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Leo Laporte Talks Video, Radio, and Jerry Todd

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At NAB in Las Vegas earlier this month, I moderated a terrific panel discussion called "Broadcast Minds," sponsored by NewTek and featuring a great lineup of speakers, including Adam Carolla, Mark Fratto from St. John's University, Steve Hellmuth from the NBA, and The Tech Guy himself, Leo Laporte. I also had the opportunity to sit down with each one of the speakers and get their insights on online video in general, and using the NewTek TriCaster in particular to deliver their content directly to their audiences without a traditional broadcast intermediary. Last week, I posted my interview with Adam Carolla; today I'm sharing the conversation I had with Leo Laporte.

Laporte hosts "The Tech Guy" radio show on more than 100 radio stations nationwide, and started webcasting—or "netcasting," as he prefers to call it—on his This Week in Tech TV (TWiT.TV) in 2005. In our interview, we talk about how online video is in some ways closer to radio than to broadcast TV, since it breaks down the wall between content creator and viewer, generating a more intimate and interactive relationship than is possible with television.

For the online video version of "The Tech Guy," Laporte runs multiple cameras, overlays, and effects by himself, all using the TriCaster. He says he was inspired by radio talk pioneer Alex Bennett, who once hosted "Breakfast With Bennett" from his own kitchen, running everything himself while he interviewed comedians. Laporte also gives slightly tongue-in-cheek credit to Rick Moranis' Jerry Todd character from the old SCTV television show (skip to 1:17 in the linked video to see Todd running his own video effects board).

Here's my conversation with Laporte. Sadly, I didn't have a TriCaster to play with. (Apologies for the audio buzz that occurs intermittently during the first couple minutes.)

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