were perfect the way they were. And now they are truly unwatchable. Get smart and leave the station quick before it goes under, as it surely will. You can get a job anywhere and if it’s on TV or the radio, we’ll be there with you. You are the best thing on TV. I was watching TechTV almost exclusively until the new format. Now I am not able to even bear watching what was my favorite show in the whole world – Call For Help. My family, my friends, we all just can’t believe how this has all been ruined for us. It breaks our heart. Good luck to you, Leo. We love you and can’t believe they are doing this to you. What a horrible bunch of people to work for.

  40. Brandon, Leo and a few others built that station up from nothing with their own blood, sweat and tears, it’s only tv, but that’s their living right now. It’s just a shame that the owners don’t sppreciate all the hard work that went into making Tech Tv a truely loved part of the tv landscape. People take that seriously, there’s nothing wrong with that.

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