Leo Laporte is one of the first people to ever start a podcast. He was also the first person to get what I would call “big” from a podcast. In this interview he talks about how and why he started podcasting, what he thinks about the future of podcasting, and what is wrong with the way people are making podcasts.
Leo Laporte has been involved in technology for many years. He has worked at TechTV, ZDTV, and most recently TWiT (This Week in Tech). He has been doing podcasts for over 2 years now and currently does a wide variety of shows including “Security Now”, “This Week in Tech”, “This Week in Google”, “Windows Weekly” and more.
On an episode of his own podcast, This Week in Tech, media entrepreneur Leo Laporte explained why he started podcasting in the first place.
He was working as a radio host for KGO Radio in San Francisco (the same station where he got his start as a teenager) and his bosses were very clear that they wanted to see him on the air 90% of the time. And while that worked well for many years, Leo began to feel like he wasn’t able to share the full range of content he was interested in with that format.
For instance, one time Leo found himself on-air talking about a new technology called Bluetooth. His boss at KGO came into the studio and said “What are you talking about? That’s not news!” So Leo stopped talking about it.
A couple weeks later, however, Leo was reading an issue of Wired magazine and they had an article all about Bluetooth. He started thinking “Hey, this is kind of interesting! I want to talk about this.” But then he realized he couldn’t because it wasn’t news.
So he decided to launch a podcast where he could talk about whatever he wanted without having to filter it through what his bosses thought would sound good on the radio. And that’s how
Leo Laporte is an American technology broadcaster. Laporte started his technology podcast in 2005, and has since created a network of podcasts that are hosted by him and other tech specialists. He has been called the “Mayor of Podcasting” and “Podfather” for his contributions to the field.
Leo Laporte is also the host of TWIT, a podcast about technology that he started in 2005. This is how he describes what it means to be the Mayor of Podcasting:
On January 11, 2005, I launched This Week in Tech. It was an experiment but it quickly caught on. Within a few months, we had hundreds of thousands of listeners and millions of downloads per month. In 2006 I assembled a group of my friends and colleagues to launch TWiT Netcast Network with weekly shows covering everything from security to mobile devices. Today TWiT generates over 15 million downloads per month and ranks as one of the top 50 networks on the Internet.
The rise of podcasts has been unprecedented.
In fact, the number of people who listen to podcasts in the US has almost doubled since 2016.
This means that more and more people are tuning in, and for longer periods of time.
With this in mind, we’re taking a look at one of the most well-known podcasters around: Leo Laporte.
From his humble beginnings to his super-powered podcast empire, we’re taking an in-depth look at Leo Laporte’s career and how he got where he is today.
If you’ve ever wanted to find out the real story behind Leo Laporte’s podcasting career, then read on!
When Leo Laporte quit his job at TechTV in 2004, he had no idea how he would make a living. He knew one thing: “I had to get back on the air.”
He’d been a radio host for years, but wanted to expand into television too. In addition to doing his radio show, he decided to start a podcast.
He was inspired by the success of Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code, which started in August 2004 and quickly gained popularity.
Curry, who was in Europe at the time, claims to have launched the first podcast. He was working there as an MTV VJ in 2004 when his contract wasn’t renewed. Rather than coming home, he decided to stay and build a business around podcasts.
“The revolution was not televised,” says Curry, “It was podcast.”
Podcasting is now a well-established medium, but it remains true that some of the greatest podcasts were created by people who didn’t really know what they were doing. You can read our recent article on the history of podcasting, or ask Joe Rogan, who still looks back at his early episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience and wonders why anyone was interested in hearing him rant about politics.
But there was one man who did know what he was doing when he started podcasting. Leo Laporte had been working in tech since the mid-80s, but it wasn’t until the new millennium that he started making waves in audio.
Listen to this episode of The History of Podcasting to hear how Leo Laporte established himself as a leading tech personality by creating great podcasts like TWiT and This Week In Tech:
The podcast has been called “the greatest podcast in the history of the universe.” By its host, of course. But Leo Laporte’s This Week in Tech (TWiT) is an essential listen for anyone interested in technology, and has been since its inception in 2005. It’s not just the most popular tech podcast on iTunes–it’s the most popular podcast on iTunes, period.
I was lucky enough to spend a few days with Leo at his studio in Petaluma, California this past December. We talked about everything from Twitter to publishing to Skype, but when I asked him how he came up with the idea for TWiT, his answer took me by surprise: “I thought about it for about two seconds,” he told me. “It was very tactical.”