* Dan says John emailed him and just said it was time to move on and try something new. Dan says he has total respect and understanding for that.
* Dan says he thought if they weren't doing the show anymore, they would retire it together. Surprised and disappointed that John's doing the show on his own and re-using the name.
* Dan wishes they could have done one last episode to reminisce (120 previous episodes) and to thank the fans.
* Dan encourages fans to listen to the new show at muleradio.net.
* No other sordid details, just some personal anecdotes.
I've never listened to any 5by5 podcasts on 5by5, but Dan Benjamin comes across in this audio clip as a total class act.
I am genuinely sad to see this happen to him.
RE: never listening to any 5by5 podcasts–I listened to The Talk Show a few times. Maybe it's because I'm used to the dogma of professional broadcasting, but I don't think you've missed out unless you like hearing a couple of guys pause a hell of a lot during an awkward conversation. Almost every episode I heard started with an entirely charmless "Uh, hello?" "Uh is this on?" scenario.
I guess part of the appeal was that it was folksy and just a conversation.
Personally, I get that kind of content from the Web already and much prefer deeper analysis of issues. I am a huge fan of Hypercritical because of this, John Siracusa can take a topic and pick it completely apart - and I enjoy picking things apart in parallel while listening. My Talk Show listening was waning in favor of this type of podcast anyway.
The Talk Show is the only deviation from what Benjamin does. Listening to Gruber on his recent podcast explains the reason why.
There was so much dead air that I found it really actively hard to listen to. There's no natural flow to the conversation for my ears to acclimate to–a natural groove to fall into when you listen–you cannot passively consume it. You have to be actively listening all the time.
Which is a shame because Hivelogic was one of my favourite weblogs back in the day, and I actually admire Gruber.
I wish instead of doing 1 hour 15, they'd do 15 minutes planning, 15 minutes editing and a 45 minute show. There's plenty of good material there, I just feel it gets drowned out.
Gruber, with his slow speaking and uncomfortable pauses, is much more tolerable at 1.5x. Conversely, if you're listening to someone like Merlin Mann, 0.75x speed can be helpful.
Your brain can understand speech much faster than most people talk.
A 1 hour minimally edited podcast could easily take several hours to edit and review properly.
(I work with a lot of audio, though no podcasts, so I may still be underestimating a bit)
Unfortunately, these are live podcasts for the most part so there is no real incentive to do that... you already put it out once as a finished product so why spend more effort on it?
This is called a warm start, though in the case of the Talk Show, it often started off awkwardly instead of seemingly mid-conversation.
If you listen to the old Stack Overflow podcasts (Spolsky and Atwood, before the "new format), they also did a warm start, but often it was extremely well-executed.
I don't have the time to internet people chit-chat. I can't do it and work at the same time because I find it distracting. If it was somehow really great and I wanted to listen to it, the best I could offer would be downloading and playing it in the car on a long trip. Just ain't gonna happen.
Do things happen in the podcast that don't make it into a blog post somewhere?
He definitely comes across as that, but I'm not sure he is. My gut tells me there was more meaning behind this that none of us are owed, creating public content from it maybe not be the right move; it shows bigger class not to talk about it.
How on earth could he let this go without mentioning it in any way? He couldn't have possibly instructed all his co-hosts not to talk about this situation.
Him being a radio man through the bones (as he recently again explained on his interview with Jeffrey Zeldman) I think he handled this the best way he can. Plus, he knows Gruber has an ever bigger following, so he obviously has every reason to tell the truth, or at least tell something Gruber can live with.
All in all a good short explanation, now we can "move on" and enjoy the other 5by5 shows (tried the new Talk Show, didn't like it at all, but maybe it'll improve).
I really do like 5by5 in general and at least four of their shows are in my standard rotation -- like everyone else commenting seems to be saying, "Hypercritical" is great, with "Back to Work" a close second. "The Ihnatko Almanac" is a fine not-tech show. I like "Build & Analyze" too, although I'm worried it may exceed my quota for parenting-related subjects. (As a childless middle-aged man, it's just so not in my bailiwick.)
I love Dan for doing this. I think it was the right way to address listeners and also express himself on the topic.
John doesn't need to give his take if he doesn't want to -- and I don't think anyone would expect him to.
People do expect more transparency with Dan, and that's why, however uncomfortable this might have been to discuss, I'm glad Dan took the time to do.
In my professional life, I spend a lot of time analyzing, criticizing and discussing various PR maneuvers of major companies and brands. To me, it's always telling to see how a company or brand deals with a difficult situation.
I think Dan's approach here (and again, I'm totally biased -- though I try to look at this objectively and out of the lens of "my friend") was a great example of how to deal with a private business situation that becomes public.
No one is a villain here. No one did anything wrong. But I'm glad Dan got a chance to talk to his listeners. It's why I listen.
Well done Dan.
As listeners we are not "entitled" to be treated with respect, but it sure goes a long way in keeping us as listeners and keeping listeners in the loop of major shifts in the show is what I would call respectful. The show on Mule is a different show now, JG is trying to own it and do his own thing with it and there is nothing to criticize there, but it does show a lack of respect for the existing listeners to not at least hint at the changes and give the other host a chance to sign off for the listeners and close the loop. It's not right or wrong, it's simply a choice, just like the choice we make to listen or to leave comments etc.
I am grateful to Dan for filling in the blanks so listeners are no longer distracted by it. I think it's critical to note that he did a masterful job in phrasing it so as not to generate any animosity on the part of the listeners (or between himself and JG) and that's probably the most important aspect of what makes what he did "respectable" versus something to criticize and/or dismiss as a PR stunt.
private: what the partners said or didn't say to each other, dynamics of their relationship
good taste is to use all public info as pr, bad taste use private info as pr.
I listened to dan's special again, something just doesn't sound right about it. he wishes john good luck but then implicitly blame's john for not doing one last goodbye show. this is where the (implied) private stuff comes in, who knows why john didn't want to do one last show, maybe john's just an asshole, maybe dan was an asshole and john doesn't want to see him, maybe they're both assholes, who knows. i don't, that's private. so dan should've kept those speculations out of the public ears, but instead he frames john as the guy who didn't feel like he owed it to the fans to have one last show, when the reason for that is probably private. sorry, something just doesn't sit well with me about that.
But when something IS public, responding is often necessary and I stand by my comment that his response was a perfect example of the right way to do something difficult with class and aplomb.
There are a lot of rumors and Dan just rightfully is trying to put in a final statement so that he and the audience can move on. It is customary given the abrupt change in programming and it shows proper respect for the audience.
I don't want to read in to things (any more than I already am, I guess,) but it sure feels like Gruber handled this poorly. For someone running a site supported nearly entirely by reader contributions and pageviews, it would have been a little more respectable to handle this whole ordeal like a grown-up instead of playing the "I can do what I want, I don't owe you anything, get a life already" card so heavily.
I love listening to 5by5 episodes. Mainly the siracusa one, and at some point I'll check out Grubers new podcast. My thoughts are that losing Dan from the show is a negative, he's a great speaker with a soothing voice and I enjoy the smalltalk he makes.
I think you can only get away with being opinionated and outspoken if you have someone like Dan next to you as a balance and a tether.
I'd guess a part of this may be that Gruber wants an editorial reboot with the new show, so that he has more control and it directly complements Daring Fireball (Note the new description: "Sort of like the director's commentary track for Daring Fireball.") I actually look forward to it.
Dan's a good host on other shows, and a class act, but I've felt that he and Gruber lacked chemistry for a long time.
I hope the fluffing  Mike Monteiro  gave you was worth tossing Dan and 5by5 under the bus.
Now that Dan's expressed his thoughts, I wonder if John will do the same.
If anyone has the right to be pissed it'd Dan, yet he seems to be fine (if disappointed) with what's happened. If he's not calling Gruber a jerk I think the rest of us should take our lead there - after all, he knows more than any of us and is personally involved in the whole thing.
Dan Benjamin has really class, even in a situation that can't be easy for him.
Follow the attribution link and read: "Apropos of nothing. Ahem."
If he is saying what GP is suggesting, well, that's the problem with building a cult of personality around yourself: people might buy in a bit too fervently.
In the same way that Jay Leno used to be one of the funniest comics in the 80s and now resorts to Jaywalking to keep his audience, I find DF to be a little boring, consisting of mainly claim chowder, Android schadenfreude, and the occasional long winded rant essay that goes nowhere.
There were lots of comments from Gruber, Mike, etc basically mocking people for being upset that the show dropped Dan and moved with no warning.
Dan pretty much nailed it: he feels like they owed the fans one last episode to say goodbye and they didn't get to do that.
Check out the tweets from May 19 when it seemed to have blown up. Gruber's twitter feed seems more silent.
Taking a cue from Dan, i wish Gruber the best, though honestly i won't be listening to him any more
Plus they're still friends on Twitter, and we all know that it's only serious if you unfollow.
Dan's short message was pure class.
It's Gruber's answer to the HN thread & tweets of last week.
People are not complaining that they didn't have a say. Most people I've read seem to understand the reasoning behind the initial decision.
What the complaints are about are not about John's decision to leave 5by5 but about the dickish way he decided to do it.
Being a bigger dick afterwards by implying he can do whatever he wants with his podcast (won't even go into how bad it looks that he sees TTS as "his" podcast and not the job of the two, regardless of him being the star host) doesn't help.
The wording of the announcement and the hyperbole he lavishes muleradio with make the whole thing even worse.
It seems that he thinks of podcasts like late night TV - where the audience is just an abstract statistic.
In Dan's response above he makes a reference to drive-time radio talk shows and the sense of relationship (albeit one-way) that comes from that medium. He sees his audience as individual people whereas John only sees the audience as a revenue source.
He may be good, but he'll never be loved.
I skipped "Let's make mistakes" for nearly half a year before yesterday, they've gotten better I'll have to say.
All in all John Gruber probably was being an ass, now he can be as much of an ass as he want. He can't beat Mike Monteiro on that front.
I enjoy asses.
I can't imagine trying to get even 20 minutes of useful content from Merlin Mann but Dan does it every week on Back to Work!
I've listened to other podcasts, e.g. with Merlin or Marco or "the other John", and those were much better, but it didn't feel to me like Gruber and Benjamin added up to something worth listening to.
Hypercritical, Back to Work, Build and Analyse, the once Talk Show, every host other than Dan is rambling, on and on and on and on for hours. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it, 5by5 podcasts are background noises when I walking around the city, doing chores etc. But information densities are really low (Back to Work is an exception but per Merlin's style it's so all over the places, after a while you just give up caring.)
PS: (edit) unless its music, I almost always listen to the spoken word at 1.5x or 2x speed.
I think its trying to be a straightforward telling of Dan's perspective without him being too emotional. I think its pretty good for that. Would love for all parties to to be as open and honest as they can as it will make for compelling radio!
Disclosure: I'm a $5 a month subscriber to 5by5, a Gruber fan, and a big fan of Let's Make Mistakes (and Mike in general).
(On a personal note I think Dan is getting screwed here after doing most of the work and this has finely put me over the edge in considering Gruber a git)
Dan seems like the real deal.
He was separated from his wife for a year, and has (apparently openly) been dating this other woman. Some of their personal chat was accidentally displayed "on the air".
So where's the problem and how is it any of our business? And more importantly, how does it reflect badly on him?
But none of those things happened, and that is shitty. There's really no two ways about it.
This isn't about "I wasn't consulted". This is about respect for the audience and saying at least a few words to them, for crying out loud. It's about acting like they matter just a little. What exactly is The Talk Show, or any show, without listeners? This isn't taking a page out of the Apple PR book -- Apple actually does explain their reasoning for why they do things, when those things affect how people relate to what they make.
Dan also often refrains from correcting or informing Gruber at times when he's unsure or is wrong about something, much to Gruber's disappointment the following episode when Gruber has found it out, again with Dan excusing himself with saying "it's your show".
If I were to venture a guess, Gruber would prefer a co-host that contributes to, rather than mostly guides, the conversation.
Amazingly, you argue that people should broaden their horizons (i.e. don't be closeminded) and yet you blindly dismiss IT podcasts completely as back-dated garbage. Discarding whole categories of self-expression/content as crap is the very definition of close-mindedness. Oh, the irony.
Maybe people listen to IT podcasts because they like to. It needs no further justification.
I don't listen to music, watch TV/movies (except Kubrick's), waste time with friends more than it is necessary/useful (I enjoy being with friends/family, but not 10 hours a day), and spend most of my spare time reading HN, tech blogs (not TechCrunch, but developers' blogs), listening to audiobooks (to improve my English, as I'm not native), watch educational materials (Both academic, like those from MIT, Harvard, Stanford and Berkeley and technical screencasts, like those of PeepCode).
I said it because I wanted you to know that I try very very hard to spend my time on something useful/informative. And I can tell you that Dan's other show with John Siracusa (of Ars Technica), Hypercritical is so far from backdated garbage that it's not even funny. Every week, Friday nights, I spend about 2 hours listening to him and I don't regret it one bit. I learned a lot from him. If you're not familiar with television technology for example (like me), listen to episode 16, 'The Soap Opera Effect'. You'll learn many new things. It's not his best episode, but I think by listening to that you'll understand what his show is about.
I do not think that word means what you think it means.