Amanda Congdon and Andrew Baron duke it out

SCOTT KIDDER — Have you been watching Amanda's Congdon's much-hyped A/C on ABC? In her second episode for old media powerhouse Disney, she posts the question: "I wonder if citizen journalists will ever be taken seriously?"

Not anytime soon, especially if they keep bickering on the popular videoblogging Yahoo group. This past weekend, Amanda and former Rocketboom partner Andrew Baron let loose on the group's email list. Andrew forwarded several emails, all reprinted after the jump, trying to prove his points.

Amanda Congdon and Andrew Baron duke it out

"It's okay to say what you need to say, get it out and move on, but that didn't happen originally," Andrew wrote on his personal blog. "So this weekend, I finally set out to get it all out and off my chest and I did."

"As you can see, I spent legal fees on the HBO opportunity...but you stole it away for yourself...Lie #2. Resolved." declared Andrew on the Yahoo group, after forwarding a communication regarding a prospective deal with HBO.

"This proves what? That I (not you) had an HBO meeting and that I fired my manager?" Amanda shot back. "The best way to avoid factual statements is to ask questions," countered Andrew.

This caused one of the old guards of the blogosphere, Robert Scoble, to jump in: "This isn't impressing me in the least about either party. I don't really care anymore. You both are polluting this group and it needs to stop, and stop now."

Selected E-Mails, Roughly in Chronological Order

***
Sent By: Andrew Baron

Begin forwarded message:
> From: "Amanda Congdon"
> Date: June 2, 2006 2:20:46 PM EDT
> To: "Thompson, Bryan"
> Cc: "Johnson, Channing" , "andrew michael
> baron" , "Jim Congdon"
>
> Subject: Re: Matthew Lesher, semi-urgent
>
> Bryan and Channing,
>
> Thank you for getting back to me on this so quickly. As it turns
> out, the HBO meeting is now happening on Monday rather than later
> today. The introductory meeting between Ari, Andrew and me is still
> on as scheduled at 3pm Pacific. How does this change the order of
> events, if at all?
>
> Yes, please prepare Matthew's termination letter.
>
> Thanks again,
>
> Amanda
>
> On 6/2/06, Thompson, Bryan < bthompson@...> wrote:
> Amanda:
>
> I spoke to Channing about this. We think that your analysis of the
> situation is spot-on accurate and that it would be appropriate for
> you now to terminate your relationship with Matthew.
>
> Accordingly, we believe that you should inform Matthew, both orally
> and in writing, that your relationship with him is now terminated.
> You should also inform him that he is not to participate in the HBO
> conference call, nor is he to contact or speak with HBO or Endeavor
> concerning you, Andrew, or Rocketboom.
>
> Let me know if you would like us to prepare a letter to Matthew
> concerning this.
>
> In order to assure that Matthew is not on the call, you will need
> to contact him orally before the call. Even if we sent a letter
> right now, he might not actually read it before the HBO call
> begins. When you speak to him you can let him know that a letter
> will be coming.
>
> From: amazingamanda@... [mailto:amazingamanda@...] On
> Behalf Of Amanda Congdon
> Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 10:19 PM
> To: Johnson, Channing; Thompson, Bryan; andrew michael baron
> Cc: Jim Congdon
> Subject: Matthew Lesher, semi-urgent
>
> Hello everyone,
>
> I spoke with Matthew Lesher this evening. I asked him why Ari
> Emanuel would be under the impression he was Rocketboom's manger.
> He said he didn't know, that maybe Ari just "assumed" as much. He
> then said, in fact, that both he and Ari had no interest in the
> management of Rocketboom. He also said that because Ari (and thus
> Endeavor) were not involved in the book deal, that he felt Ari was
> being "aggressive" in wanting 10% equity in Rocketboom. I asked him
> why he then jumped on the bandwagon and asked for the same thing
> (on Friday Matthew brought up getting 10% too). He started back
> peddling and saying that we were just beginning the conversation,
> that nothing had been decided. I told him it sounded like he didn't
> have my best interests in mind, and he said no, he was just
> presenting all the options. If he truly had my best interest in
> mind, he would have told me he thought Ari was being aggressive on
> Friday, not now after I pressed him about it. Bottom line is that I
> don't trust him, so I believe the relationship will have to be
> terminated. I would love to hear what everyone else thinks.
>
> The big issue now is that I have a conference call today (Friday)
> scheduled with Caroline Strauss at HBO to workshop show ideas at
> 2:30 Pacific, and I don't want Matthew in on that. Ari is the only
> one that had anything to do with setting that up. Matthew also has
> included himself in an introductory conversation that was supposed
> to happen directly before the HBO meeting, with Andrew, Ari and
> me. Andrew just sent me an email suggesting perhaps the talk with
> Matthew occur very shortly before the HBO meeting is scheduled, so
> as not to give Matthew time to backlash before the meeting. Help
> please!!
>
> Thanks so much for all of your guidance,
>
> Amanda

**

On Dec 16, 2006, at 1:35 PM, Amanda Congdon wrote:

> This proves what? That I (not you) had an HBO meeting and that I fired
> my manager?

**

On Dec 16, 2006, at 6:36pm, andrew michael baron wrote:

> The best way to avoid factual statements is to ask questions.

**

From: videoblogging@yahoogroups.com [mailto:videoblogging@yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of Digital Buddha
Sent: Saturday, December 16, 2006 10:49 AM
To: videoblogging@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [videoblogging] Re: OOoh, Amanda's Up!

Andrew and Amada, I admire your work both when you were working together,
and now independently of one another. I am embarrassed for the two of you
with your public display. The court of public opinion is not the one to
discuss this. It may not seem like poor judgement today to either of you,
but you may be thinking much differently a year or two from now.

Please, please, please take it off line. You are now at the stage of
"virtual shouting". I am waiting for objects to start to fly. It will just
get uglier. I hope you and your respective legal counsel will be able to
settle this swiftly.

**

Sent By: Robert Scoble

I agree. This isn't impressing me in the least about either party.

I don't really care anymore. You both are polluting this group and it needs
to stop, and stop now.

Take it onto your blogs where, if we care, we can read your slings at each
other.

Robert

**

Sent By: Andrew Baron

I only ever made one demand in the history of Rocketboom; only once
did I ever put my foot down.

The last letter to Amanda before she quit:

Begin forwarded message:

Chuck's letter to Amanda:

Hey Amanda,

I just talked to Andrew and he's basically ready to take control of
Rocketboom.
I think no matter what, he's exercising his 51% and taking control of
the business.
He wants to know what you want to do.

Everyone wants you to be the face of Rocketboom.
Would you be happy producing shows in the next month while figuring
out a way to get you to LA and decide what happens next?

Given the state of things, right now Andrew wants you to be talent
and talk to the press,
and probably produce shows, but no more involvement beyond that.

I told Andrew you guys really need to make a clean break and not have
some inbetween state.
Nobody knows what that looks like, still, but this buys a month of
time for everyone to plan for
life beyond that.
............

Here is Amand'a response:
http://panther.video.blip.tv/uploadedFiles/Unboomed-
amanda_unboomed_s509.mov

Then, she went on to hang up the dirty laundry on her blog:
http://www.amandaunboomed.blogspot.com/

**

The full thread is available in the Yahoo group archives.

[Photo of Andrew: Hamletphase on flickr]