Bad Timing

Just as I’m thinking about getting back into radio, Cnet decides to leave it behind on January 31 saying that Cnet Radio “was not meeting the company’s financial objectives.”
Brian Cooley, their best host, will continue on with daily audio downloads over via something called Cnet Radio Direct.

I can’t say I was a regular listener, but it’s a shame they couldn’t make a go of it. When one of our number calls it quits, it cast doubts on all our efforts. Cnet abandoned TV in a similar fashion a year or so ago and I think a lot of people (wrongly) thought that was the death knell for computer television.

There are still plenty of computer radio shows on the dial. Most every market has its local show. And there are several national shows including Kim Kommando (ick), Craig Crossman’s Computer America (double ick) and David Lawrence’s Online Tonight (which aired on Cnet but will continue on its other stations). I am sure that most, if not all, of these are financially viable.

Coincidentally, I have been actively looking for either a local or national venue for a weekly radio show, myself. I just don’t get enough time on TechTV to take calls any more and I miss that. There’s nothing solid to report yet, but I am hopeful that, despite the fall of Cnet, there’s still an audience for a computer radio show that’s both entertaining and informative. I’ll let you know if I can find a venue.

For now, I’m going to try to loosen those rusty old chops by guest hosting on my old show while Bob O’Donnell takes some time off this Saturday and again on February 15. I hope you’ll listen in and call in from 10a-1p Pacific on KSFO, 560 AM in San Francisco (it’s streamed on the web too at

It’ll be just like old times. And maybe the start of something new, too.

36 Replies to “Bad Timing”

  1. Leo
    Kim Kommando rocks…have listened in or just going on what people say. Give it a try dude…

  2. It is too bad about Cnet radio. I was wondering about David Lawrence and learned that other stations broadcast his show.
    If you don’t go national, move to LA so I can tune in. 😉

  3. I’ll give it a listen. I watch TSS every day, since I got satelite, up here in Toronto and I could get a dose of tech from work this way.
    Good luck in your endevour to find a regular radio show, should be a good place to plug your book a little more 😉

  4. Sorry to hear about Cnet Radio. I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers that you can get a regular radio show. Your knowledge and talents need to be shared. I don’t know where we would be, had we not learned from you starting back in 1998. My husband and I both learned a lot watching you. Now both of us have regular jobs that include computer knowledge that we learned from you and your inspiration.
    I’ll be tuning in, as always, to your radio broadcasts when I can. I’m looking forward to it! Hopefully it is the start of something new! 🙂

  5. Leo,
    One of the things that I’ve always liked about TechTV/ZDTV was that you all cater to a more technical crowd (at least The Screensavers has always been this way) and are not biased. I sometimes will be flipping through the radio on weekends and will stumble upon some of these national “computer shows” on the radio (not any of the ones you mentioned by the way) and get very aggravated because they are basically one big commercial for whoever their sponsor is…
    When it comes to a “local” computer show I am not aware of any in my market (Chicago which you would imagine would have something!) and have always thought about entertaining the idea of a call-in show to some stations in the area (hey, I have my FCC License although I’m not a broadcaster for a living!)… Any ideas or thoughts on how to go about doing something like this and be taken seriously? I have the technical expertise (have been earning a decent living the last 7 years consulting) and I feel that I have a great sense of breaking apart difficult things and making them easy for people “not as technical” to understand…
    Any thoughts or encouragement would be great! 🙂

  6. Leo Since we have been converted to Comcast we haven’t had Tech tv… If you want a station that can be heard most places east of the rockies try WPHT 1210 AM in Philadelpia they lost Rich Levin to 950 which can’t be heard in the ‘burbs

  7. Leo
    I have only been wathcing TechTV for 4 months, thats about how long I have had digital cable. I stumbled across it and haven’t left since. You guys helped me decide to go back to school to get an information technology degree. (long story short 14 year job company go boom I’m out looking again) Not only have all of you helped me make that decision, but you have helped me avert several computer problems, one fatal! I can not believe that there are not more shows dedicated to the same purpose of helping people with tech questions. Practically everyone has a computer now. I certainly hope nothing happens to you guys and I wish you luck getting a radio show. I hope it will be streamed or available in my market (Norfolk, VA).
    I wonder what the rest of us can do to promote what is already out there and the development of new shows. Writing letters seems not enough.

  8. I used to host a tech chat on AOL, and you’re right that even though a regular chat can be a scheduling drag, you miss it when it’s not there any more. Good luck finding a radio outlet.

  9. I’m sorry TechTV didn’t work, but I can’t wait to hear you on the radio. I’ve been an avid ZD/TechTV since day one and continue to watch as they seem to be pushing away their core audience. Tech help and news is what we want! Not entertainment shows! I do sincerely hope you do find a new place where they value tech help.

  10. Leo,
    I agree with your opinions of Kim Kommando. A local station (WHIOAM) plays here here on Saturday afternoons. I’d rather listen to steaming audio of fingernails on a chalkboard than her, but that’s just me.

  11. I am sorry that the tech tv show has changed for the worst.I did enjoy watching.The add’s have taken over the tech.I hope the radio works out better for you.I live in Florida and am looking for a good computer tech show.Maybe you will be able to find a sponcer and start your own show.
    I think it would be a good show and I would watch and tell all my friends.
    Thank you

  12. That is too bad about CNet Radio. I listened to them on the Internet very regularly. I was about to invest in an XM Satellite radio receiver for my car so I could listen to them on my way to class and back. Oh well, I won’t be getting XM any time soon.

  13. You don’t belong on TV or radio discussing computers, not when you make inane and false comments like, “Computer programming is a young person’s game.” I checked this out with various universities and experts. It is preposterous. In fact the latest research shows the brain ages well when it is used. And, there are plenty of great older programmers who retain their edge. So, your ageist comment was unprofessional, false, and a disservice to your listeners.

  14. Hey Leo!
    I am jazzed to hear you are considering getting back into radio! Although I’m sure you enjoy being on “the tele,” radio is your real forte, as anyone who ever listened to you can attest. Get back behind the mike ASAP!

  15. I agree Leo’s talents are geared toward radio, but his comedic charm can only be seen on television.

  16. “Kim Kommando (ick)”
    What are you crazy!!! Kim’s show is the best computer show on the air. My friends and I don’t miss a program!! I am sorry that you have to dump on other shows because you don’t have one yet 🙁
    Very disappointing!

  17. It’s the bottom line that dictates to the what IS on tv or radio.It’s the money.
    Now it seems that the “net” is catching up to the tv, radio standards. Make money for US or bye bye.
    It’s a shame. I and truely saddened.
    Can anyone say tax write off? (techtv)
    This trend will ONLY get worse.
    I have and will support Leo on any venue he chooses.
    I just wish i had the money and then he could broadcast to just me! (and anyone else that would listen.)

  18. But, thank god for the web…or else how COULD we listen at all to anything out side of our “market” or area!

  19. That is too bad about CNet Radio. I listened to them on the Internet very regularly. I was about to invest in an XM Satellite radio receiver for my car so I could listen to them on my way to class and back. Oh well, I won’t be getting XM any time soon.

  20. “Jerry”…feeling a little touchy because of your age?? 😉 Get real and look around. Leo did not mean that older people can’t. Look at him! But when you have 14 year olds who can recite the FSB speed of the entire line of Abit motherboards, its time to realize a new generation is coming…and it’s REAL. He wasn’t putting down older adults, he was giving props to the new generation. So chill.
    Leo, radio would be cool, but I don’t see why people keep saying it is better for tech. I need to visualize information. It lets me absorb it better. Radio would be cool, but only as a second medium. As long as you don’t leave TechTV. 😉 TechTV rules.
    Yeah…I also hope they bring back the 1½ hour episodes. it was just the right length. Now it seems like you are just getting into the program and it is half over. You can’t shorten the banter though. Nothing needs changed except the extra half hour brought back!

  21. Maybe TechTV could start doing TSS on the weekends and not just playing old shows.

  22. I agree with you Leo re: Crossman and Kommando. Kommando in my opinion has a voice that sounds like nails on chalkboard and Crossman is not the sharpest tool in the drawer by a longshot. Good god! The computer america website was knocked up with a nasty Frontpage template and my 13 year old daughter has made better sites for school projects. These two are the experts? My wife and I used to play a drinking game where we’d have a shot every time “The Digital Goddess” gave an inaccurate answer. We’d be totally smashed by the end of the show. The woman’s background in computing is Sales… That says it all right there.
    You having a call-in show would be great. The other two are hacks in my humble opinion and without copious amounts of alcohol, I find the test of the emergency alert system more entertaining than those two.

  23. Leo;
    I first heard you on “On Computers” back in 1994. I had gotten my first computer, a 486 66, and needed a lot of help, (because I bought it without consulting my hubby…I needed to prove it’s necessary function in in our household).
    I loved the show. I would sit under the trees on Sunday afternoon’s and listen. I learned so much; I have since become a small town “novice” guru.
    I would love for you to come back on. Our radio market probably will not broadcast it at this time. They have too many “Cigar Man” and “Travel Man” and “Finance Man” shows, but I will listen online. Look forward to hearing you today.
    Luv Ya!

  24. I was suprised to find out about CNET Radio, it’s SF AM station which XM rebroadcast it from, is going away. I didn’t think it would go away but when the SF station is not meeting its financial objectives, I guess I can see why. I hope the non CNET shows like Online Tonight, Tech Radio Show, Computer Talk America, Web Talk Guys, and Into Tomorrow still find a home on XM. I hope XM can find another technology content provider but Tech TV is the only choice, unless there’s something I don’t know about. Maybe XM can put these shows while Tech TV, if it is caried on XM, has non tech shows like cartoons, anime, and infomercials. CNET Radio is all I’ve been listening to on XM since I’ve heard the news about this. I’m enjoying it while it’s still here 🙁 I’ve first heard CNET Radio sometime late 2001 on the Internet when I didn’t have XM yet.

  25. I’ve meant CNET Radio is all I’ve been mainly listening to on XM. I still listen to other stations too.

  26. Ever Since CNet Fired Alex Bennett I stop listening to C|Net Radio. Still C|Net Radio was the only place in the radio dial for Geeks, It will sad to see it go. But From this News Report.
    Cnet’s quitting radio could be good for Alex Bennett
    It will Great to Good old Alex (he 65 now?) in the Air Again. I use to listen to him in the morning on the Quake 98.9 and then Original Live 105! Before that Low Life Howard Stern came to Live 105 and Completely Ruin the greatest radio station on earth.

  27. Ever since CNET Radio went away, XM has been carrying Online Tonight, which CNET used to carry, 24 hours a day on Ch. 130, where CNET was. Hopefully, soon they will add other shows on that channel. They better!!

  28. I think we need to petition Tech TV and tell them to go back to a 1 1/2 hour show and devote a full 30 minutes to calls!!!!

  29. Leo,
    I too have been thinking about a change in careers, must be that time of the year. Just remember what my old football coach said: “the grass is always greener on the other side”….
    Hey “fa getta bout it”, we love you on TSS!!

  30. CNET Radio started with Brian Cooley twice a day way back in the early days of RealAudio…. they’ve basically going back in time.
    Tech during the business day is a mistake… IT people are not like wall street people, we don’t sit in one place all day, and don’t have TVs or radios in our offices.

  31. I am totally bummed about C|Net radio. Radio seems a much better forum for tech than TV does, ( I think they are realizing that with Anime, puppetshows, and other non tech shows on techtv.) I hope you get back on the radio waves soon. I’ve followed you from KSFO to KGO to “The Site” to TechTV. I know no matter what venue or venues you choose your audience will stay with you! So if it’s TechTV and radio or just radio we’ll be there.

  32. I think Radio is a good idea, with TSS now only an hour it hardly seems worth the time anymore. that last half hour really seemed to leave room for the rest of the show to expand, get deeper into different topics and let the Talents ( or sometimes lack of talent ) shine. Radio may give more time to focus on more detailed subjects, esp if it was backed up with some type of online forumn to allow disscusion and detail to follow after the fact.

  33. Leo,
    Do what you must, but try to keep TSS on the track that it started on, lest it will go the way of C/NET. I would hate to see that happen, but Techtv may go that if they don’t keep up with their viewer base, the techies and non-techies.
    Computers are taking over the world, and Techtv is a refreshing take on technology. Don’t let it go away, or Uncle Paul Allen will have to invest more money in his yachts.

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