Buzz Out Loud is a daily podcast about tech related subjects, produced by CNET. Affectionately abbreviated "BOL" by fans, and known by their tagline as "CNET's podcast of indeterminate length" (or "CNET.com's podcast of indeterminate length"). The show was hosted by CNET editors Tom Merritt and Molly Wood. Veronica Belmont produced and co-hosted the show until July 20th, 2007, when she left to work at mahalo.com, later moving on to Tekzilla. On May 21, 2007, Jason Howell joined the podcast as producer.
On January 14th, 2009, Molly Wood stepped down as co-host and became one of the rotating guest hosts. She returned full-time on February 8, 2010. On April 16, 2010 Tom announced in his blog that he would be leaving CNET on May 14. Monday May 17, 2010 Rafe Needleman became co host with Molly. Jason Howell left CNET September 24, 2010.
Rafe Needleman stepped down as full time co-host on October 29, 2010. Brian Tong is currently full time co-host with Molly. Stephen Beacham is producer.
During the show's public debut on April 25, 2005, it promised to deliver "10 or so" minutes of Tom & Molly's take on tech news every week, but has evolved into 40 minutes of tech-related banter and commentary on a daily basis (which is the origin of the "indeterminate length" moniker).
As early as March 30, 2005 during the "pre debut" phase of the podcast, Molly and Tom discussed subjects that have grown into mainstay themes throughout the life of the podcast: patent infringement lawsuits, the Apple iPod, and DRM.
As of January 25, 2008, Buzz Out Loud used AAC for podcasting through iTunes.
The show also occasionally features interviews; initially, these were integrated as a part of the show, but have since been spun off to their own line of programming due to listener requests. However, on occasion interviews are put on the main web feed. Tech luminaries such as Lawrence Lessig and Steve Wozniak have been interviewed, as well as several hosts from the TWiT.tv and Revision3 networks.
Listeners to the show are encouraged to submit their comments by email or by telephone, as well as to post to the Buzz Out Loud Forums. Most aired comments are included in the show's e-mail newsletter, which is available from the show's home page.
In November 2005, the show gained Earthlink as a sponsor. This marked the beginning of a period of continuity for the show, as almost all of the episodes have featured the trio of commentators. The exceptions of which usually involve one of the commentators being unavailable to record due to business trips, sick days, or vacations. In late March 2006, Buzz Out Loud switched to a new Earthlink sponsorship, having 11 different ads instead of the previous 1. Now they alternate between the 11 ads in the middle of the show and a longer ad at the end of the show. This sponsorship concluded on December 31st, 2006, and since this BOL has had various sponsors which generally are the same to the sponsors of all of CNET TV .
On occasion, the Buzz Out Loud crew records live shows at technology trade shows, such as recordings done from Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Macworld done in January of 2006 and 2007. These live shows can include a live audience, comprised of fans of the show, and discussions on the different products that the commentators have been able to examine. Other times, one of the hosts will attend a live event, such as Molly at the former E3, and instead call in to the show before, during or after the event with updated information. In 2006, they produced a video episode of Buzz Out Loud at the San Francisco premiere of Snakes on a Plane. At CES 2007, video of the Buzz Out Loud podcast recording sessions were streamed live on Cnettv.com.
Guest hosts appeared on the podcast whenever Tom or Molly were unable to appear. Various CNET employees filled in, including WebWare.com editor Rafe Needleman, Car Tech automotive reviewer Brian Cooley, Crave editor Caroline McCarthy, News.com blogger Erica Ogg, and The 404 hosts Randall Bennett and Jeff Bakalar. Other prominent tech podcasters who have also occasionally guested, include Leo Laporte of TWiT and former Buzz Out Loud producer Veronica Belmont now of Revision3's Tekzilla.
In the last quarter of 2008, a rotating series of forth hosts often appeared with Tom and Molly. Generally, Natali Del Conte appeared on Mondays, Brian Cooley on Tuesdays, Brian Tong on Wednesdays and Rafe Needleman on Fridays. When Molly returned as full-time host on February 8, 2010, Brian Tong appeared on mondays, Rafe on wednesdays and Donald Bell on thursdays.
By June 2010, Tom had left. The host schedule generally included Brian Tong on mondays and fridays, Darren Kitchen on wednesdays, and Donald Bell on thursdays. Always subject to change.
Beginning November 1, 2010, Brian Tong had become full-time co-host. Since the end of BOL his fans are demanding the return of a regular full length Brian Tong podcast.
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