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Inside TechTV/G4

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the rolls-downhill dept.

Television 404

An anonymous reader writes "Former G4TechTV employee, Dan Huard, blows the whistle on G4. In the last half of his article, he states that TSS manufactured questions and used 'ringers' to ask their questions on the show."

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404 comments

Woah Woah Woah (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234348)

What next? Professional wrestling is scripted?

Even worse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234551)

I hear that those guys on cop shows aren't really peace officers, but people they hire to pretend they are policemen.

Re:Woah Woah Woah (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234559)

What next? Professional wrestling is scripted?

Pro wrestling is not generally scripted. The match finishes are set-up by "road agents," retired old wrestlers, on the basis that they are the hook which will keep the marks returning. Promos, the speeches wrestlers give, are sometimes scripted but this is avoided when possible as it usually comes off bad when performed live (wrestlers are not actors); usually the wrestlers are given bullet-points containing the essential issues the bookers (wrestling writers and planners) want advanced in that month's storyline.

For the most part, professional wrestling is improvised based on the structure of the match's finish as set up by road agents, and on the storyline points which are to be communicated. Within the framework established by the agents and bookers, the workers (wrestlers) are pretty much free to work spots (perform a sequence of moves) and create matches dynamically in accordance to the fluid reaction of the crowd. This is known in wrestling lingo as "psychology".

Professional wrestling has far more in common with olde improv comedy [wikipedia.org] - or even, transcendentally, with pro-wrestling video games [dmoz.org] , than it does with a movie or any other modern 'scripted' analog.

PS - Most everything on TV is fraudulent to some degree, from the news to "reality" shows. Broadcast networks are run by Machiavellians. The bottom lines are ratings and brand-building; accuracy [abc.net.au] , honesty and integrity don't enter into it, except as they affect the bottom lines (i.e. PR).

first post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234349)

fp YAH

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234388)

NO first p00st for you. Come back one article!!!111

p.s. michael fondles little boys you sick fucker

Lets keep all posts on topic people@!!

Uh oh, (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234353)

Slashdot posts a link to a world-postable forum. Perhaps Mr. Huard will get a visit from the GNAA.

Re:Uh oh, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234464)

well the last post was the same too

Let me be the first to say... (-1, Troll)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234355)

Who cares?

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234416)

I second the motion.

Most "tech tv" shows [not just that station but on other stations too] are so dumbed-down or outright incorrect [or just pandering] that they're not worth watching anyways.

If I wanted to see a grossly overweight freak pluggin iMAC b.s. I'd bring a mirror to best buy and hang around the wrong sections ;-)

hehehehe.

Tom

techtv (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234361)

Speaking of TechTV, why did it go off air?

Re:techtv (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234372)

TechTV was aquired by Comcast's G4 Media and that's how the two networks got fused together to make G4TechTV.

Re:techtv (5, Interesting)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234571)

I really have a problem with how G4 claimes to have merged Techtv with G4 to make G4techTV.

I didn't have G4 here (Adelphia didn't carry it) But I had TechTV. In fact I remember when ZDNet owned it and it was called ZDTV. Frankly when it bacame TechTV it changed a little for the worst, but thats a different story.

Anyhow, A friend of mine, lived in OH and had Time Warner, Which had G4. Him and his roommate which were both avid gamers couldn't stand G4 but I decided to at least see what was on it and agreed with them in 3 hours that basicially all they would show was...

1) games running in demos against techno music
2) rehashed gaming related shows (GameproTV, Some old Arcade game show I cant remember the name of, ETC)
3) Other original shows that were either boring, stupid or both.

I'll admit. I wasn't a big fan of TechTV. I didn't like or watch The Screen Savers, Call for help seemed like I was watching my Job on TV, ETC, but generally I knew what was on it and I knew that what they were broadcasting was much better than anything on G4 and was helpful to the people that would watch their shows.

When G4 took it over, it almost immediatly went into the crapper. I never once considered it a Merger between TechTV and G4, more like G4 lost it's broadcast license and aquired TechTV's to stay on the air. Basicially TechTV became G4 almost overnight. All of it's garbage programming took the place of the decent TechTV lineup. The shows that TechTV did keep so that it didn't look like a complete takeover of G4 were butchered to the point that they were practially a G4 show, or cancelled to put on CinemaTech or some other Brain Dead Show of the day G4 could come up with.

Basicially, G4TechTV is a lesson in how to make a quasi-hostile takeover look like a merger.

I don't know if I'd say that (4, Informative)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234595)

"Fused" implied some aspects of TechTV survived.

I'd say a more accurate description of things would be:

Comcast was having trouble with their G4 network, which was not popular (especially not in their target market, where they were generally reviled) and was only available in a small number of areas due to a widespread lack of demand. So they bought TechTV-- which was available on far, far, far more cable networks than G4 due to the many years spent building up a reputation-- with the intent of simply replacing TechTV with G4 and thus getting all of TechTV's market penetration without having to work for it. So they bought TechTV, announced G4 and TechTV were "merging", gave TechTV's former screen personalities token jobs for a short period before firing them or driving them all off, and are currently settling into a situation where G4, in pretty much the exact form it was in before the merger, is now showing on those channels where TechTV was previously available.

G4's name does still have that vestigial "TechTV" appended to the end, but one recent G4 press release I saw referred to the network simply as "G4"; either this was a typo or that final superficial "TechTV" will be disappearing from the name before long.

Re:techtv (4, Informative)

cqnn (137172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234398)

It didn't go off the air.

Short version:

The Techtv properties and licences were bought
out by COMCAST to be merged with their G4 gaming
network. Both networks were to become one
digital cable channel after the merger.

Around the same time, the international broadcast rights expired for TechTV, and
for whatever reasons G4 did not renew them.

As G4TechTV emerged with a new game-oriented
focus, some cable affiliates either dropped the
network from thier lineup, or moved it into a
different category than previously held.

So, those are some reasons you may not be seeing
the channel in your local cable or sattelite
market.

Re:techtv (0, Offtopic)

rednip (186217) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234462)

The real question is "I am a Comcast Digital Cable customer (with more channels than I can count), so why don't I have this channel?".

Re:techtv (3, Insightful)

linebackn (131821) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234502)

It's because comcast is evil.

Before they bought out TechTV and it was doing so well they kept bumping it up to only be included on the more expensive plans. One day I changed to tech TV and all I got was "not authorized" until I agreed to pay more money. I only fell for for that once and then the next time I told them to screw it.

After they killed TechTV by buying it up and merging it with their crap clone G4 they left in on the more expensive plan expecting people would still want it that much. WRONG!

Not surprised. (3, Interesting)

djkoolaide (729441) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234363)

I'm not surprised one bit. G4 is finally realizing that they messed up. Nobody is watching because they've completely done a Hitler move and fired off all of the good TechTV people. All that's left is good-looking, young hosts who don't know jack about what they are talking about. It's quite sad how fast they turned one of the best networks into the worst.

Re:Not surprised. (4, Insightful)

rednip (186217) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234452)

All that's left is good-looking, young hosts who don't know jack about what they are talking about.
Sounds like a typical layoff cycle. First you get rid of all the people who quietly get their work done, but don't kiss the ass of the right people, then the rest of the good workers start seeing a sinking ship and bolt. After that all you got left are the kiss-ass, blame layers, who make it their job do drive off anyone good left. Nothing new here...

Re:Not surprised. (0, Offtopic)

Gerald (9696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234456)

Firing the staff of a niche cable network is a "Hitler move"? How did this get modded +5?

Re:Not surprised. (3, Insightful)

simm_s (11519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234489)

This is a subtle point, when Hitler segragated the Jews from German society, the German's lost a talented pool of scientists and engineers. It's a good analogy; IMHO!

Re:Not surprised. (1)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234596)

It's a good analogy; IMHO!

It's a perfect analogy... except for the death, war and genocide.

A cable TV show won't have much impact on the world, but Hitler sure did. Comparing the two is like comparing a pop-rock to a nuclear bomb ...

Re:Not surprised. (1)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234610)

If the pop rock explodes in the same manner, ie: the physics are the same, then it becomes a useful model ( or in this case, the bomb would be a physical model for the pop rock).

Things dont have to be equal in magnitude for a good analogy to be drawn.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234612)

I think you are mistaken. The "Hitler move" was invading Russia. That move is perhaps the worst in all of the 20th century, as it sealed his party's fate.

Since when is this news? (5, Interesting)

Vectorman0 (795415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234370)

It was so blatantly obvious that this was going on, that I don't see how anyone who has seen the show recently could have thought otherwise.

For what it's worth... (5, Insightful)

Create an Account (841457) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234450)

I don't think people are shocked that it happened, but I do think it's good to get the straight scoop about how the situation evolved.

As a moderately geeky business major, I see this as a management failure, so having this story helps me understand how not to screw up something good. If some geeky broadcast majors read this article, maybe they can help prevent some other geeky goodness from failing later.

Just my two cents worth.

Re:For what it's worth... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234541)

As a moderately geeky business major, I see this as a management failure, so having this story helps me understand how not to screw up something good.
If your KPIs & hence performance bonus depended on screwing it up, you'd screw it up. That or you've chosen the wrong subject to study.

If you don't, someone else will. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234637)

If your KPIs & hence performance bonus depended on screwing it up, you'd screw it up. That or you've chosen the wrong subject to study.
It's possible to make a decision not to go with the maximum profit so you can maintain a loyal audience.

But you won't be there forever. When you move on, the next person will most likely pillage your audience for the maximum profit/lowest cost.

I think that's what was shown in the original article. While the show was under control of TechTV, it was good. After the buyout/merger, it sucked.

Is that really of significance? (4, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234374)

Leo was the only person giving TSS any semblance of watchability. When he left the whole thing spiraled down the toilet fairly quickly. Even before then, a lot of the unique tech content that made TSS cool at the beginning had started to be replaced with useless fluff.

Re:Is that really of significance? (5, Insightful)

steeleye_brad (638310) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234455)

Bingo. It seems very few people acknowledge this. Leo was one of the few people on TechTV who appeared to actually have some training and experience in live television. Jittery nerds do not make good TV...case in point is Chris Pirillo. I don't why people thought he was good, that man just wasn't made for live TV.

I haven't watched TechTV since it became G4TechTV (god damn what a terrible name). It is a shame Comcast has essentially dissolved TechTV, the end result of this merger was G4 getting a few new people and some new shows (many of which are now gone!).

Re:Is that really of significance? (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234560)

Couldn't stand Chris from day one. The guy sounds like an airhead on the air... poor personality and poor display of technical knowledge. Wrong man entirely for what their audience was when the first brought him on. I could have cried...

Re:Is that really of significance? (4, Interesting)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234639)

Leo is my hero. He did a WHOLE DAY dedicated to IDE! That was one of the best shows I have ever, ever seen. Good computer info, now he just get all this gaming crap. Hey, I'm a huge gamer, but talking about computers wouldn't hurt.

Live in LA, Listen to Leo (2, Informative)

jeepmeister (241971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234487)

Eventhough TSS is down the drain, G4 has degenerated into the Millie Vanilli of tech talk and Leo has long since departed; those of us in Los Angeles can catch Leo on KFI and avoid paying toll charges. It's one of the few redeeming characteristics of living in a cultural wasteland. You can check out Leo here (http://leoville.tv/radio/pmwiki.php)

basic questions (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234377)

For those of us who don't watch:

What is G4?

Who is TSS?

Why do we care?

Re:basic questions (2)

FLAGGR (800770) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234409)

1. A TV channel
2. A TV show
3. Because people watch TV shows

Now heres my question for you: Why the hell are you bothering to post in the story if you have no idea what its about? Get a life man.

Re:basic questions (0, Flamebait)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234412)

G4 - the network that bought out TechTV, which really sucked

TSS - A show called "The Screen Savers," used to be good until the G4 buyout, see above.

Why do we care - Because /. says you should.

Re:basic questions (3, Insightful)

cqnn (137172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234481)

G4 is a network aimed at the video game (console and PC) markets.
They were merged with TechTV to take advantage of the greater audience
availability that channel had gained.

TSS is an acronym for The ScreenSavers. An end-user oriented Tech News,
commentary, tips, call-in and variety show that was the flagship program
for the defunct network.

We cared because back in the day, while TSS did reflect much of the Windows-centric
viewpoint of much of the computer industry, they were also a positive and active source
of news and information about OSS, Linux, Windows Alternatives, Windows Security and
functional issues; and keeping an open mind about users choices in use (and abuse)
of technology.

jailbait (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234378)

http://www.floridasunmodels.com/Models/Luciana/LCN pinkswimsuit1.jpg
hot

Re:jailbait (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234413)

she looks like a shemale

Hmmm...Let's see (3, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234379)


News for Nerds.......(0)
Stuff that matters...(0)
Next.

Re:Hmmm...Let's see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234400)

New here, eh?

Re:Hmmm...Let's see (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234448)

TechTV was a channel that nerds could watch and enjoy. Even if it wasn't truly geeky all-the-time, you could still pick up information now and then that would be useful.

I think the utter destruction of TechTV by the G4 crew is news that fits right in with Slashdot.

Mod parent up Was:Hmmm...Let's see (1)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234475)

I haven't watched TechTV for years because of exactly this sort of suck factor. It used to be kind of cool to see shows on TV that actually talked about Linux on par with Windows, but they've taken a good thing and completely screwed it up. Go out of business fast, so we can start The Linux Channel.

TechTV was once a very good TV station, but... (5, Insightful)

ChairmanMeow (787164) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234405)

I haven't watched TechTV since it was bought out by G4, and, to be honest, I don't intend to start. It was excellent before the takeover, but afterwards, the focus changed, and it became clear that the new management didn't want the "geeks" that watched TechTV. So be it. But don't expect me to watch G4/TechTV anymore.

Re:TechTV was once a very good TV station, but... (1)

troniks (659982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234500)

The changes are very much like the changes in Byte magazine when it changed from a "geek" perspective to a PC users perspective. And yes, this post does date me--I wonder how many in the audience remember this?

Re:TechTV was once a very good TV station, but... (1)

lovswr (633015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234554)

I do...and Computer Gazzette (what was that Atari biased mag called?), & hell even Computer Shopper (back in the day)....& don't forget that *nix distro's used to come on the CD's with stuff like gamepro. I got started with Debian 2.something that way.

Unfortunately (5, Informative)

mattboston (537016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234411)

TechTV started going downhill when they let go of Leo Laporte. I used to be a huge fan of The Screen Savers, and when he left it went down, then when Pat left, it went down more, then with the latest generation it's total crap. So I have cancelled my Comcast Digital Cable which is the only reason I had it... to watch The Screen Savers

Re:Unfortunately (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234425)

THEY DONT HAVE LEO ANYMORE?! I haven't watched it since the G4 debacle so I didn't know about this tragedy, How could they do this?

Re:Unfortunately (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234441)

Leo chose to leave IIRC. Probably because he was smart enough to see what it was becoming and didn't want to be a part of that.

Re:Unfortunately (2, Insightful)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234504)

Everyone at TechTV saw it coming. Some just had options ready, some couldn't leave immediately. When you're 48 and accomplished, there are doors awaiting, even if you have to make them yourself. A 21 year old has to ride the wave. Not many tech television jobs around.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

JDStone (741327) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234622)

After G4 Media acquired TechTV, it did just start going downhiill. Leo Laporte was let go, everything changed. The whole philosophy of TechTV changed. I can't even remember the last time I watched TechTV since it was purchased by G4 Media. Many of the shows that I liked were either changed or were scrapped completely. Plain and simple: the network just changed!

G4, the MTV of tech (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234426)

MTV has no music and now G4/TTV has no tech. G4 is dropping the TTV half of the name and going solely to a "lifestyle" and gaming network. What a crying shame.

To the geeks here I say, "Boycott G4 and their sponsers. Write letters to the sponsers. Boycott their lame message boards. Spread the word far and wide."

The Screensavers message board is being ruled by mods who only recently became mods. I suspect that they're G4 fans and/or employees. They immediately lock any thread that criticizes the show and they'll ban you in a hearbeat if you persist. Don't even bother posting there.

The show looks like it's being run by some old fart who used to be in radio.

Re:G4, the MTV of tech --MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234523)

you're 100% correct. 15 minutes of watching that channel made me really sick.

Re:G4, the MTV of tech (1)

Recovery1 (217499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234526)

To the geeks here I say, "Boycott G4 and their sponsers. Write letters to the sponsers. Boycott their lame message boards. Spread the word far and wide."

Why bother. It sounds like they wouldn't care what you say to them, they wouldn't listen anyway. I think just leave them be, and after a while the silence will make them worry more. After all, you make a bunch of noise and at least they know you are watching.

Oh but the part about telling everyone else sounds good.

Re:G4, the MTV of tech (5, Insightful)

sixy (516428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234529)

To the geeks here I say, "Boycott G4 and their sponsers. Write letters to the sponsers. Boycott their lame message boards. Spread the word far and wide."
I'd actually have to watch the shows to know who the sponsors were.

Re:G4, the MTV of tech (1)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234540)

"Boycott G4 and their sponsers. Write letters to the sponsers. Boycott their lame message boards. Spread the word far and wide."

... or we could just watch the scrambled porn channel

Re:G4, the MTV of tech (2, Insightful)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234588)

I hate to say this, but you're preaching to the wrong choir. Because if you haven't noticed, then Slashdot is rolling down the same hill. News for Nerds? Get real. Most of these "news" come from mainstream sources such as ABC, New York Times and BBC. Most of the people reading (and posting to) Slashdot just fancy themselves nerds, as being a nerd is cool.

Re:G4, the MTV of tech (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234624)

Write letters to the sponsers

What I'd be more interested in conceptually is "Write letters to your cable company and demand they stop carrying G4".

This wouldn't really work though unless something could be recommended to said cable companies to replace it, something that would have wider appeal than G4 and hopefully appeal to the people who used to watch TechTV. Is there any suitable such thing at this point in time?

Re:G4, the MTV of tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234644)

Gaming? Who cares that much about gaming that they need to dedicate a whole TV network around it. Games have their place as do most things in the world, but they are not some all powerful god all geeks should whoreship.

That article was so mind numbing... (5, Funny)

Jaidon (843279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234428)

...I was imagining Garrison Keillor [wikipedia.org] narrating it just to keep from going into a coma.

Seriously though, I agree with the other comments; mistakes have been made and now consequenes must be suffered...kudos to Dan!!

-1, Offtopic (0, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234433)

WTF is TechTV and WTf is G4, other than a type of Macintosh? I mean, I know that its New Year's Day, but can we have some news thats interesting to more than 7 people?

TSS no longer the real TSS (5, Interesting)

richdun (672214) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234436)

So I happened to turn on G4TechTVwhatever the other day, and I was appauled. "The Screen Savers" is little more than the old name on a new, much campier, much less useful show. I mean, I never liked everyone on TSS, but those idiots on the air now seem to be up on tech less than most Best Buy employees (no offense to any Best Buy employees on here, just needed a good, recognizable generalization of people who know little about tech but because they work for a tech giant fool the general public into buying whatever the advertisers want).

I think that's the most disappointing thing (see the parenthetical comment above): Leo and Patrick used to tell people not to buy this or that, seemed to be big fans of open source, security, etc. (of course in Leo's case it was a Mac-addiction, but that's ok), and even though they knew most of their audience was PC-based and had to cover them the most, tried to spread things out, give everyone a taste of everything, and if something sucked, would let everyone know about it. I remember them even going against IE before it was popular, and Paul Allen was their boss then. Now we just hear about the campy mainstream this thing is cool marketing drivel.

Ah, but those were the days. Let's hope this isn't a precedent. What's next, Slashdot brought to you by Dell...*shutters*

Ok, just in case anyone out there got confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234567)


He was "appalled" in that first line (not "appauled" which I can only surmise involves some sort of sexual act with Paul Shaffer)

In the last sentence he "shuddered". At no time did closing any shutters take place.

Re:TSS no longer the real TSS (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234572)

Ah, but those were the days. Let's hope this isn't a precedent. What's next, Slashdot brought to you by Dell...*shutters*
That would be an improvement on the current situation: Slashdot, brought to you by Micro$oft and Roland Piquepaille's ad-whoring, story-ripping-off blog.

Re:TSS no longer the real TSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234592)

I am appauled at your grasp of the English language. ..

*shuttters*

This is media. It's pretty much all this way. (4, Insightful)

human bean (222811) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234443)

The purpose of a media company is to make money selling product and promoting the owner's point of view. This, in turn, means that viewer share is paramount, and that if you have to "fix" the content to get more viewer share, so be it.

Viewers do not want reality. They get enough of it from work, raising children, the tax man, and the world in general. They want to associate, identify, and forget the crummy world they had to endure most of the day. The masses want Disney, okay?

You should always remember a media business truism: "The public are morons". Media types will never say this out where you can hear them, but I have sat through enough conference room discussions to know where these folks land. The reason for this is simple. In the great statistical average of the world, it's true. As much as you would have it otherwise.

It is said that only one person out of thirty creates art, literature, science, or policy. Skip media. Hang around those folks instead. Become one of them. We need all we can get.

Yes, I consider the Internet to be media now...

Re:This is media. It's pretty much all this way. (1)

jeepmeister (241971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234574)

Unfortunately, you're right. If you want to have an intelligent technical disucussion, banter about technology with smart people, and keep up on the latestest while mixing with truly hip people you have to hang around Starbucks, not cable TV.

Re:This is media. It's pretty much all this way. (1)

beebware (149208) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234576)

>> "The public are morons" I've heard it more as "catering to the lowest common denominator". Why aim a show at only 20% of the population when if you "dumb-it-down", you can get 1,000s of extra Redneck BillyJoeBob's in trailer parks to watch ("'cause its funny" etc) and boost the audience share and the cost to advertisers.

Re:This is media. It's pretty much all this way. (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234627)

You should always remember a media business truism: "The public are morons". Media types will never say this out where you can hear them, but I have sat through enough conference room discussions to know where these folks land.

And these are the people who are struggling to make it in today's media. People don't like the we're-smarter-than-you attitude.

I attribute much of Fox News's sucess to an understanding this. The common man may not be a genius, but he does know when he's being talked down to, and he's a little fed up with it.

I work in radio, and yes, we have some real idiots who listen -- people who can't watch TV without moving their lips. But they're the exception, not the rule. But if you target directly to them, they'll be the only audience you have left.

New channel idea? (5, Interesting)

nxtr (813179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234451)

If there is no longer a channel that appeals to geeks, why not create one? I'm see a huge market potential for it. There'd be millions watching it. Probably all the real geeks from TechTV would fly over, giving the channel some talent.

Slashdot Channel anyone?

Re:New channel idea? (2, Funny)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234531)

Slashdot TV? I like that! It's a perfect marriage. TechTV was multimedia Slashdot as it was. They were symbiotes.

All you TSS old timers reading this -- and I know you are -- harken to nxtr. This could have legs.

Re:New channel idea? (1)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234557)

The Slashdot Channel?

Wouldn't that knock some of the other channels off the air? Or would it tap into your cable modem and automatically Slashdot every web site you visit?

Re:New channel idea? (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234611)

Problem is, so-called "geeks" are usually very well-informed about products that they buy. Which, obviously, is not what potential advertisers want AT ALL. It's hard to sell stuff to people who already know exactly what they want, and which online store will sell it to them for the lowest price.

That's why G4 is so different from TechTV. They want to go after the clueless-but-rich-and-under-30 market.

TSS was a goner long before G4 (2, Interesting)

musicscene (453302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234472)

TSS was steadily going downhill long before G4 got ahold of them. Once Leo Lapporte [leoville.com] it was all Patrick could do to stay afloat.

I no longer Tivo'd TSS or any TechTV show after that.

Summary.

TechTV was good.
G4 is horrible.

Re:TSS was a goner long before G4 (4, Informative)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234629)

" TSS was steadily going downhill long before G4 got ahold of them. Once Leo Lapporte [leoville.com] it was all Patrick could do to stay afloat."

Leo left because his contract permitted him to do so. The others would have left, but theirs did not.

Leo & Patrick (0, Redundant)

Dr.StrrAngeLove (845359) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234476)

leo and patrick. where the backbone of techtv. since then, these dumb changes has made it go downhill. Techtv is spineless. worthless. g4techtv is going to be remember in history like the titanic. i love gameing..im an addict. ill spend 8 hours on it. and im 30 years old. but g4techtv sucks. i love technology also... they ruin something that was working just fine. they should teach in harvard business about g4techtv as what not to do. this network needs leo and patrick. what a joke..g4 is.. where did they how to ruin a company from enron?

Re:Leo & Patrick (1)

shakezula (842399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234537)

No, Leo and Kate were the backbone, and then along came "I'm so anti-mainstream, I listen to Drop Kick Murphys" Patrick. Terrible counter to Leo's at least interesting and informative (if you are a technical novice) schtick. NOTHING is worse than the "Dark Tipper" or Chris Perrillo though. TechTV's been dying since 2001, G4 just put the nails in the coffin.

Totally unrelated... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234482)

Did anybody else notice that OSDN managed to beat Firefoxe's Adblock plugin?

Another reason to hate them...

Fake question (1, Insightful)

edittard (805475) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234483)

"he states that TSS manufactured questions and used 'ringers' to ask their questions on the show"

A slashdot story (from michael the censorware killer, no less) complaining about journalistic integrity! Oh the irony.

Leo was the bet part of The Screen Savers (1)

W00dyW00d (821823) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234497)

Once G4TechTV i stopped watching, then i started listening to Leo radio show its my new show. soo nice to hear Leo just talk his mind.

Boo for G4 (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234518)

I used to love TSS, back in the ZDTV days. I liked alot of the shows. TechTV got some other good shows near the end of their life (I liked Invent This! tons). I'd never heard these aligations (I stoped watching TSS back in the TechTV days), but I can't say that I'm suprised at all.

But G4 bought them out. The ONLY thing they have done right (in my opinion) is keep X-Play running (new episodes and they don't seem to have changed it much if at all). TSS is terrible. As far as I can tell (and my TiVo) there are no new episodes of Invent This!, Fresh Gear, or a few other shows since G4 took over. The G4 content (the only one I've ever really watched is Filter) seems amaturish (like a high budget public access cable show) and like marketing smothered it with "love". The host is an idiot, it's full of "cool stuff" (acording to marketing) and the show is just terrible. The show would be MUCH better if they would just drop the host. I've found nothing else on G4 that I like (with the exception of the occational episode of Icons).

So for me, G4 has become the X-Play channel. Becuase they don't seem to want to make new episodes of the shows that they said they would keep (see above), that's the only thing I watch on the channel. When I first got satellite TV (DirecTV), one of the big reasons was so I could watch ZDTV. I got to watch The Screen Savers and all sorts of other interesting stuff (remember the show that would show computer animations made by people? That's how I discovered Animusic [animusic.com] ). Over the years, the channel has deciled (as TechTV although that wasn't SO bad) to being about as high on my list of "good" as SpikeTV (I used to think the constant banner on the bottom of TNN was bad, how I wish for those days).

All they have to do is mess up X-Play to lose me forever. Put someone with a BRAIN who is in touch with the AUDIENCE in charge of the channel, huh? Give it to Leo or SOMEONE. Because marketing is about to market me OUT of their audience.

RIP G4/TechTV, it's been a long, sad decline.

A great channel, ruined. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234521)

(This is, of course, my opinion.)

I started watching TechTV when it first came on the air, when it was called "ZDTV." I was thrilled at a channel dedicated to computers and technology, since I have yearned for many years for such a channel to come about. I enjoyed the show very much throughout just about all the time when it was known as ZDTV, and when it was then known as TechTV. I use to watch The Screen Savers quite often, along with Fresh Gear, Cybercrime, Unscrewed, and a whole host of other shows that premiered on that network at the time. At this time, it was no doubt that TechTV was my favorite channel. I then started another year of school, so my free time to watch television (and, more importantly, TechTV) was rather limited. When I finally found some free time in my otherwise busy schedule, I flipped on the television, and decided to watch some of my all-time favorite channel. It was then I realized that was now known as "G4TV." After hitting "Guide" on the remote control and realizing that all my favorite shows were replaced with
new shows, (ones that mostly pertain to games) that the old shows and hosts were gone, (Leo Laporte was indeed a favorite to me) I quit watching the channel. For me, the show is ruined. I hope that the Slashdot readers do not find this as flamebait, but the channel simply does not appeal to me anymore. (Judging by what I previously read on Slashdot, a lot of readers are no longer watching the show, too.) I have not been keeping up with the show, or the hosts, but I last heard that Martin Sargent, the last of the original TechTV crew, was fired. (You can correct me here, since I am really not sure.)

PS: Is there anybody here on Slashdot that likes G4TV better than TechTV? If, so respond. I would be pleased to hear what you have to say.

This is nothing new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234533)

I remember calling a pop station back in 1990 (yes they actually played a decent rocking song during that period) to request said rocking song, and was instructed that they only played "requests" that they set up. You basically had to "request" something on the set-in-stone playlist.

This took guts. Good work Dan! (1)

fericyde (841120) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234534)

Sounds really familiar to me. Something gets bought out and ruined by replacing all of the editorial staff.

Then really unethical things happen. Then someone blows the whistle.

Reading through some posts here -- media is _supposed_ to be something it's not at times -- ethical. Just because some media is extremely unethical doesn't mean that it all has to be. It certainly doesn't excuse the people that have been caught doing the bad stuff.

I've worked in many different industries in my time, but what has surprised me is that in the Banking industry, they make you sign an ethics statement before you can done an ounce of work.

You'd think before you were allowed to publish stuff or blast it out over the airwave, there'd be similar rules in place.

BUT NOOOO!

Good old times... (1)

agoliveira (188870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234566)

I lived in US in 1999/2000 and I have a very good memory about the TSS and TechTV in general. Actually, I tought about how nice would be if I had it on DirecTV so I could watch when I returned home. Looks like it's not the case anymore :(

Oh the irony. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234573)

Complaints about journalistic integrity from the site that runs blatant ads masqurading as stories and obvious Good Old Boy networking via the Roland Piquepaille gambit.

Excellent Sarcasm (-1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234579)

Most of my work was for Megan Morrone. I did a lot of screen captures from websites, CDs, DVDs, etc. ... She wanted me to capture some video of the sounds of 9/11. I totally misinterpreted what she wanted and captured all of the horrible, heart wrenching sounds as the trade centers fell, people screaming, etc. She was looking for more G-rated material like songs dedicated to all the victims, etc. It was just a stupid intern mistake. I also want to mention that Megan is one of the nicest people I?ve ever met. She was always good to me and very patient as I made those ?stupid intern mistakes.?

Excellent! A story of being called "stupid intern" by a woman who gives vague guidance and supervises so poorly that lots of time is wasted, where the same person is praised as patient and nice. I love it.

Another one... (1)

SteveXE (641833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234583)

Im another who stopped watching TechTV after it merged with G4, i used to watch that channel all the time, in fact it was pretty much the only thing i watched on TV. Almost right after the merger you could tell it was going downhill and everything was changing. I havent watched in a couple months now and i really dont care to. G4 needs to fire EVERYONE who is in uppermanagment and hire some gamers who know what they are talking about for the jobs.
I was happy when i finally got Comcast Digital Cable cause it meant i'd get to watch my fav shows again, a year later its all gone and im back to sticking with dvd's and the computer for my entertainment.

I really tried to read it (1)

veg_all (22581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234585)

Honest. But when I got to the sentence where he uses the phrase "the talent" to describe a group of people, I just had to stop. I mean, come on: A Site That Opens Your Mind To Computer Technology?! Oh, wow, thanks. I really needed that. Yes, thank you for opening my mind with your fucking website.

Lets play with them (1)

Odocoileus (802272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234598)

If slashdot readers call with simple decoy questions, then switch it up to something more worthy of a phone call when on the air, the producers will be forced to focus on technical aspects instead of entertainment value, or they will look inept alot.

Please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234606)

Please wipe the shocked expression off my face.

"G4"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234618)

Um, this wasn't the previous/current generation Apple CPU (and current Motorola^W Freescale embedded offering)? That's what "G4" says to me. Perhaps a brief additional moniker would have been warranted. Actually my second guess before R'ing TFA was something about future mobile phone tech...

I don't know Jack Scheisse about TV shows in the USA, as I am a citizen abroad for a few years now -- and not the only such one reading /. either. Some editorial touch, pretty please.

TSS just recycles Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11234634)

I saw a few episodes of TSS recently. All they do is recycle that day's Slashdot articles. What are the chances that they'll recycle this one? :)

I dunno (1)

iosmart (624285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11234643)

I haven't been following TSS for about four years, but to me, TechTV has been going down even before this G4 stuff. For a while, they had like 12 hour blocks of TechLife. Then they filled up that space with a bunch of Robot Wars crap. Right before G4, it seemed as if that's all TechTV ever showed...after G4, the situation was slightly helped with some random gaming shows. But these G4 shows are pretty terrible anyhow, so things are still bad.
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