Yesterday’s news that Amanda Congdon has left the popular videoblog Rocketboom took the internet (or at least the blogosphere) by storm. Amanda ended up responding last night to Andrew Baron’s claims that she just wanted to move to Los Angeles as soon as possible to pursue Hollywood stardom and left Rocketboom because they wouldn’t cave in to her “demands” that the show be moved to LA immediately. She printed a series of emails between she and Andrew, and they are enlightening, to say the least.
I am disheartened by Andrew Baron’s decision to spread misinformation. He knows I cannot move to LA without a job…but insists on spinning things this way to shore up his assertion that I am “walking away” from Rocketboom. I did not walk away. I did not accept Andrew’s idea of “partnership”. It’s not true. I’m presently living with my parents in Connecticut until I can get back on my feet.
Andrew, let me give you a small piece of advice. Losing Amanda is a big deal. Nobody, including you, can deny that. She was the lifeblood of the show and she’s the reason people watched. You’re a moron for letting it get to this point in the first place, and I’m not sure why you did. Why was it such a big deal for you to have complete creative control? Nobody is denying that you have a part in Rocketboom, a huge part, and Amanda even pointed out that you’re an excellent producer. Did you feel like you needed your name plastered all over the show so everyone would know who was really in charge?
So you lost Amanda. That’s bad enough. But for you to come out and flat-out lie to everyone, telling us that you had no idea that any of this was happening? That’s not a good way to handle things, Andrew. You should have told the truth and let the chips fall where they may instead of acting like you’re completely innocent in this whole thing. At this point, you have some serious ‘splaining to do, and I’m pretty sure you just damaged any chances you might have had in making Rocketboom succeed without Amanda.
And Dave Winer, are these the emails you talked about seeing yesterday? Because it sure doesn’t seem to me as if Amanda was holding Andrew up for money or trying to buy the show from him. It looks, at least to these eyes, like Amanda wanted something everyone wants: a stake in what they do, a sense of ownership. Letting her help produce and write the show aren’t exactly what I’d call crazy demands. Would you?
Amanda, please accept Jason’s offer. He’ll treat you right, you’ll have complete creative control, you’ll have the Time Warner might behind you, and we’ll still be able to watch you on a daily basis.
Heather Green at Business Week has more on the story.