Is PodTech firing its most important employee?

Updates below. There's a rumor going 'round that attention slut Robert Scoble* is booted from PodTech. (Background: I have a long-standing death wish for PodTech.net, the video network that covers business and tech in Silicon Valley. Why? Because the content's dismal and perpetuates the worst parts of Valley culture, but also because I wouldn't trust the management to housesit a cardboard box.) Outsiders say Scoble has lusted for attention ever since he left his role as Microsoft's public blogger (sort of an unofficial ombudsman). He quickly took over the personality of PodTech, seemingly running the entire company, or at least taking the blame for PodTech's screw-ups that should have fallen to president John Furrier. Why would Furrier fire such a loyal employee?

There could be a rational reason: Furrier could be worried that Scoble's halo stopped glowing; he could need a fresh scapegoat. Or the investors could have demanded Scoble's exit for any number of reasons. But it's just as likely that Furrier — known for saying some things under the influence which he later retracts — found an irrational reason, or that the PodTech house of cards has finally been flicked over by the mischievous finger of destiny.

The rumor comes from documentarist Chuck Olsen, who wrote in a Twitter message** reading, "Just got off the phone with Furrier — it's a shitbag salad over there... Scoble's out."

Scoble responded with, "Andrew Baron and Dave Slusher are full of shit. I am not leaving PodTech," referring to the creator of the Rocketboom news show and another podcasting colleague. (He then asked why no one calls him about these rumors, forgetting that Furrier's the one to call — and Furrier has a history of lying to the public.)

What happens if Scoble gets canned? Probably nothing good for PodTech; the few good relationships the company built seem to be through him. For all his faults, Scoble is at heart a good man who's done his best for his company. Without him covering and making nice with the videobloggers and interviewees, Furrier will be exposed. And as I said, I wouldn't trust the Furrier brand with a lemonade stand.

*Not that I frown on attention sluts per se.
**Useful rumor starters, those Twitter messages.
Photo: Scott Beale, Laughing Squid

Update: A commenter says the Twitter message was a joke. Weirdly enough, the story elicited an e-mail from a PodTech source who says Furrier's "fired" Scoble at least five times, only to take it back later. No wonder I can't keep track of Scoble's employment — even his boss can't.