The Nerdist Podcast is no more. Long live ID10T!

No need to fear, though, as host Chris Hardwick and his co-conspirators Jonah Ray and Matt Mira emphasized throughout Episode 929 today. ID10T will have the same hosts, the same format as their Nerdist show, which began podcasting eight years ago. You won’t have to change your subscription feed to keep getting downloads. Just a new name, a new logo, and a new home for the podcast, as Hardwick, who still owned the podcast despite selling his Nerdist Industries empire to Legendary (which itself was bought in 2016 by China’s Dalian Wanda Group), has taken the ID10T podcast to Cadence13.

The first four guests on the  Podcast, posting weekly on Tuesdays: Tim Robbins, Danai Gurira, Robert Kirkman, and David Oyelowo.

Hardwick hopes to grow the ID10T brand with more festivals, products and opportunities. He threw his first ID10T fest last summer in Northern California; the 2018 ID10T fest will happen in November in Orange County, closer to Los Angeles.

Hardwick outlined to me last summer how he started Nerdist and grew it and his career to what it has become, and you can hear it all in Episode #158 of The Comic’s Comic Presents Last Things First.

“It’s fun to make money doing the stuff that you like, but for me, it really is about the game of it. It’s like, what can I try to do? What can I try to build? I’ve told people for so many years: Go make your thing. Go make your thing. And sometimes, you have to make a new thing. This is me, seizing a new opportunity to do that, to make my new thing,” Hardwick said on today’s podcast.

Ray replied: “Make stuff not money.”
Hardwick: “But if you make money, that’s fine, too.”

Ray said his theory is simple: “If you try to make money, you won’t really like the stuff you make. But if you focus on making the good stuff, the money eventually will find you.”

They’re all busy on those fronts. Hardwick, of course, hosts NBC game show The Wall and multiple talk shows for AMC. And he still maintains an office and undisclosed role within Nerdist Industries. Ray hosts the new version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix. And Mira hosts a variety of podcasts and writes for TV — in fact, Mira has been so busy he’s suffered from exhaustion, and his health and career issues take up the first 25 minutes of today’s final episode as The Nerdist Podcast.

Hardwick explained how the Nerdist podcast started in February 2010, and how he sold Nerdist Industries to Legendary in 2012, how he gave away the Nerdist social media handles a couple of years ago, and how he wasn’t sure what his role should continue to be under Dalian Wanda Group. He’s still CEO of Nerdist, even if not under a specific contract, but he decided to take the podcast to Cadence13, in part, because its parent company owns radio stations.

“I know it seems crazy to jump back with platforms, but I thought: For the longest time, I thought, I would love to syndicate the podcast as a radio show. So you could still get the podcast the way you get it. But in a handful of markets, it’s just on, like, Sunday nights. That, to me, seems like a fun thing to do. I kind of started working in radio. I really like radio. And I still think podcasts haven’t really even come close to tipping in terms of being a huge, widespread thing. I think there’s plenty of room for podcasts to grow. And I think when technology makes it as easy as just flicking on a radio station, I think that’s when podcasts will really, really, really…I really think most mainstream. Most of the country is still, ‘What do I have to do?’ ‘I gotta download what?’ ‘And then I play it where?’ ‘God, I don’t know.’ It’s like two steps too many for most people. Which seems surprising, because of the business we’re in. Of course everyone knows how to do it! But a lot of people don’t! So this seemed to me to be a way to try to bring people over to digital by — because you know, all the top-rated podcasts are NPR podcasts. It’s like they have a solid radio presence and that solid audience from that solid radio presence…”

Mira: “It’s also edited and flashy.”

Ray: “Produced.”

Hardwick: “Yeah, but…it’s also marketed. It’s part of the NPR community, and…it’s really well done. So I really wanted the opportunity to do that.”

“Then, additionally, everything else that I’ve been building has been focused on this ID10T stuff. The festival that we produced last year that we’re going to do again this year. I’ve always wanted to make toys and T-shirts, and so that’s going to be a part of it, too. And I really want to, I really want to call the podcast ID10T. I want it to be a part of this new thing that I’m building. And that’s very exciting to me. And that is kind of a way to stay excited about doing the podcast, and continuing to do it as I’m growing this new thing. And I know it’s weird. And I know Nerdist Podcast has like a very nice flow to it. But I just can’t, I can’t legally, well legally I can call it that, but I have to pay Legendary a lot of money if I do…”

Hardwick continued a few minutes later: “But the reason I really like ID10T as a concept is because as I’m getting older, I really feel like it’s important to take responsibility for your shit. And I think that’s the core message of ID10T. It means user error. It’s an IT code that means user error. Sort of make fun of people who are the cause of their own problems. And that, to me, is fascinating, because it so encompasses where I’m at in my life with taking responsibility for shit, and having to go, ‘hey, I’m wrong,’ or ‘I made a mistake’ or ‘yeah I fucked that up’ or ‘hey I did a good job there!’ or you know. Whereas Nerdist really represented where I was 10 years ago, when I created it, now, this represents kind of philosophically where I’m at with my life. Of trying to take responsibility for things.”

And later…

“I mean, legitimately, the podcast is the most significant work thing I think I’ve ever done. I’ve experienced, I’ve met more amazing people. I’ve gotten to spend some of the best moments with you guys. I got to talk to my dad in the most significant conversation before he died. We’ve learned so much from so many great, great people, and I want that to continue. It’s just like the skin is just going to change.”

“I remember when we started doing ads for the podcast, about six or seven months in, and I said the same thing: I’m not doing this to fuck with you. I will always be transparent about what’s going on. I just, it costs money to give away free stuff. I don’t want you to have to pay for the podcast. I want you to be able to just get it. So we’ll always be there for the foreseeable future. I fear that if it wasn’t this, I wouldn’t be able to continue to do the show.”