Jason Calacanis Shutting Down ThisWeekIn.com Network, But Keeping Two Shows Going
Jason Calacanis is going to shut down the ThisWeekIn.com video podcasting network. The company is based in Los Angeles and is known for hosting shows like “Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show,” “This Week In Music,” and “This Week In Startups.” Calacanis reported on his mailing list that they were able to get the company to hit break-even, but he decided that it would be difficult to get the company to scale. He will be giving the remaining funds back to the company’s investors.
Two of the shows will carry on after the shut down of the ThisWeekIn network. Those two shows are This Week In Startups (hosted by Jason Calanis) and Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show.
Jason Calacanis said:
Very, very few podcasts have made it to scale, and to me that says this business will never be big. Why? Well, you need folks like Leo [Laporte] or Adam [Carolla] to make millions of dollars and have breakout success, but if they decide to stop doing their show, the networks will shutter. That simple.
It just doesn’t make sense to invest in a business with this kind of limited upside.
In fact, the only way to make podcasting a real big business would be if you could somehow get the top seven podcasters to team up and make a meganetwork. If Leo Laporte, Kevin Rose, Adam Carolla, Kevin Pollak — plus three or four more — all did shows as one company, it would have $8M to $15M in revenue and be worth $50M to $75M, but that’s a lot of personality to try and corral — I dare say it’s impossible.
ThisWeekIn raised $300,000 in funding from Matt Coffin, Sky Dayton, and Jason Calacanis. Around the time that ThisWeekIn was founded, he compared it to his former blog network company Weblogs Inc. He had sold Weblogs Inc. to AOL. Calacanis currently runs a company called Mahalo and he runs a conference called Launch. There will be no layoffs. The five full-time employees will continue to work on This Week In Startups.