TWiT leases big space in Petaluma

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Leo Laporte's studio in the cottage. One of the three studios at the new location will be designed to duplicate this look. (Leo Laporte photo)"][/caption]PETALUMA -- This Week in Tech (TWiT), the tech-focused netcast network that's podcast, tweeted, blogged and streamed, has leased nearly 10,000 square feet at 140 Keller St. in Petaluma.

The popular owner and netcaster Leo Laporte has been operating out of a small cottage on the same street.

"We have 10 people in this small cottage and we were badly in need of more space," said company CEO Lisa Kentzell. "The move allows us to triple our current space and we'll lease the extra space to a company we know."

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Leo Laporte provides a video tour of the new 140 Keller St. studios.

The new location will house three studios, including one that is being built to the look of the one in the cottage, according to a company announcement. Demolition work started shortly after the lease was signed live on a netcast Jan. 22. The studios are set to be operational in early May.

In addition to full time staff, the company uses about 100 contract workers.

TWiT intends to add four staff members initially -- broadcasting engineers and an administrative assistant -- but eventually grow the staff to about 20.

Mr. Laporte chose Petaluma for his netcasting company because he wanted to raise his family there, said Ms. Ketzell.

"Our goal is make Petaluma the home of a 24-hour tech-focused broadcast that reaches audiences worldwide," she said.

This Week in Tech reportedly reaches a quarter of a million people a week. Mr. Laporte produces 22 other techology-focused podcasts that are downloaded 5 million times a month, streams video all day capturing his podcast, and produces a weekly radio show on computers called "The Tech Guy" that reaches 500,000 more people through 140 stations.

TwiT's advertising revenues were reportedly $4 million to $5 million in 2010.

The lease was arranged by Tony Sarno, Sara Wann and Mike Thomason of Keegan & Coppin.

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