End of Line

The party's over.After nearly ten years, four owners, well over 2000 live TV shows, lots of laughs, a few tears, and meeting many many wonderful people, my time at TechTV has come to an end.
I could tell so many stories about the talented, committed, hard working, and hard partying people I’ve worked with there. Each and every one of them will always have a special place in my life . It was with great sadness that I walked out the studio door for the last time last night.

The reasons for my leaving are complicated. As I posted here a few weeks ago, management and I had come to a very satisfactory agreement about a new work schedule and salary, but at the last minute TechTV’s outgoing owner, Vulcan Ventures, insisted that I sign away all claims against them regarding shares they had given me some years ago. I was unwilling to do so, and they held my job as hostage.

My leaving has nothing to do whatever with G4 or Comcast. In fact, I’m very sorry that I won’t be around to participate in the transition. I’ve already contacted G4 to let them know I’d be glad to continue working at the new channel once they take over and I hope that I’ll get that chance.

Fortunately I still have a great job at KFI, a sweet book contract with Que, this thriving web site, and many requests for speeches and other appearances. My family will not starve, and I will be keeping very busy no matter what happens.

Call for Help will continue on the air without me. George Crowe, Dan Mitchell, Fawn Luu, Roger Chang, Cat Schwartz, and Ian the new guy, whose last name I still can’t spell, are still there working their tails off to do the best show on TechTV for the least amount of money. Nicole Guilfoyle and Rich Miglozzi are still slaving away to make the web site the best resource ever. Steve Porter, Rob D’Arcy, Bill Coen, Josh Villegas, Raevon Armand, Deb Croback, Jon Martin, Greg Tremelling, Brett, Fatty Matty, David Chung, Jim Smith and the best studio crew in the world are still there keeping things running light without overbyte. Please keep watching.

For the second time in as many weeks I find myself saying goodbye. My spirits were buoyed with the hundreds of wonderful messages I got last week. It’s so gratifying to know that the work we’ve done has made such a big difference in so many people’s lives. With apologies to Lou Gehrig, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I won’t be on TV for a little while. But I do hope we’ll see each other again on the small screen some day. Until then, thanks for an incredible 10 years. I’ll miss you.

1,325 Replies to “End of Line”

  1. Leo, it is really devastating to me that you would be allowed to go anywhere! You have changed my attitude about “personal confusers”, technology, career and job choices. Without learning from you i would never have gone to work for Monster. I will be looking for you on any and every cable channel until you have another fulltime or at least regular daily/hourly show.
    I am truly greatful for your enthusiasm, patience, lessons on Macs, Windows, Palm, and technology and its implications for the future.
    yul.butler@monster.com Please put me on any distribution list you have available.

  2. Leo,
    I know I am not the first, by far, to say this. 180 are before me, and I feel I am likely to get lost in the din, but I wanted to say a few things. For 2 years that I have been an unabashed fan, through layoffs plenty, and the fiercely debated departure of Chris Pirillo, I have argued against decenters over the future of TechTV, the loyalty and business sense of Vulcan and TechTV’s management(neither argument was helped by your Gnomdedex keynote) and many other debates disparaging the network. Today I find I can no longer do this. I am a huge fan of yours, and the network. I am saddened by my loss of Cable TV, and that this caused me to miss such major events like your departure, first from TSS and then the network entire, and the departure of Jessica. When TechTV came to Canada, I got Digital cable for that singular purpose, to get the network. Now I find myself questioning the need. I hope that G4 sees the stupidity of Vulcan for what it is, and hires you back on finalizing the buyout.

  3. Leo:
    Thank you for providing the knowledge to run the XP operating system and keep out of trouble. Without your help I would have probably given up and gone back to Win 98. I hope your understudies were paying attention. There arent many people that could pull off a tech show let alone 2 without putting people to sleep.

  4. I watched the screen savers since you were zdtv and kate was a cohost. After all you’ve done for techtv, I’m surprised that vulcan ventures would mess you over like that.
    Going to miss you not being on techtv.

  5. Leo
    I am longer of tooth than you yet i have watched the show since i found it on Cable. It has something for everyone. You guys had me sitting at a Microsoft 4 hour meeting to get software, Have learned alot and enjoyed it all. hoping Comcast brings you back. The whole audience isn’t 20 years old, I buy a lot of tech stuff and need a place to get it critiqued.
    my 2 cents

  6. Leo,
    My gut told me several years ago that you would leave when your contract comes up for renewal in 2004. This is one time I wish I had been wrong!
    As I have written before, I have been watching since the channel was two months old. I’ve spoken with you several times on air, and Kate gave me a t-shirt once. (At the time, I was too small to wear the shirt. Maybe I can now. I would love to wear a shirt with the original “The Screen Savers” logo on it!)
    I watched ZDTV all the time, and I learned so much. I had always loved computers, but ZDTV made me a true geek. I even continued to watch when the channel became TechTV, the people that I loved to watch started leaving, and the quality began going down. Now TechTV is just another channel; and now that you’re gone, I like it even less. The channel I once loved as if it were mine is now gone. I abhor change, so I will continue watching in spite of it. I have a feeling I won’t be able to watch much longer, though.
    I miss the Goold Ol’ Days of ZDTV like crazy, and I will certainly miss you!
    Best of luck,
    Joseph Todd

  7. Oh God, ive watched you the whole six yrs and now nothing. Venture is a jerk and greedy son-of a-gun. L love the other guys on screen savers and call for help but you were the catalyst. Good luck guy, will miss you and hope to god comcast re-hires you.

  8. Oh no! Leo, you’re like the nutty uncle I always wish I had. I stumbled onto the Screen Savers about 6 months ago. I realized I was addicted, so I went out and bought a vcr to tape your show. And then I found Call for Help. What great stuff. I’m so bummed.
    Let us know who we need to bother to get you back.

  9. Leo,
    This is coming from a lady married to a CIO for 20 years and I still don’t have a clue about computers. Love shopping, sending mail, gathering information, etc…online. We have watched the Screen Savers for years and even though half the time I didn’t understand what you we’re talking about I enjoyed watching you and the guys. Good luck. Hope to see you back on the air.

  10. Dear Leo,
    I can’t believe it! Call For Help and The Screensavers won’t be the same any more. I just started watching Tech TV over a year ago now thanks to my Husband. I have learned quite a bit. I love Call for Help and The Screensavers. I wish you all the best Leo. I hope you have your own TV show, I’ll be looking for it. Take Care.

  11. Leo,
    I have to plead “Say it isn’t so!”
    I am of the same generation as you and a teckie wannabe. I have enjoyed you on techtv every evening after I get home. Some people sit and read the paper or have a beer. I had an hour with Leo. Being a Mac addict since the early 80’s, I also glowed every time you bragged about your Macs.
    Your unique humor added a friendly low key element to the show that made us all feel we were participating, not just watching. Your interview skills demonstrated your maturity and the fact that you were well informed on the tech topics of the day.
    I only wish I were a producer so I could hire you and have an instant hit on my hands.
    This new gamer channel will surely pick you up, but what about those of us that are addicted to technology, but not necessarily games.
    I truly wish you all the luck in the world and hope to see you very soon back in my living room.
    Paul Gans

  12. Leo, what a blockbuster of bad news, I’ve been watching you since 1998 when I got Satellite TV.
    You and Kate dancing to end your shows, I’m optimistic you’ll be back, we will miss you till then. Bob

  13. Dear Leo,
    TechTV is stupid for letting you go. It’s turned into a network fronted by kids. There HAS to be a place for you on tv where you can help geeks like me. I don’t know what to say. I’m angry and pissed off. I guess I thought something was up when you left TSS, but I tried to ignore it because you were still on CFH. But then I realized last night that I barely watched TSS last week and didn’t care. TechTV made a huge hole in their programming and I don’t think it can be filled.
    Shoot…I’m rambling. Hugs to you and your family…and please remember that you have lots of fans who want you on tv and we’ll keep looking for you because you’re damn good at what you do.

  14. Hello Leo,
    You will truely be missed,m myself and all of the employees with our company will miss you on the show. TechTV will never be the same without the fun and the laughs that you have bought to TechTV and The Screen Savers. I hope that you will come back to the show once the Comcast transition is fully completed.
    You will truely be missed and I hope to see you on there yet.

  15. Leo: You are the one I credit for having elevated my capacity for computer use and for computer literacy. You will be missed, but I still will continue to listen to your program on KFI via internet radio. Thank goodness for that! Hope to see you hosting another show soon and admire your courage for sticking to your principles concerning employment contract.

  16. The very best of luck to you Leo. I only had about 13 months to enjoy your Sceen Savers and Call for Help, you have taught me a great deal!! (Although I’m not a Mac lover you still gave me the confidence I needed, to upgrade my p.c. with ease.) I’m looking forward to seeing you where ever you land. Oh, by the way, it seems we both attended high school in Santa Cruz, Ca. Michael Clark

  17. We will miss you a great deal, Leo, but I hold out hope that I will see you again on TechTV…or whatever is next with Comcast. I’ve only watched TechTV for a little over a year now, but I associate the network with Leo Laporte. I’m glad to have been able to meet you in person at tapings of TSS three times, and I hope to be able to do it again in the future. Good luck and God bless!

  18. No Leo Laport = Me not watching TechTv. Leo IS TechTv. If the Farscape folks could get their show back (even if it is only a special) so can we. Who are the players in the deal that everyone could contact (names, phonenumbers, emails, and address)?

  19. Hi Léo!
    This is truly a sad day. Quite honesty, you made ZDTV and TechTV. Vulcan Ventures is stupid to not recognize that. I hope that Comcast will see the true heart and talent behind The Screen Savers and Call for Help.
    I will miss seeing you on my tube each night, Léo. My hopes and prayers are with you and your family. I look forward to the day that I turn my TV on and there you are again!
    You’re the best!
    Your friend,
    Michael J. Titera
    Fremont, California

  20. Dear Leo,
    Scrolling through the channels, about 2 years ago, I stummbled opon your show TSS and hadn’t missed an episode since. The thing I loved most about the show is you just never new what you would say next. It was the most entertaining show on television. I had many great laughs. Thanks, you will be missed.

  21. I know it’s been said here several times, but in my case it’s also true. The only reason I watched TechTV was because of you Leo. When you left Call For Help, so did I… When you came back… so did I…
    Same deal with TSS. I’ve tried to watch Pat and Kevin… but it seems too “hip and cool” for me anymore… I’ll keep checking here for the latest news…
    Good luck!!

  22. Leo-
    Best of luck in the future. I have been a fan for many years, starting with you and John Dvorak on KGO/KSFO and eventually following you to TechTV. I am disappointed by the turn of events but I am sure you will be back on the air where you belong soon.
    Hope to see you soon at “Azteca”! Next time I see you there I will speak up!

  23. What can I say that hasn’t been said? Very disappointing and sad. Hope you get back on the air soon, either with G4 or something else. You really made TSS and CfH fun to watch – TSS hasn’t been quite as good without you, and now there’s no reason to watch CfH anymore either.

  24. You, Leo, are the essence of Tech TV (Formerly “ZDTV”). Your appeal to geeks of all ages is without equal. I am an over fifty geek and watch whenever I can, especially when you are on. We can, all, only hope and pray that someone comes to their senses and keeps the “Captain” with his ship. Thanks for all that you’ve given to us, the clueless. You have been especially kind to include us in the goings-on with your professional and personal life. This means so much to me and to many others. It means you care about us and that we do matter. Leo, please come back!

  25. Leo, my husband and I have enjoyed your contribution to TechTV for the last three years or so. We’re going to miss seeing you! We hope things work out for you to join Comcast/G4. We’re not big gamers and view the sale with aprehension, hoping it doesn’t become all gaming. We’re probably in the TechTV minority in saying that, we realize!
    By the way, our library actually had a copy of your 2003 Almanac, so I’m cutting my teeth on the written Leo. Perhaps I can get them to buy the new book, too!
    Best to you & yours,
    Kimberley & Howie
    Newark, Ohio

  26. Wow Leo sorry to here what happened. I don’t know if I’m going to tell my wife yet she will really be upset. You turned her into a Geek or at least a Geek wantabe. She Was upset with you leaving the screen savers and gave the gang a week to see how the show went she decided that she would just watch call for help from now on. Now when she hears this look-out. I myself don’t know if I will continue watch either Screen savers or call for help because you are the one who made the show for my family. I excepted the fact that you left the screen savers and just doing call for help to gain control of your life but this is just to far. I’ve only been a fan for about 2 1/2 years but will truly miss you. I hope Comcast will bring you back to TechTv. Well here goes I’am going to tell my wife wish me luck. Leo your the Best and the Best TechTv will ever have.

  27. I decided to get satellite tv over cable just over three years ago because the local provider at the time did not offer tech tv. Since then it has become one of my favorite channels and the screen savers one of my favorite shows. One of the reasons for this is the on air personalities such as Leo Laporte. Smart, wity, funny, with just a little geek thrown in. Mr. Laporte you will be missed. I sincerely hope to see you in another venue very soon. You are a pleasure to watch and you present technology in a way we can all understand.
    My very best wishes to you and yours,
    Jeff Gross

  28. Leo,
    I am 58 yr old semi geek. I always made sure I watched your shows because you made the show personally enjoyable. You never talk down to people and make it seem like you’re a member of the family or a good friend that coming in for a chat. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and I hope that you will be on the tube soon. Please let us know so that all your loyal viewers can sit down and chat some more. You are the best. God Bless.

  29. Leo,
    Will miss you a lot, tonight is a very sad time.
    You made zdtv/techtv and they are such fool’s.
    I will watch CFH and TSS but perhaps not as offten
    and for sure will not enjoy the watching as much.
    You have provided me with a lot of knowlage of
    all thing computer and a whole bunch of laughs.
    Take care and God Bless!!
    Sad in Georgia USA

  30. Leo, I have been a fan of yours for many years now. You have taught me many useful things, and I will sorely miss your witty and articulate style on Tech-TV.
    I work at one of Tech-TV’s affiliate MSOs, and I can say that your departure is a considerable loss for our technophile viewers as well as myself.
    I am heartened to read that the rest of your world is still treating you well, and I look forward to the day when you tickle the phosphors on my TV set again from another studio somewhere.
    best regards,

  31. Hey Leo!
    Really enjoyed watching you every weekday at 3:00 PM on Call For Help! Defenitly wont be the same without the good ol’ Leo! Oh Well, hope to see you on some other show. heh.

  32. You had every right to leave TechTv. You built that station from the beginning, and if their not going to work hard enough to keep you, well thats their problem. It does make me quite sad, and may stop watching the network all together, it hasnt been the same since you stopped hosting TSS. Best of luck.

  33. One old TV hand to another:
    I truly respect ya sir and the fine work you’ve done. If one looks in reference books under consumate broadcast pro… they’ll find your picture. Never had the pleasure to meet you, (“Switcherman” Keith worked with me a bit).
    Would be proud to shake your hand. You’ll not only land on your feet, you’ll re-enter TV dancin’!
    Best of luck Leo.

  34. Leo …like everyone who has made their comments above…you will be missed very much on the Screen Saver’s show…you’re being there made the show!
    Look forward to seeing you on TV again real soon.
    Best Wishes Always…… Lee

  35. I’ve watched TechTV since 99′. There has always been Leo. I remember when it was just him, hosting the Screen Savers and Call for Help. He had a female co host back then, back when the channel was called ZDtv. Though I don’t remember her name. But they started me on this road to technology. I’ve learned alot from watching Leo, and his energy has feed my love for the station since I first started watching. It is sad Leo that you are leaving, and I will miss you.

  36. I never thought i’d see the day. Ill be 100% honest, you were the one and only reason i watched TechTV, and as it seems right now, i will probably watch very little any longer. You shall be missed.

  37. Leo is to Tech TV like Emeril is to the Food Channel– They are the show– My wife never misses Emeril and I never miss Leo– and we were both happy, but this turn of events has darkened my world. This is a sad day for us knowledge seekers, and Leo knows how to teach us– God bless and thank you, Leo, for all the wealth of information you have shared with us. Just keep teaching and sharing. You are a rare and gifted individual and the tech world is a far better place for your part in it. I will continue watching you on the small screen from the L.A. radio station–
    Fond Memories, Sonny

  38. I am shocked shocked shocked!! 2 years ago, I bought a TiVo, and my first TiVo discovery was TechTV, and over the past couple of years, I have not missed an episode of The Screen Savers, and Call For Help. Leo, you seemed like the elder statesman of TechTV ; he was the heart and soul of the network!!
    I am just shocked, Leo, and I’ll miss you… I feel like I’ve lost a family member!
    I hope we see you on tv again in the future – first Pirillo, then Michaela Pereira, now you..
    I am disgusted with TechTV, and I wonder if there’s anything we can do to let them know how upset we are..
    take care Leo!
    David in Athens, Ohio

  39. Leo, you were definately my favorite part about TechTV. I live with someone who loved to watch call for help, the screen savers, et all – constantly. And while not a personal choice of mine to watch, leo always cheered and envigorated my attitude towards watching with his upbeat and goofy self. You worked hard to help people understand the ultimate personal confuser. Those extra tips that help you get that much ahead in a technology based society, helping people get better jobs (like myself, thanks to a few things I learned about networking, and the way that magical “internet” thing really works), and all around making people feel good about themselves and their powerful calculators.
    Thank you for all your help. For a person I do not know, nor have any personal connection with – you’ve helped me and many people in ways you probably never knew.
    We love the Leo
    (I did, however, always laugh when you wore the fire shoes … “Crazy leo, what’s he doing!”)
    (Side note: where do I get a pair?)

  40. Leo, you will be sorely missed. I have been watching you since the very first episode of “The Site”. Have always enjoyed your shows. You made all of the different shows you were involved in. I have really enjoyed watching you all these years. TV will not be the same without you. Hope you have great success in whatever you do and I will look forward to seeing you on TV again. Your shows were always intelligent and informative. Wish you and your family all the best.

  41. I’ve been watching CFH and TSS almost every day since late 1998, you are a major reason for the level of skill I have in computing. With your departure I’m going to stop tuning in, for the first time in over 5 years – and I’ll stand by this decision until/if Comcast brings you back.
    What I can’t understand is the massive level of stupidity demonstrated by Vulcan Ventures here. Messing around with one of a network’s biggest assets while you are in the process of trying to sell it is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen.
    At this point if I was Comcast I’d just drop the deal here and now, it’s not worth it anymore. I’d just take the money I’d spend buying TechTV and start up a few technology shows on G4 instead, the only thing missing for Comcast would be the larger audience – but that can be fixed, ZDTV wasn’t exactly carried by a lot of services early on either.
    I’d say best of luck, but you don’t need luck. You’ll be just fine.

  42. Leo,
    It’s a shame Vulcan Ventures didn’t realize what they had in you. Brings to mind a Latin phrase I pretty much live by: illigitimi non carborundum. I’m sure you’ll land on your feet and hit the ground running… Thanks for everything, been a Hell of a ride!
    Ronnie T.
    Cordova, TN

  43. Sorry to hear your leaving TechTV. It’s been a while since I have watched, but I think Kate, Pat and everyone else really helped a lot of people with their computers. Take care and I’m sure we’ll hear about your next adventure soon.

  44. Leo,
    I am very, very sorry to hear your news. I have watched TSS since day one missing only a few shows here and there (none since you convinced me to get a Tivo a few years ago). I have exchanged several emails with you over the years and met you at your last appearance in Atlanta. While you didn’t always give correct advice :), you were always fun to watch (especially when you got into it with your female co-workers). I sincerely hope you land a job with Comcast after the buyout. I also hope that Comcast continues to broadcast the channel on DirecTV. Good luck and thank you for everything.
    Tony Giacomo
    Sugar Hill, GA

  45. Well not sure if you will read this Leo but I just want to say I will miss you BIG TIME on Call for Help. I was sad to see Chris go off the show but after I saw you a few times I really looked forward to the show every week day. I found you very polite, always seem happy, knew what you were talking about and always had a joke or something to cheer people up. All I can say is I sure hope you come back to the show, also I wish you the best of luck on any new adventures you do. THANK YOU so much for all the help I needed for my computer, I did learn a lot from you like you would say at the beginning of the show. Oh by the way I have help a lot of my friends with there computers since I have been watching the show.

  46. Unreal. Leo, you’re the best thing that network ever had and the only reason I even watched The Screen Savers and Call for Help. Thank you for all the tech help you have given me and I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

  47. Leo;
    We all will mis you. I have been watching you since ZDTV. It will not be the same without you. I looked forward to drinking my morning coffee and watching you on the screensavers. I will also miss eating my lunch and watching you on Call for help. You were wonderful. That is all wrong for what they were wanting you to do. You will be back I am sure of it. You are an icon. They will be sorry I am sure. But they will wake up and smell the coffee and come to reality and bring you back. But good luck and I am in tears that you are leaving. I have been repairing computers for people for 10 years and I have told thenm to tune into watch you. I have even taken some of your tips and knowledge and used them in my many years of service.
    Good Luck

  48. Wow =( Im really going to miss Leo. He has the best personality and can talk to the novice to the super geek with ease. He really had a way with words and was so friendly. After watching TSS since the pentium 2 was the talk of the town, ill miss you leo =*(

  49. 4/3/2004
    Hi Leo,
    I will miss you very much and I will stop watching TechTV since you are no longer part of it.
    I have enjoyed watching you over the last four years of my life. You were one of the People that inspired me to go back to College at forty and get a degree in the Technology field. Because of you I got into Network Administration. I have enjoyed your books and videotapes. I pray that the new owners will hire you at any price.
    Tech-On Brother and Live Long and Prosper.
    Thank You Leo.

  50. I will miss you Leo. I am hoping that you make a swift return to the small screen real fast. I’ts difficult dealing with people who don’t know how to treat really good people in the business. Maybe Comcast will do things different.

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