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What Dan Benjamin Said

Technology

The following is a transcript of Dan Benjamin’s 5by5 Specials Episode #6, “Regarding The Talk Show.” It is his response to the speculation about why John Gruber took The Talk Show to Mule Radio Syndicate this past Friday. I recommend you listen to the original, but if you can’t, here is the text:

Hey Everybody. I’m Dan Benjamin, the founder of 5by5 broadcasting. Since a lot of people have been asking about it, I wanted to take a minute to talk to you about a recent change here at 5by5. The Talk Show has come to an end. My goal here isn’t to make a fuss about what happened. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to say anything about it and I’ve even been advised not to say anything. But after thinking things through I feel like talking about it could help everyone who cares including me move on and get back to making and enjoying the things we love.

I think the best way to start is by sharing a little history about The Talk Show. Back in late 2006 I was doing my first podcast the Hivelogic Radio Show. It was pretty bad. But there were a few good episodes, diamonds in the rough. Like the time my friend John Gruber joined me to talk about something Apple had jsut announced. Something called the iPhone.

In June of 2007, John and I created a new podcast called The Talk Show. It was almost five years ago and a full three years before I even started 5by5. John and I put out 30 episodes of The Talk Show in its original incarnation as a free standing show and you can still hear them over at thetalkshow.net.

About 7 months after I’d been running 5by5 full time, in the summer of 2010, John and I rebooted our show, brought it to 5by5, and together went on to release 90 more episodes. If you started playing all of those 120 episodes of The Talk Show in a row you would hear well over a week of John and me talking to each other. Talking about Apple products and Apple strategy and talking about baseball and kids. And to a lot of people’s annoyance we talked a lot about every single James Bond movie, except one, John and I spared you Casino Royale.

You’d also hear John eating apples on the air, receiving random electric shocks from his Mac and putting up with my weekly complaint that he was screwing up the sound by trying to use Skype over Wifi.

Our show got pretty popular over the years. And a lot of people have told us that The Talk Show was their favorite podcast ever. Like my opportunity to do the show with John in the first place, it’s been a great honor to make The Talk Show for you guys. I have a lot of respect for John. He’s one of the best writers I’ve ever met. And together we got to be one half of something that I think was very special.

Now in the week following our 120th episode, John expressed to me that it was time for him to move on and to try something new. People keep speculating about this, looking for answers, but it really doesn’t matter why John wanted to move on. If he wasn’t happy for any reason, then it was time. And I have total respect and understanding for him. The arrangement wasn’t working…it wasn’t a fit anymore…all right then, let’s move on. However, I’d always thought that if we weren’t going to do the show anymore we’d retire it together. So I was a little surprised and disappointed when I learned that John had decided to do the show on his own and call it The Talk Show.

Is this really a big deal? It’s just a show right? Just a podcast. One of many. And there are more important things to care about like world peace, Game of Thrones and iOs updates. Well, way back when, I used to have a 45 minute commute to a crappy IT job. Every morning on the way to work and every night on the way home I’d listen to my favorite talk show hosts doing their thing. And over time, as weird as this might sound, they became my pals, in my head, anyway. I’m sure they didn’t know me, but, I knew them very well. And I loved hanging out with them. So when things changed, when a show came to an end or a host left, it affected me. I felt like I’d lost something. Maybe just something small, but something. Because these were the people I hung out with everyday, while traversing a long stretch of road. And they had a place in my life, just like my real life friends. You know change is hard, especially if you feel like you’ve lost something that you care about.

John and I were friends for years before we created The Talk Show, and I hope we will be friends for years to come. I’d never begrudge John any desire to do anything that suits him. John is the best. And my respect for his intelligence, talent and fierce independence will travel along to wherever he goes and whatever he does and whomever he does it with. I wish that John and I could have found some way to do one more episode of our Talk Show together. To laugh about things coming to an end, to say goodbye to each other as friends do, and really, most importantly, to offer the proper and respectful thank you that you guys are each owed for having been there with us each week for 120 episodes. I really wish we could have done that for you.

And I do really want to wish John all the best with anything he does, including his new show. And I encourage you to give it a try too. You can check it out at its new home on muleradio.net.

So thanks again to all of you for making 5by5 possible, for supporting our programs, and for caring so much about the people who make them. You guys are the best and I look forward to continue to talk to you for many more years to come. You guys matter a great deal to me. And without you to listen there wouldn’t be any shows in the first place. There is a lot of great stuff ahead for all of us.

Thanks for listening.

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