Behind Rocketboom's breakup fireworks

Amanda Congdon, the former face of the video blog site, shares her thoughts and views on the "he said, she said" drama.

The news broke last week that Amanda Congdon, the face of the popular New York-based video blog Rocketboom, would no longer be the face.

What was not clear were the circumstances behind . Rocketboom's majority owner, Andrew Baron, has said that Congdon quit because she wanted to move to Los Angeles and that he wasn't able to meet her demands to move the video blog's production facilities there. Among other places, Baron posted his version of things directly on Rocketboom.

For her part, Congdon--who in many ways had become not just the face of Rocketboom, but the face of video blogging as a medium--insisted that she had not quit and that, in fact, she had been fired. She admitted she wanted to move to L.A., but maintained that she wanted to do so within the confines of what would work for Rocketboom. She posted her version of events on her blog and included a video in which she told her side of the story from in front of an upside-down world map, a reference to the map that had always appeared behind her in Rocketboom episodes.

I didn't leave Rocketboom. I was pushed out and I am determined to have my story heard.

It quickly became clear that the legions of Rocketboom fans would probably never know the exact truth of this "he said, she said" drama. But one thing was clear: People cared, in spite of the unseemly public back and forth. Stories appeared in national media and, as one would expect, the blogosphere went crazy with speculation and commentary.

Now, as Rocketboom struggles to get back on its feet and rumors swirl about Congdon's future--including fodder on Valleywag that she may join the popular videoblog 88Slide--CNET got an opportunity to ask the former face--and more--of Rocketboom what's really going on.

Q: Why don't you start off by telling me about your crazy day?
Congdon: I've been mostly trying to focus on having my side of the story heard and communicating with the press. I just got back from talking to MSNBC.

So talking to the press suits your bigger picture and your personal goals, or are you just trying to deal with what's going on right now with your having left Rocketboom?
Congdon: Well, I didn't leave Rocketboom. I was pushed out and I am determined to have my story heard.

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Do you think that Baron expected the media frenzy surrounding your departure?
Congdon: I don't think so. I think he probably hoped I would just continue with Rocketboom just being the face. But he knows me well enough to know that I couldn't do that. So when he gave me the ultimatum, it became clear that I was no longer welcome.

What was the ultimatum?
Congdon: The ultimatum was that I could continue to be the face of Rocketboom and talk to the press but nothing beyond that. No involvement in any other aspects of the business or anything else. Perhaps in the future, I could produce shows, but not for the time being, and it was definitely not a promise.

But you would still be able to keep your 49 percent ownership of Rocketboom?
Congdon: He wanted to reduce my share of the ownership, and he did not want me to manage the business. But our contract stated that I was entitled to be part of managing the business.

Did he tell you why he wanted to change things?
Congdon: I'm still not entirely sure. I think a lot of it may have had to do with Andrew's insecurities about me moving out to Hollywood and what would happen then. I was very forthright with him that I was going to be working on the Jet Set Show (a Rocketboom production) and continue to do Rocketboom and try to make business contacts for us out there. He basically wanted all of us to stay in New York City and for me to work a 10-to-6 job and have all of my projects that I ever do in my life be under his control.

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