I’m changing some things. UPDATE

Starting May 14th I’ll be doing a whole lot of different things.

On that day I’ll step down as a full-time employee of CNET. I’ve been there almost 6 years. They were my lifeboat after TechTV sunk and I’ve met and worked with some awesome people there.

But I’m burying the lede. Starting June 1 I’ll be joining Leo Laporte’s TWiT network as a daily host. Stay tuned to TWiT for more details on what I’ll be doing there.

As for CNET, I’m still working out the details of what I can continue to do there. Maybe Top 5, and maybe some regular appearances on BOL.

Overall I’m incredibly excited. This will allow me to keep doing some of the things I love for CNET, while opening the door to a whole lot of creative flexibility and control over my own content.

So what kind of content do you want to see on TWiT? I’ll have some 20 hours or so to fill, so ideas are more than welcomed!

Thanks again to CNET for being pretty cool through this process and a huge thanks to Leo for having the confidence in me to give me this opportunity!

And thanks to all the folks who watch and listen to what I’ve done over the years. Because if you hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this.

Update: For perfectly understandable reasons, CNET has declined to keep me on part-time to do any shows. But I do have pitches out at a couple other outlets. Plus they’re paying for the drinks on my last day, so I’ll make sure to make them feel it then.

282 Responses to “I’m changing some things. UPDATE”

  1. dieselboy

    You will be a incredible asset to the TWiT ecosystem. I look forward to the new content you will be creating given the new freedom.

  2. Tom,

    I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of you on TWiT!

    I’m most excited about the possibility of Sword and Laser, or some permutation thereof, making an appearance on the TWiT network. I’m a big reader, reviewer, and writer of science fiction and fantasy. As a legally blind reader, I also do a lot of audiobooks. Given Audible.com’s longtime sponsorship of the TWiT network, some sort of geeky book-related podcast would make a lot of sense.

    I don’t know if you’re familiar with Tor.com’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, but it has a great format, featuring an interview followed by host discussion. The only downside to their podcast is that the hosts aren’t quite as dynamic and engaging as you, Veronica, and Leo.

    So there’s my vote. I’d really like to get involved in some sort of geek-centric book show.

    Best of luck!


  3. (west) Seattle Steve

    Hey Tom,

    I’m anxiously waiting for whatever you will be doing on twit …

    I wish I could join you and your cnet peers at the Thirsty Bear for a Craft beer and Woodford Reserve toast and send off !

    Cheers ! 🙂

  4. Hi, Tom-

    Sorry to see you go.

    Buzz Out Loud is consistently one of my favorite shows, podcast or not. Period.

    So thanks.

    The other day, my wife was borrowing my phone and noticed that I have cNet’s Buzz Out Loud 800 number in my contacts. I told her that it makes it easier to get a hold of you guys… like we were close friends or something and I needed you on speed dial.

    She just rolled her eyes.

    But I think that’s the key. You and Molly and Jason and the cast of, what, dozens, that have made up BOL over the years has been able to create a real community around your show. And it has happened organically… and it has been good.

    Whatever you do for TWiT, be open to the same sort of thing.

    What’s great about BOL is that your viewers feel like they can participate AND that it isn’t a fleeting thing. There are meme’s that you guys latched onto and have carried forward. There are audience members that we all expect to hear from now and then. A culture has organically (there I go saying it again) grown up around the show.

    While I love TWiT – I listen to 3 of the shows religously – the shows on the network (except maybe NSFW, which I don’t listen to as much) don’t seem to have that same back and forth with the audience.

    Maybe because it was a one man show (with little help from his friends) when it started out and there wasn’t enough of Leo to go around. Or maybe it’s because Leo runs the boards instead of having someone like Jason to manage all the inputs… I don’t know why, but there doesn’t seem, to me at least, to be the same level of audience reciprocated culture in the shows.

    Maybe the audience is just too big… though BOL’s seems pretty big too.

    There is plenty of good stuff that happens between the hosts and shows like Macbreak Weekly, This Week in Google, and This Week in Tech really shine for it. I really enjoy those shows and the hosts.

    It’s just not the same.

    So, whatever special gift you have for helping to build that sort of engaged community… apply it to the stuff you will be doing at TWiT and I think it will be great, and great for the TWiT network as a whole.

    Best of luck to you and I can’t wait to see what you do next.

  5. Urkel

    Your honest and intelligent perspective will make TWiT a better network. But PLEASE do your fans a big favor. Stand your ground and don’t get sucked into Leo’s Apple Apologist vortex. The last thing TWiT needs is another person playing Devils Advocate for Apple. We really need someone to represent the real-world users.

  6. JPJayhawk

    Definitely going to miss you on BOL and CNET as a whole, but am glad we’ll still get to see you over at TWiT.

    Best of luck in your new ventures and make sure to have a drink for me since I can’t make your last BOL meetup. (I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t have it in Kansas!)

  7. I agree with a previous post – I stopped listening when TWIT started rambling too long, and the content was dated. Started listening to BOL instead!

    Would like to see a 20-30 min long show (great for driving distances) 2-5 days a week.

  8. Congrats Tom. Good to heR that we will see you there every day.

    Ideas for your show.

    What about a show like you do now? But discuss other things in pop culture like

    Tv shows

    Segments I think should include reviews of these things as well ad test drives?

    But whatever you do I and the rest of us will be there to listen.

  9. Robertv!

    I really enjoy BOL. It started feeling a bit messy since Molly stepped back a few weeks ago and improved when you two started arguing like pedants again. 🙂

    I wish you all the best at TWIT and hope you still stop by at BOL on occasions.
    I’ll still catch you on TWIT of course, I subscribe to most of that stuff.
    One note for the new shows; I personally prefer shows around 45 minutes or so in length. A nice commuter length for me. These two hours shows that TWIT do right now are OK, but often take a full day to listen to and I lose the place sometimes (TWIT this week especially, Yawn.)

    Anyway, good luck and it’d be best to get your own ball.

    Robertv or Edinburger in the BOL Chat.

  10. You’ll be missed Tom, you were the heart of BOL, the voice of solid logic and uncompromising reason. I agree that a 40min – 1hr podcast is perfect commuter length for the daily podcasts.

    You really just need to compose another CNET team around you at TWiT. But what about Rafe and Molly? Rafe was the only one able to challenge you on the technical bits. There’s no one at TWiT at your level Tom. I do hope it all works out for you and the pay rise was large enough to justify the move. Enjoy the cash, you certainly deserve it for all your hard work you put into developing the CNET team.


  11. Like to see the Movie or tv, music stars, or pro.sports athletes on 30 min segments talking tech.

    Also like to see show shows recorded outside, to give a break from the desk views.

    Tech concerts would be a cool summer thing too.

  12. Tom you and Dr. Kiki should team up for a morning show. Science and Tech news and information would make a great show for TWIT. Just don’t let Leo on the show or he’ll dominate the conversation like he does with his other shows!

  13. So sad to hear your leaving BOL but, when I heard that it was because you were moving to the TWiT network with Leo my sorrows ceased 😀

    Can’t wait to hear you on TWiT….

  14. michele

    I’m happy for you, but I’m sad to see you and Molly split up. It’s like splitting up Laurel and Hardy….er….Starsky and Hutch?…..er….Butch Cassidy and Sundance?….oh, you know what I mean!

    Good luck at TWIT.

  15. gmorgado

    Hey Tom,
    I’ve been listening BoL since you hosted TWiT, while Leo was in China.
    I am sure the TWiT Network will be even better now!

    Good Luck from Brazil.

  16. George Bell

    Too bad the powers at Cnet are not inclined to use you on a part time or occasional basis. It will indeed be their loss. It’s the SONY girls that own Cnet if I’m not mistaken… My be one they wake up and smell the Toyota’s…

    I was just forgiving them for what the have done to the music industry…

    All the best and Cheers… See Rafe for a wee bit of Heaven he posted the remains of a 12 year old Macallan.

  17. TWiT shows are often too long and unfocused. I like the hosts, but I don’t have time to listen to Leo talk about random stuff for 2 hrs per show… I hope Tom’s daily show will be more focused and fast paced like BOL.

    I am really going to miss Tom at CNET. CNET has focused shows with great production values, and no one really competes with them on the professional tech news coverage. I guess it helps to have the CBS resources. TWiT is great and all, but it just seems too… bedroom podcast-ish? It doesn’t look that professional, imo. Even if all the hosts are pros, it just doesn’t have the same vibe as CNET.

    I’m hopeful that Rafe will do good on BOL. He is knowledgeable and well-spoken, and the show’s dynamic should not change too much since Molly and Jason are still there. It is truly CNET’s loss that they are letting Tom go. Tom is a great talent, and they should’ve done everything they could to keep him on BOL, Top5, and How-To shows.

  18. Congratulations on the move. You will do great!

    My request/suggestion is to not go the way of so many other shows and become all talk with no substance. I appreciate you keeping things moving on BOL, getting the news out, sharing some banter and commentary, but keeping the pace going. I have about three hours a day to listen and start with the shortest podcasts and end with the longest. As a result, BOL and most of the Cnet shows get my attention, while many of the Twit shows just get deleted for being too long….too much “listening to me talk” and not enough value. 30-45 minutes seems to be the sweet spot.

    Your strengths are your vast knowledge of many areas, a candid and honest approach and a desire to help. These characteristics keep me coming back for more.

  19. Tom was the backbone of the show. Actually Molly was too; their chemistry and fondness for eachother was apparent and drove the show. Oh I am sad. But I am a big fan of Leo Laporte and this will bring two of the nicest most endearlng guys together on the same network. GOOD LUCK TOM FROM A BIG BOL FAN.

  20. Ken Bookstein

    Tom — I’ve enjoyed countless podcasts, videos, etc. that you’ve done while at cnet and I wish you all the best in your new venture.

    One of my favorite topics is this issue of hooking up a conventional computer up to a high-def, wide-screen TV in the livingroom. There is so much hype and voodoo and FUD associated with what should be a very low-key, low-stress, non-event. Connecting a computer to a TV is no big deal now-a-days, and the possibilities it opens up for entertainment (DVDs, YouTube, Hulu, Boxie, etc. etc.) are myriad. With windows media center, you can often use a remote control, or you can use a wireless keyboard and mouse (which often requires a hard level surface, unfortunately, unless keyboard has a built-in trackball).

    I would love to see this issue discussed more in the media, in order to remove some FUD. You could go over the basics (i.e., best to use a HDMI cable; component and DB15/VGA connections are also possible depending upon the available connectors). There is really a lot to talk about here. (I’ve been connecting computers to big screen TV’s since the 80’s when I had an Amiga 1000 and 3000.)

    Just a thought. Thanks.
    -Ken Bookstein

  21. gerry

    sad to know that your leaving bol and top5 (my favorite of the two above), but congrats with your new job and wish you all the luck

  22. Vince

    It’s so sad to listen to BOL without hearing your opinions. I really like when you discuss tech issues with Molly. You two are great co-hosts.

  23. I’ve had a strange experience of your leaving. I first began listening to BOL a few days before you left, and then I was bombarded with all this “We will miss you Tom!” – my reaction, not knowing anything about the show or you, was of course “who the hell is Tom Merrit and why should I care about him. I want my tech news”

    Since then I’ve been working my way back – in reverse – through the podcasts. So I’ve come to miss you hosting BOL, even though I never really listened while you were a host of BOL. I miss a situation that I never actually experienced, very strange.