Buzz Out Loud

Buzz Out Loud

Buzz Out Loud, "CNET's podcast of indeterminate length," or BOL, as it is affectionately titled by its fans, is a daily podcast about technology, produced by CNET. The show is hosted by CNET editors Tom Merritt, Molly Wood, and Jason Howell. Veronica Belmont co-hosted the show until July 20th, 2007 when she left to work at


During the show's public debut on April 25 2005, it promised to deliver "5 or so" minutes of Tom & Molly's take on tech news every second day, but it has evolved into 35-45 minutes of daily tech-related banter and commentary. As early as 30 March 2005, Molly and Tom were discussing subjects such as: patent infringement lawsuits, the Apple iPod, and DRM. 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 CNET TV. On 21 May 2007, Jason Howell joined the podcast as producer. On 3 December 2007, the hosts commented on the controversy over the firing of Gamespot's Jeff Gerstmann.

"Buzztown" is a fictional city in which the listeners of Buzz Out Loud are the residents, and is similar to a real city in that it has a mayor. . Listeners are also referred to as "The Buzz Brigade" or "The Buzz Militia".

The show was used as an example in an O'Reilly article on how to rewrite a podgrabber.


All episodes have live streaming video available via a Ustream stream on Episodes are usually posted via the BOL blog and RSS feeds by 12 noon Pacific. 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 most episodes have featured the trio of commentators. The exceptions 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. Earthlink eventually ended their sponsorship at the beginning of 2008, and the program went unsponsored for five months. On May 1, Best Buy became the sponsor of the program, featuring a similar ad pattern as Earthlink.

The show occasionally features interviews; initially, these were integrated as a part of the show, but they have since been spun off into separate episodes due to listener requests. Tech luminaries such as Lawrence Lessig and Steve Wozniak have been interviewed, as well as several hosts of the and Revision3 networks.

Every so often, the Buzz Out Loud crew records live shows at technology trade shows, such as recordings done from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and Macworld. These live shows can include a live audience, comprised of fans of the show, and discussions on the different products that the commentators have seen at the shows. 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.

A video edition of the podcast had been experimented on and off with several services, until the Friday-only video edition within a dedicated studio was launched officially on CNET TV with the May 2 episode. As of Episode 797, this version has been abandoned in favor of a recorded version of the USTREAM video.

A former running gag in the show is that each day is an official US holiday, though the holidays cited are often whimsical in nature. The holidays are cited from the Bizarre American Holidays calendar

Guest hosts

Guest hosts originally appeared on the podcast only when either Tom or Molly were unable to be in the studio. These included producer Jason Howell prior to becoming a full time host, editor Rafe Needleman, automotive reviewer Brian Cooley, and reporters Caroline McCarthy and Erica Ogg.

After many listener suggestions, they decided to have four hosts for each show, alternating guest hosts each day. Frequent guests include Natali Del Conte, Brian Tong, Brian Cooley, and Rafe Needleman.

On 19 December 2007 and 20 December 2007, two special guest-host editions were produced where listeners were called and asked to participate in the special episodes.


External links

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