According to Leo Laporte of TechTV, Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft) is considering selling his technology television channel which he bought it from Ziff-Davis in 2000. Two candidates are Viacom or Sony. Some people who think this is a bad idea have set up a petition at Petition Online.com.
TechTV May Be Sold
Submitted by Anonymous 2003-08-30 Multimedia, AV 52 Comments
Why you ask?
Simple understanding of the nature of media politics.
Sell it. It’s only gone downhill since it was purchased from Ziff Davis (and probably the reason why Allen is selling).
its his choice to sell it, do u get a petition signed against you when u sell a car or ur house? dont think so
When you decide to sell your house it only effects yourself and your (maybe) your family. When you sell an enourmous company it effects everyone in that company, and many customers.
Your comparison is flawed. Would it be a good idea to do away with unions too? That did wonders for Walmart employees.
I agree that the whole station has gone downhill since the transition from zdtv to techtv. Even the screensavers seems to be dumbed down which used to be semi-advanced. Does anyone else think patrick norton’s opinionated antipiracy speaches are annoying? Remember that caller that called him on it and he went on about how when he was a kid and did something wrong he got his ass kicked?
I do think he is pretty cool all around but he does sound like a self-rightous asshole at times.
captainN, I dont know how you went from Youlle’s statement to suggesting he’s trying to get rid of unions. this has nothing to do with a union issue at all–companies get bought and sold all the time. the unions place is to make sure the workers dont get shafted, not to try and halt all business. ;P
… and fire Leo Laporte while you’re at it!
I dispise that guy so much. He makes my skin crawl and my mind melt.
My gf and I discovered the screensavers one nite on zdtv. That is when we had cable now we got off the grid but thats another story. We loved the show and for us Kate Botello was the shining star then….
They sold it to one of the cofounders of M$. Dumbed it down by alot and then I started to notice that the references to bashing M$ started to mysteriously become more sparce. Then they put patrick he is nice but he is no Kate. Then Leo got even more obonixous. They added tried to add eye candy with interns that didnt have a clue (most of them). Then Kate disappeared off the video game show. Sumi is nice as a person she is (we met her at a remote) They put a lot makeup on her and got rid of the guy with the eyes. He had a lot to say and we loved that, but those eyes hehe.
Basically they runined what was great. We never liked leo to much but we watched for Kate. After she was gone it went downhill and we watched it go to the tubes. Basically we dont have cable anymore and dont care about the show. But It was great at one time.
I didn’t know Paul Allen owned it… That explains why they’re always kissing Microsoft’s behind. lol
I hope they do sell it! Would be the best thing for the network.
As for Leo Laporte. I agree! Fire him!! He really is annoying and the guy has no clue what he’s talking about half the time. Like last week, someone called in asking about PC-3200 DDR. And Leo thought it ran on a 166 Mhz bus?? And that PC-2700 ran on a 133 Mhz bus?? LOL!!! Get a clue Leo!!!
That’s why I don’t like him. He pretends to know stuff, but 13 year old script kiddies know more than he does. lol
They don’t need to get rid of Leo or the other guy, they need to get rid of their ridiculous support cast such as Megan. They make the show very annoying. TSS wasn’t all that bad when it was on ZDTV.
I think the worst one has to be Jessica.
I also think the new set sucks.
I agree. That show has gotten worse in just about every possible way.
I’ve been watching TechTV since nearly the start. I remember when they had like 3 shows and just reran them every day, over and over. Do you guys remember when they have the virtual hosts? I can’t remember their names, but they were there. They later changed them to look more realistic (more realistic colors and such) which I think ruined them, but that’s another story.
Yes, TechTV has DEFINATLY declined after it was sold by ZDNet. The Screen Savers used to be much better, but it’s still pretty good. I really wish if it’s sold it’s to someone who knows what they’re doing. TechTV has been slipping a bit as of late.
As for Leo, I like him, and I don’t want him fired. The only person that I’ve really “hated” on TechTV was the guy that took over Call For Help for a while. What was his name, Chris Catell? I just didn’t like him for some reason.
TechTV has been trying to brach out too, and it’s been…. interesting. Shows like Wired for Sex, Unscrewed, and others just don’t really seem like they should be there. I didn’t mind Max Headroom (I liked getting to watch it again), and I didn’t really mind The Thunderbirds (though it didn’t really fit the network, and I don’t really care for the show).
Some of the shows have changed a lot, like GameSpot TV (now called XPlay) which is still good (I kinda like Adam and Morgan). But where else on TV do you even GET shows like TSS, CFH, FreshGear, etc? When I signed up for DirecTV years ago, ZDTV was a BIG part of why I did it.
As for Anime Unleashed, I like it, but I wish that they would use the real names of the shows, so I could set my TiVo to record them easier than putting them all under the title “Anime Unleashed”. I’d like to see something more like what Cartoon Network does with Adult Swim. Call it Anime Unleashed, but “title” the shows correctly. I think Anime Unleashed is a good addition to the network. They showed some great stuff like Serial Expirament Lain, Dual! Parallel Universe Trouble, The Betterman Saga, and such. There aren’t even any shows on TV like XPlay that I know of, other than on G4 which I don’t get (and haven’t heard the worlds best things about).
If the network is changed, I’d like to see it move towards a more geeky network (as it used to be). If they add programs, I’d love to see ones on things like modding, showing off people’s case mods, and such. They could even show older shows that aren’t on that were just interesting, like the old Beyond 2000, or even Mr. Wizard. Or they could make a show that showed lots of old film reels about what the future would be like (you know, the ones that show automatic cars that drive by magnets in the roads and stuff), and maybe even follow those technologies to the future. Shows dedicated to Macs and Linux, or at least a show that had all things non-MS (just to show the stuff) would be great. Shows on other things too, like one that could show lots of electronic kits or stuff on Ham Radio. I don’t know. There are lots of things they could do.
I guess I’m just very nervous about the fate of one of my favorite networks. Please don’t die.
I love this idea ’cause ttv sux
they were hardcore & just plain tech
now their science & too noob
they used to linux installs but i guess since “uncle paul” is co-founder of M$ its no more linux on live tv…
yes they did do a freevo segment but they drug it through the mud….
I LOATH the new set. I started watching TechTV about a year ago, when it became available as an option on our dish, and I’ve always been a fan. I had no clue that it was owned by Paul Allen though. I really wonder if the people who claim they suck up to MS watch the same stuff I do. I think they’ve been very fair, sometimes I even found that they were a bit too anti-MS. They love the iPod, they love the PowerBooks, they give Mac tips, and they often rant about MS’s security record. So what more do you want? You have to realize (unfortunately) that windows makes up a huge part of the market, and so it’s only logical that they give it more attention.
Leo and Patrick are cool, they may slip up once in a while, but that’s only human, give them a break. I never saw TechTV when it was ZDTV, but the last batch of changes they did to TSS really hurt it a lot. The new set sucks, and cutting the length also wasnt a welcome change.
I think that if Sony buys it well start seeing too many Vaios (sp?) on there.
I rarely watch it anymore. The Screen Wasters seems like it’s for teenagers. The support staff on there seems like MTV wannabees and Leo LaPorte is laborious to watch. They waste most of their time on the air and there is only maybe 10 minutes of content on the program. LaPorte does all that inane, silly screaming and interrupts everyone constantly. The stupid girls they have on there and the two geeks are just toads. The girl on Call for Help is a toad, too. Waste of time.
I’d like to see a more professional turn for that channel.
I wouldn’t mind Paul Allen owning one of my sports teams, but I do think the pro-MS quotient has increased a bit too much since the sale.
Worse, though, is most of the new programming in their post-ZDTV era. “The Tech Of” is OK but I’d be very happy without it. “Wired for Sex” is pure crap. Sex is a popular subject with me, but not on TechTV. Robot Wars, bleh. And the anime and Max Headroom and Thunderbirds and generic science shows and all that nonsense DOESN’T BELONG.
I want my ZDTV back. Not every change has been bad, though. Tech Live fits in, but I’d trade it to get my old ZDTV back.
Matbe someone like Michael Robertson of Lindows could buy it and turn it into Linux TV.
Go ahead and flame away, but he’s probably the only Linux personality with the money.
I like the way you think.
YES! I forgot to mention that in my earlier comment. What in the world is Chris Leerey (sorry ’bout spelling) doing on Fresh Gear? I mean REALLY.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I would LOVE to see ZDNet buy the network back and put it back the way it used to be.
Also, in regards to the new Screen Savers set, I agree, the old one was better. The one they had when they first got the fax machine was great (I don’t know why I remember that).
Ever since Paul Allen left Microsoft he has been a financial train wreck moving from one disaster to another. Just look at any magazine covering his latest adventures.
What I would like to see is a BBC quality technology news broadcaster. Currently TechTV is nothing more than a Fox news channel designed for the lowest of the lowest of the lowest common denominator.
What I want to see is a broadcaster willing to call a spade a spade. If someting is crap, then don’t hold back, call it crap. Don’t try to window dress the issue, have a hard but fair interview show where by the greatest “movers and shakers” can be grilled (similar to Hard Talk on the BBC).
What I want to see os objective, plain speaking reporting on REAL technology news not some sort of Fox/MTV hybrid which is more worried about cheering the latest gizmo than actually getting to the crux of issues, for example, an interview with a security person BY a journalst who knows windows in and out. By having qualified journalists then atleast we’ll see some of these people put on the spot rather than letting then dog questions when things get a little difficult.
The Screen Wasters is staffed by punks.
The stock market bubble and the high tech bubble —- made watching cnbc and techtv a must — they all thought that would give them an edge to make some big bucks.
Now you got a bear tech stock market and the viewership is way down.
1. go back to zdtv (in ownership and in name)
2. get rid of that bitch jessica on the screen savers
3. bring back john dvorak’s show (for the cool guests not him)
4. take off unscrewed and wired for sex
and most importantly
5. demote Norton back to lackey and BRING BACK KATE BOTTELLO!!
Everyone seems to agree that they need a slightly more professional on camera team. The only girl that didn’t dress and act slutty was the one who was pregnant and had to leave the show. She was knowledgable and a good personality.
On the subject of who should buy it. I like Sony. They have been pretty pro Linux with their PS2 and all.
The most annoying thing about the show to me is the way they drag out the word dot com. For example, “You can get it on our website at screensavers DOT! COOOOOOOOMMM.
Anyone remember The Site with Soledad O’Brien? Yeah Leo Laporte was the voice of Dev Null, the digital character. Leo was the big shot then heh. They also had the crazy computer philosopher guy at the end of every show… can’t remember his name though. Anyway we loves the Morgan! My precious…
Tech TV has got to be one of the worst channels on television. I hope it’s sold just so that it can be fixed up.
Notice how everyone here keeps talking about ScreenSavers? That’s because that’s the only decent show on the channel.
90% of the time they are airing crappy ass shows like:
‘Robot Wars’ (unbearable)
‘Tech Of’ (stupid crap like an Oil Drill)
‘Tech Live’ (anchors who don’t even know how to use a mouse, report on the latest tech news like the newest Disney DVDs.)
‘Anime Unleashed’ (unbearable)
‘XPlay’ (most obnoxious and stupid show)
‘Tomorrows World’ (more like yesterday’s world)
‘Beyond 2000’ (more like beyond 1986)
‘Spy School’ (overweight brits pretend to be spies)
‘Call For Help’ (only good for Windows Newbies)
‘Fresh Gear’ (Second best show. Sumi Das is hot, and you can trust their oppinion. Still for the newbie though)
That’s just about their entire line up. It’s all crap.
Screen Savers is their only saving grace, and as others have mentioned there is room for improvement. I like Leo and Pat, but the rest of the supporting cast (other than maybe Kevin) doesn’t have a clue when it comes to computers. The news portion should be extended. Only have time for 3 news stories.
The entire TV universe is worth less than $250M .maybe Mr Allen thinks that Linux is really better than both windowZ and TV and he wants a slice of it before it’s too late, in that sense he will be bigger than Mr Gates in 3 to 5 years. I did not know that a TV can catch a worm too, update your TV.
The entire TV universe is worth less than $250M .maybe Mr Allen thinks that Linux is really better than both windowZ and TV and he wants a slice of it before it’s too late, in that sense he will be bigger than Mr Gates in 3 to 5 years. I did not know that a TV can catch a worm too, update your TV.or even better just partition your TV using fdisk.make sure all data is backed up before using fdisk. on the other hand don’t you worry it’s only windowZ, so at the command line type fdisk and the tv you want to partition. like this : fdisk /dev tv1
-m to see all the stations..you get the idea. now you can go ahead and install linux.
DD-2700 bus speed is indeed 166 Mhz, but because it’s “Double Data Rate”, you get the equivalent speed of 270Mhz of normal SDRAM.
13 years old script kiddies don’t think, they just blindly use what you give them.
erm, ok, i meant the equivalent of 333Mhz, not 270.
It’s funny, I read all the comments here and I have to chuckle.
There is almost (not completely) no understanding of how hard it is to program 24 hours of television.
Most of the programming on TTV is purchased for that very reason. It has already been pointed out how they used to run the same shows over and over all day, well, that’s becasue the availability of tech oriented programming was pretty scarce. Have you noticed how most of the stuff on TTV seems to originate in England?
As far as all the other rants… Jeez!
Lep Laporte has been involved in tech for longer than most of you have been drooling. Give the guy a break if he makes a slip or two on air, it is a live show.
Screen Savers used to be an hour, then 90 minutes, then back to an hour. If you think they just cut the time then you haven’t been watching that long.
They are pretty much even handed as far as platforms. Laporte and Norton have pretty much both expressed their feelings that Windows is not their first choice for OSs.
I personally have to go with the “better the devil you know” sentiments. Imagine if Sony did by TTV… All Sony Tech, All The Time!
As far as the sets go, give me a break! You bitch about the tech content of the programming, but the sets are important to you? OK, one looked like a garage, the other looks like a submarine… who cares! They are both mostly empty space! If the people that work in them are comfortable they perform better.
Oh, and Sumi is now at MSNBC. They are still looking for a replacement host for Fresh Gear, that is why the rotating host thing.
So you geeks actually respected this channel at one time? I never did.
I wonder what Ziff-Davis, Viacom, Sony and MSNBC have in common.
gimme chris pirrilo
everyone bashes leo, I cannot see why, the man answers questions about every single operating system, and he has been using computers when the apple ][ was revolutionary.you can i guess tell im young because i don’t know any computer older than the apple ][. Most of the people who say leo sux are teenagers, because they see leo and think hes so old. people have this idea that old people dont know anything about computers, but they forget it was those people who are old now that started computers. As for his slip-ups I havent heard him say anything wrong, the major mistake he makes is calling pre-puberty teenagers, by girls names, which i find is quite funny
“Ever since Paul Allen left Microsoft he has been a financial train wreck moving from one disaster to another”.
Maybe he is the one that helped build the tablet pc
Too bad Discovery Communications wouldn’t consider buying TechTV. Discovery Communications owns TLC, Science Channel, Discovery Health, Discovery Wings, BBC America, Animal Planet, and a few others.
TechTV would definitely fit in.
John Dvorack (spelling?) was the shit. Bring that guy back, I hope it’s bought by Viacom / CBS conglomerate. Let’s get some sanity back to that network, Leo Laporte is an idiot, he thinks he is a superstar and godlike (there’s no place for egos on a technology channel) That is unless you give ol’ Larry Ellison his own show The only worthy piece of programming at the current moment is “Big Thinkers”. The rest seems like a dying .dot bomb. Bring back talent and brains with a bit of optimism and get rid of all that joking around and that net will soar (or at least get that .5 Nielsen rating it needs).
Everything about the show was cooler, now it’s so boring!
it also doesen’t event alk about Linux as much as it used to.
While I would still be worried, I think that Discovery knows what they’re doing, and could do good things for the network.
Tech of (but doesen’t really fit in all that well)
Call for Help
Everything else is pretty poor and even the shows above ar eway too dumbe ddown and too windows oriented. People often watch a show jsut because it shows something tehy don’t have like linux, so it’s cool learning about it and seeing what it looks like even if you don’t have it. Just the same reason it’s cool looking at car shows.
I think the channel should be sold its definently gone downhill. I hate Laporte hes the biggest mangiacake (italians know wat im talkin about). The only shows that id consider watching were Fresh Gear, altho Sumi Das doesnt quite do it for me. Xplay, which is a horrible show because the games are so outdated and the hosts, first Adam who is the biggest nerd, and then Morgan who replaced wats her face for obvious reasons…hubba hubba… I mean shes hot and id bend her over but shes too skanky. and Screen Savers, i like Patrick but i hate Leo. The only guy on that network that I truly admire is the Apple guy, I forget his name. I gotta give a hand to Paul Allen tho cause he didnt turn the network into a giant microsoft promo. they still bash microsoft once and a while (all too few tho) and they still pipe Apple (also all too few). Id like the network to go to someone with neutrality. I think the network needs to be more structured like when it was ZDTV. its cast has far too much creative control. oh and i forgot, Martin Sargent is the only cool guy on that network, hes absolutly hilarious, but his show is horrible. I think if he and Morgan took over Xplay, thro in some sexual innuendos and lots of wit by martin and the show would be pritty good. It wouldnt hurt for Morgan to get naked either. As for screen savers replace Leo with the mac guy, damn i forget his name. his and patty would make a decent combo. and for god sakes get more macs on the set. they should add a 30min show stricly for Apple, and a 30 min show strickly for Linux. then maybe ud have a decent network. forgive the spelling. thanx for reading my rant
I hate Dvorak thank god they got rid of that hack, he’ll never work in show business again
CooCooCachoo I like the way you think. Check out the moderated down everyone else.
Kate Botello made the tss what it is. I lost my fanboyism for the show when she left. One point for tss and my only point: live computer show is a oxymoron. You dont need “Deep thought” to figure that one out.
I hope they do sell it. It’s really gone downhill steadily in the last couple of years. I used to watch The Screensavers almost daily and now I might catch a rerun once a month or so.
They even managed to screw up X-Play. I used to really enjoy the reviews before they went fauxMTV style.
It certainly cannot get worse then it is now so a new ownership might be a good thing.
Sell or not, just fix the shows back to reflect (TECH)
Screw Martin and all the cute and fuzzy bunnys, just please get back to tech.
I do not care it they are male or female, just be sure they are qualified.
One more thing, with the dorks on fresh gear, it is not a wonder that the shows are in some financial turmoil. I mean, they even admit that they only barley try some of the things they try and then they down play them. What sponsor wants to buy advertising when the station has narrow minded individuals trying to give their personal opinions. Most people want to see some real tests run on new stuff. Not just a one time … oops it didnt work when we tried it…
Just get back to tech…
I guess no one remembers them doing an install of linux less than 6 months ago. Or Woz co-hosting what twice and being on 3 or 4 times. They spend a more than equal amount of time on mac and linux. I say more than equal because since 90% of users use windows spending the 85% of time they do on windows makes sense. Because lets face it as much as linux and mac geeks hating watching windows stuff the much larger group of windows users hates watching linux and mac stuff.
SUMI DAS! ??? Is SAD IMUS spelled backwards and Tech TV could use his droopy sad sorry ass on one of its shows if they can get him away from New York and MSNBC.
ZDTV was better, TSS does seem kind of dumbed down to the Call for Help level now. I wish they had more linux stuff, well atleast Leo isn’t shoving his book it our faces anymore. They need a whole show or maybe juse a segment on TSS about linux & call it Linux lounge. I have a pretty good graphic for it.
Raise your hand if you think Morgan is hot.