The New Sofa-Free Call for Help

I’m in the Burbank airport waiting for a 7am flight back home. I’ll have a day with the family (minus the radio show) then it’s off to Toronto tomorrow for our third week of taping – our third month of shows – for the new Call for Help.
MonicaThe new show is going through some changes, which always happens as you work out the kinks. Monica, my wonderful co-host, has decided that she can’t keep up with the grueling schedule. She kept her job in promotions at Rogers/Omni and doing both that and the TV show was just too much for her. She has opted to keep her day job and spend less time on the TV show. We plan to continue to use her from time to time as a field reporter. I know it seems strange to most people that someone would choose a role behind the cameras rather than in front. It’s never easy to know what you want to do in life, and when someone really is clear about that I totally respect their decision. We’ll miss Monica’s happy presence on the set but we’re glad she’s doing what makes her happiest.

Amber MacArthurFortunately our Web Workshop expert, Amber MacArthur, is willing to step up and take the role of co-host. Amber is an experienced TV host who has worked on the CBC, and in San Francisco for KQED. She’s also an accomplished web designer who has been consulting with Microsoft and other companies on usability and design. And she’s a Mac geek. Andy and I are thrilled to have her join the team.

We’re also working on dumping the red couch. That’s one departure that won’t be mourned. I know we all look uncomfortable sitting on those dang couches. We are. We’re looking for something to replace them. My preference is for high stools and a round table – kind of like a café, but we’ll see what the set designers come up with.

Every show is an evolutionary process. And despite the same old name and the same old host, Call for Help really is a new show. I think it’s a great show already, but we’re still perfecting it – and we have a long way to go. I really want to get a Wired World Challenge style game show up and running, for example, but it’s tough with the limited staff available. As the show, and staff, grows, there will be lots of things we can add to make it even better.

Meanwhile, thanks to our Canadian fans for your support. And to my friends in the US, patience. We’re working hard to find a US home for the show. I’ll let you know as soon as we get some idea of where there’s interest. (I think G4 is probably out – they seem to be headed in a totally different direction.) And to my other International friends – we’re not forgetting you. My plans for global domination have received a tiny setback, but I am not giving up. Today Toronto, tomorrow Dubai, and Sydney, and Nassau, and…

Help-A-Thon II

We’ve set the time and date for the second annual Call For Help-A-Thon. We’ll be doing it the day after Christmas, December 26 from 11a-11p Eastern (8a-8p Pacific).
Last year Chris Pirillo went 18 hours, but there’s no way these old bones could do that. Twelve hours will do fine, thank you. Cat, Sarah, and Kevin will be helping out. There will be lots of surprises, too. I know Alex Lindsay has agreed to do a Photoshop hour with me. More will follow, I’ll fill you in as we book the show up.

So set aside some time December 26 to join us for the Help-A-Thon. It’s going to be even more fun than last time.

Call for Leo

A quick programming note: I’ll be hosting Call For Help on Friday while Chris is on vacation. That’s 10/11 at 5p Eastern.
Also Patrick and I will be making a rare appearance in the San Francisco Bay Area, at the Best Buy in Dublin, on Saturday, November 16. It’ll probably be from noon to two. And because it’s a local appearance we’re hoping to get the entire Screen Savers crew there, too! That’ll be a real first.