FIR is dead. Long live FIR!

FIR: The Hobson & Holtz Report

On September 7, I co-hosted and recorded the last episode of For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report with my podcasting partner, Shel Holtz.

It’s a ritual Shel and I have followed every week for the past ten years and nine months since we published the first episode on January 3, 2005.

If you’re a regular listener of FIR (the show gained that moniker in its early days), you’ll know that we announced the ending of this podcast in August serving notice, so to speak, that more than a decade of commentary and opinion on all matters at that intersection of business, communication and technology is drawing to a close.

In the final episode I touched on the reasons why I decided to stop doing FIR, and you can hear more detail on that in an interview with Joe Thornley I did for the Inside PR podcast last month.

In essence, I just didn’t want to do it any more. My passion for it had vanished. The mojo was gone. Such signs manifested themselves to me earlier this year and led to my taking June off to refresh and rejuvenate. That month-long hiatus didn’t help; indeed, it confirmed my growing view that the time had come to call FIR a day.

And so, after co-creating 824 episodes, I’ve unplugged the FIR podcasting microphone for the last time.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been asked what I’ll do now to fill the FIR vacuum. It’s true, there is a vacuum – about three hours a week including the time Shel and I spent on either end of a microphone recording each 90-minute show. Of course, there’s a greater vacuum if you consider the way in which FIR has been embedded into my life, both professionally and personally – that goes way beyond purely the actual time spent producing each show.

I’m sad to go, that’s for sure. But ten years is more than enough for me and the audience. It’s time for me to do something else. Writing, for instance – I’ve neglected my blog for much of this year and I want to get back to active blogging once again. Maybe I can finally do something with the 30 or so in-progress draft posts cluttering up my hard drive.

I’ve been guesting on Georgie Frost’s live show a couple of times a month on Share Radio in London for nearly a year, something that’s great fun and I want to continue doing that. Guesting on other podcasts from time to time, starting with the CIPR Social Media Panel’s C-Suite Podcast hosted by Russell Goldsmith on September 15. And of course, concentrating on paying work especially my long-term relationship with IFS that is increasing over the coming year.

In fact, I need to be careful not to over-fill that vacuum!

From FIR to FIR...

And what of FIR, the moniker that now means more than a single podcast? Hadn’t Shel and I embarked on a journey to build a podcasting network?

Shel has big plans for FIR and the FIR Podcast Network. Those plans will accelerate starting with a replacement show for the one Shel and I did that Shel’s calling simply ‘For Immediate Release’ or ‘FIR.’ Check out the first episode when it’s published on September 21. (As an aside, I noticed the URL in the new show’s badge. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the original website name www.forimmediaterelease.biz come back into active use. Logical given the new podcast’s name.)

Ending the original FIR doesn’t mean ending a relationship, and I will remain a strong supporter of the whole FIR system (for instance, you’ll still see lots of tweets promoting network shows in my Twitter timeline via the FIR GaggleAMP) including the FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

Shel and I have known each other for not far off 30 years and our friendship isn’t based only on FIR. I can’t wait to see what Shel does with the network.

FIR is dead. Long live FIR!