Every month, Leo Laporte delivers technology advice to millions of people who download his podcasts and tune in to his syndicated radio show. He is, as one of his programs bills him, "The Tech Guy" whose digital savvy was recognized, near the dawn of the web, with an Emmy Award. But for all his expertise, Laporte still managed to clumsily broadcast an explicit Google chat with his lover, exposing the affair he's apparently been carrying on with his CEO.
Me [Laporte]: come over. I'm naked in bed (8:13 am)
[Laporte]: waiting for you. the door is open (8:13 am)
Lisa Kentzell: I love you. (11:48 am)
[Laporte]: i still smell and taste you. i adore you. (12:13 pm)
[Update: Laporte said he is indeed separated from his wife. It's been abut a year, "it's just not something I talk about on air," he said in a Saturday morning tweet. Laporte later blogged that he "apologized abjectly and abundantly" to Kentzell for deciding to leave the chat in the video podcast he distributed after the live recording. He added that the relationship "may have come as a bit of a shock to our staff" but that his family was aware of it.]
At the moment, it appears Laporte made a simple technological mistake that turned out to have much larger ramifications than its blink-of-an-eye duration would suggest. For all his considerable mastery of tech, Laporte uses it in such huge quantities that something like this was bound to happen. He's constantly beaming his face and computer screen across the internet as the regular host on four of his company's netcasts and as an occasional presence on many of the 23 others. He also hosts "Tech Guy," a broadcast that Premiere Radio Networks syndicates every weekend to stations in 150 different cities, plus XM satellite radio. Like his internet shows, the old-fashioned radio program is livecast online as it's recorded. The pressure is high; Laporte's live audience is so large he can crash web servers merely by giving out a URL during the course of a show.
Prospective investors and business partners, on the other hand, won't take comfort in the hedonistic pleasures Laporte indulges with the business executive who was supposed to bring discipline and financial growth to his company. Quite the opposite, in fact.