Last Friday the Mac Podcasting community exploded with the news that John Gruber had taken his podcast, The Talk Show, to Mule Radio from 5b5. Gruber had being doing The Talk Show for several years and over 100 episodes with Dan Benjamin, which runs 5by5. Suddenly, without explanation or warning from either of them, he stops doing it with Dan, and starts on his own.
It was mysterious that there was no new episode in two weeks, but that happens sometimes. However, listening to the last episode, it got a little weird with Gruber after Dan asked about t-shirts and about next week. Looking back, it does seem like something was amiss.
So in the vacuum of information, people started speculating, a lot of that was on Twitter. Gruber nor Dan responded, but the operating of Mule Radio, Mike Monteiro, started mocking people for their feelings about the change. Gruber’s wife joined in. Eventually, Gruber did a little mocking of his own. However, since Mike is a known asshole, it kind of makes sense that Gruber, who is an asshole in his own right, goes to a place called Mule Radio. There are a couple of great blog posts/forums here, here, and here with people explaining their frustrations.
I still don’t understand how insulting long term fans of the Talk Show gets them to listen to the new show, as well as brings in new listeners. Yes, its a free service, but its paid by advertisers, and the audience is subjected to them, and may even use their services. So is not necessarily free, and regardless, the listeners deserve an explanation. MacDrifter disagrees, but I like the response on CandlerBlog here and here. We welcome these people in our lives- and talk about them to each other and even to the hosts. They can think we don’t deserve a response, but if they want our attention (and money via advertisers) they should give us one.
Gruber has continue to remain silent on the issue (except for passive-aggressive posts and sweets). I think he believes this will all just go away. But I disagree. He has already split the audience. I won’t listen to his new podcast. Its not because he left 5b5, its the way he did it. He provided to notification, to his audience, and it seems like to Dan as well. He and his cohorts insulted his audience. This is what he should have done, but instead, he did the exact opposite.
However, Dan finally did respond. He shows what a class act he is. He understands the audience and his responsibly. It does sound like Gruber broadsided Dan with the move. Dan took pains to wish Gruber well, but we can tell it hurts him to talk about it. He expected that since it was their show, they would retire together. And he said Gruber could have ended it at any time if he was unhappy. But I think Dan, like the rest of us, didn’t like how Gruber handled it. It just shows how sad Gruber is. Its all about him- screw the audience and anybody else who gets in his way. But what do you expect when he doesn’t even allow comments on his blow.
So The Talk Show is no longer on my podcast list. I’m going to be added some more 5by5 shows to it, Build and Analyze, and possibly back to work.