In somewhat of a shocking move John Gruber of Daring Fireball fame has pulled up stakes from his weekly podcast gig with Dan Benjamin of 5BY5 with “The Talk Show” moving to the “Mule Radio Syndicate” running Grubers own version of the show under the same title.
Neither Gruber nor Benjamin have commented on the reason for the change but it has been swift and unexpected. Updating the 5BY5 Radio app and pulling The Talk Show from 5BY5s schedule happened on the last day or so and no hints were dropped on Twitter or any other blog.
Both Gruber and Benjamin are very private and will very likely give little to nothing away as to the reason for the move so rather than speculate we’ll just look at the fundamental shift between the show formats.
Under 5BY5 “The Talk Show” was hosted by Dan Benjamin and John Gruber whereas under Mule it will be hosted by John Gruber with special guests. Throughout its history The Talk Show always had both Dan and John but for a handful of exceptions and under Mule it seems John will be leading the charge and picking the guests he chooses to have.
Anecdotally The Talk Show has been the highest rating show on the 5BY5 network for nearly two years and was a key component to Dan’s initial success. Now that Dan has secured additional guests such as Andy Ihnatko, Jim Dalrymple and Horace Dediu there is no doubt that 5BY5 will survive just fine without John Gruber.
It’s a sad day for me as I enjoyed listening to the chemistry between Dan and John and this, at least on a regular basis, is now gone. All too often I’ve seen music groups that had a chemistry together split as each member wished to pursue their own gig. One or more people in the group say “I’m the reason we’re successful” and believes they can make it better on their own when it’s really (forgive the cliché) the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Most of the time they individually don’t experience the same level of success than when they were together as a group. Sometimes though they come out of top and only time can tell us that.
I’ll try out the new version of “The Talk Show” however I have my doubts as to whether it will have the same level of success it enjoyed at 5BY5.