Updated with a response from P1 at the bottom of this post.
After Elijah and Cookie retired as active hosts with Priority One Podcasts, I was curious to see how things would work out. Change can be difficult but sometimes things work out for the best as new blood brings energy to a show which to it’s credit was one of the best produced Trek podcasts out there.
While I was never a fan of the fan-fic openings, I was a regular listener when they would have on people from team Cryptic. While 90% of the interviews simply restated what we already knew, there were times when small tidbits of information or clarity on a new planned feature would make the one hour plus podcast worth listening to. Occasionally things would be said that ultimately have unintentional consequences for the guest; “Delta Rising is the Best Expansion ever, and the players love it” fiasco comes to mind.
Whatever your position on the state of the game, Priority One has been a decent podcast worth listening to. Jayce is particularly balanced in his reporting, and was the first on that team to give me a shout out when I posted the infamous infographic. Cookie is a great foil for both guys, and while I didn’t always agree with Elijah’s commentary, it was worth a listen if anything for the humor. Elijah and I exchanged a few emails, and it was clear he was doing his best to build upon Priority One as a brand.
To their credit P1’s production value is consistently high, but for me the real value was in the clear channel they appear to have with the Cryptic development team. Prior to a major update or event, you could always find Gecko willing talk about the game. And here’s where I had my issues – P1 never really asked the hard questions. Time and time again they would gloss over the current ‘issues of the day’ for a more friendly, Cryptic-positive experience. I get that P1 is an entertainment podcast, but more often than not opportunities in asking the right questions were sidelined to maintain a good relationship with Cryptic.
Never bite the hand that feeds you.
Now imagine my surprise when I heard that the SarcasmDetector had joined the team as a host and producer of videos.
It’s no secret that I’ve butted heads with Kam (aka SarcasmDetector). Without rehashing the past, Kam is at times a grumpy crumudgen who can be both a helpful person and a pain in the ass. At the same time he’s also taken on a very active and visible role in the community, and it’s in that aspect that I have come to respect his efforts. More recently his participation in the restored DPS-League and with Oden Knight (and crew) for The Show (best podcast currently for hardcore STO players) has been a boost for the community as a whole.
For me personally, that’s what counts the most.
For the last handful of episodes, I enjoyed listening to Kams gravelly voice as he got into his groove as co-host. But what really stood out for me was his persistence in questions with Gecko. “Finally!” I thought, “P1 has a host who will ask the questions I’d like to have answered”. I’m not the only one who felt that way with the positive comments both in the forums and on P1’s message boards.
P1 gained from this as well. Kam’s videos brought some much-needed traffic to the P1 YouTube channel. Just check out the views and you can easily see what ‘we’ are wanting to watch. His cross-podcast presence with the Show, on Reddit and his own YouTube Channel is a benefit to our community. His recent group efforts to create stocontinuum.com (check it out!) was another positive step in helping rebuild a community that has suffered since Delta Rising.
And without any indication that something was wrong, Kam’s participation with P1 came to an end suddenly this past week. It was not by his choice, and it came to an abrupt and unprofessional end.
Whether its The SHOW or P1, Reddit’s amazing resources, or one of the dozens of YouTube channels – all of it represents the efforts of volunteers. In some cases those volunteers donate not only their time and expertise, but money as well. They’re not in this for awards or to promote a personal agenda – they are here for the love of the game.
So what happened? I chatted with Kam last night at length. He knew who I was, or pretended to be, and to his credit he’s never outed me. This is what Kam told me, and he’s given his consent to this article. I may have paraphrased somewhat, but the essence is still there.
Elijah and P1’s legal counsel took him aside and told him that “Sorry, but we’re going to have to let you go.” Elijah said that “the board had met and it was decided that the chemistry between the hosts wasn’t what the hoped it would be.”
I asked Kam – What did you do? “I don’t know” was his answer.
There’s a lot wrong with this, and I’m sure Elijah has a story on his side. He’s welcome to share it. But something about this stinks and it doesn’t seem right.
Kam was a volunteer and not an employee. He didn’t deserve a firing, let alone a lawyer present during the call. That’s just cowardice on Elijah’s part, and cements my belief he see’s this as a business or a stepping stone in a career path.
What vexes me is they didn’t even credit him in the role call at the end of the broadcast, but spent the time to thank past volunteers. That’s cheap and petty given the amazing lengths P1 goes to thank it’s supporters every broadcast.
Kam clearly brought viewers and interest to P1. His videos certainly brought new subscribers to the P1 video channel. His growing role in the community (along with too many others to list – Mastajdog, Oden Knight, Porchsong, Agresiel – if I forgot your name, it was because I’m a terrible person, and/or can’t pronounce your name) has been a positive force for our community. His P1 interviews were professional and refreshing. Heck, even Gecko chatted builds with him outside of the interview.
Side note: That would be one hell of a podcast or livestream, getting Gecko over 30K dps, but I don’t want that to be an influence on the next difficulty level 😉
I believe all of that – his work on other podcasts, his growing role in the community, his familiarity with team Cryptic – may have played a role in Elijah’s decision to cut Kam loose. It certainly wasn’t a decision because Kam lowered the ratings 😉 And I know it wasn’t an HR issue because Kam never visited P1 in person;) That leaves me to surmise that ego played a role.
There can only be one Elijah.
For me I wont be promoting P1 anymore. There are newer podcasts with growing audiences and regular listeners who get involved on recording day. Podcasts by volunteers who care about the game, and not their role in promoting their next venture. They share real information about the game, and are more focused on what matters to our community.
I’m hoping that Cryptic will see that as well and expand their outreach to more channels. We love Star Trek Online, play the game and work for it’s betterment whether by words, videos or a gravelly voice.
Update: I reached out to Elijah for a comment, and he forwarded that they would address Kam’s departure in next weeks show as follows:
“Hi, Admirals! As you might have noticed we were short a voice this week. We’d like to inform you that Kam (aka SarcasmDetector) is no longer involved with Priority One Podcast or any other Priority One Network production. We wish him the best in all his endeavors.” – The Priority One Productions Team