Sunday, June 10, 2007

"NASCAR On TNT Live" Welcomes Marc Fein

TNT's NEXTEL Cup schedule consists of the "summer races" that serve as the transition between the early season and the stretch run. This short season of racing on TNT seems strangely out-of-place on a network that has no real interest in NASCAR, and does not present any regular NASCAR TV programming during the year. Needless to say, that makes putting together a credible preview show for these six races even more of a challenge. Sunday morning, that certainly was the case.

TNT's press release of June 5th lays-out the NASCAR on TNT Live preview program. Marc Fein is listed as the host of this program, but he did not appear on-the-air until almost thirty minutes into this one hour show. Fein was never introduced by TNT anchor Bill Weber. It was just assumed that viewers would somehow know that Fein is a Turner "in-house" announcer who hosts pre-game shows for teams like the Atlanta Braves. It was a mistake by TNT not to take the time to introduce Fein to the NASCAR crowd, as well as new pit reporter Lindsay Czarniak. Fans should have been told who they were, and why there were here.

Kyle Petty wasted no time in showing us his ability to relate to the older retired NASCAR drivers who attracted many of us to the sport back in the 1960's and 70's. Petty spoke with David Pearson at his Carolina home and really introduced the current crop of NASCAR fans to the type of "southern gentleman" who wrestled the old style full-bodied cars around the classic tracks with no power steering or air conditioned helmets. Let's hope these interview features continue for the remaining five races.

With Weber gone from the set, Fein led a feisty discussion about topics in the sport ranging from Kurt Busch's penalty to Earnhardt Junior's potential suitors. This was a segment never seen before on a pre-race show. Dallenbach, Petty, and McReynolds all have strong opinions on issues in the sport, and this "round table" was a wonderful departure from the goofiness of Chris Myers and the Hollywood Hotel.

In the final segment, TNT at last used their pit road veterans Ralph Sheheen and Marty Snider to interview drivers. Both these men bring instant credibility and hopefully will be included much more in subsequent preview shows. Lindsay Czarniak is the unknown element in the reporter mix, and she debuted with mixed results.

Marc Fein was a welcome relief from the dour disposition of Bill Weber, and Fein's energy on this preview show was infectious. Perhaps, in the five remaining shows, Weber will be relegated to the Allstate Countdown to Green pre-race show and allow Fein to spread his wings with this live hour. It was clear that the other NASCAR on TNT personalities liked Fein, and meshed well with him in his first on-air NASCAR appearance. Where the NASCAR on TNT Live show is concerned, it just might be an interesting summer.

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Rob said...

For someone who may not be a full out NASCAR expert, ESPN/ABC ought to take notes on Fein. I'm impressed so far with his prerace hosting abilities and his communication with the TNT crew. Having Larry Mac there also helps, as he seems to be less FOX-ish and more of the old Larry Mac who used to lend a hand to the TBS/TNN broadcasts.

Anonymous said...

I have to go on the record as saying that I was greatly disappointed to see Larry McReynolds on TNT. I thought we got rid of him with the rest of the Fox-ish folk. I guess I'll be listening to MRN the rest of the season.

I was not impressed with Mr. Fein, the new kid on the block either but I guess that's management at TNT's problem. If they don't like NASCAR why broadcast NASCAR at all???

Anonymous said...

i thought TNT did an overall pretty good job of the broadcast. the prerace show was good. i liked the round table discussion, but the highlight had to be kyle petty's interview with david pearson. i am looking forward to the next few installments of this nascar history feature. great, great interview.

however, i was very upset when TNT cut to commercial with the end of the race imminent. kyle petty was exclaiming there hadn't been this much excitment in the middle of a race and that rain drops were starting to fall.....then TNT decided to cut to a commercial, brining us back after the seeing same stupid promos for their lame shows for the 40th time. however, the race had gone yellow, and we had to settle for a replay. anything could have happened in these last few minutes and TNT decided to plug their network instead of sticking with a race that was minutes from being called. ruined what had been a pretty good first run broadcast for this season.

Richard said...

I was impressed with TNT's broadcast. They took a very long rain delay before the race and made it somewhat entertaining with many, many driver interviews and Kyle Petty's piece with David Pearson. Richard Petty's interview was great, you have to love him comparing the current drivers' stature to being no higher than "a light switch on a wall".
Kyle has a bright broadcasting future ahead of him as demonstrated by his great line of questioning during interviews, regardless of the guest, and very informative insight into the technicalities of the cars and the action on the track (Rusty Wallace should be taking note).
All in all a job well done by TNT.

Anonymous said...

Marc Fein was irritating at best, kinda like a less masculine version of rosie odonell. Keep Kyle Petty, and get rid of the rest.

Anonymous said...

What telecast were you watching? Mark Fein is another example of television etgworks not getting it and foisting non-racing "personalities" into the telecasts. Erik Kuselia, Suzy Kolber, the two dults on SPEED's "Speed Report." His "enthusiasm" was so overcooked and fake, it ruined an otherwise good telecast.

Anonymous said...

Give Fein the Hook!

Towards the beginning of today's broadcast from Sonoma, there was an interview of Canadian driver Ron Fellows, an accomplished road racer often hired for one off NASCAR rides on road courses.
When the interview ended and switched back to Fein, he asked viewers if they may have noticed Ron's accent and if so proceeded to state that it is 'French Canadian due to Ron being from north of the border'.

Where did this guy go to school? And he still gets paid!

Suggesting all 'folks north of the border' speak with French Canadian accents is nothing more than stereotypical ignorance and something anyone who knows anything about Canada couldn't be further from the truth.

Get Fein out of there.

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