Monday, August 6, 2007

Monday Mailbox

The Daly Planet gets lots of mail. Here are some answers to questions asked many times by readers:

Q - Why don't you publish the email addresses for TV networks?
A - In today's world, each NASCAR TV partner along with individual TV production companies has a stand-alone website. also has this information.

Q - Why don't you name the production people you discuss like Producers and Directors?
A - This forum is for discussion of their work, and that is simply not a reason to make things personal. TV is subjective, and opinions are just opinions, including mine.

Q - What is your beef with ESPN?
A - No one was more surprised than me this season when ESPN rolled out NASCAR Countdown, NASCAR Now, and their Busch Series coverage. Each of these three series, and now with NEXTEL Cup added-in, are stand-alone TV projects. Who knew that with all the experience of ESPN, we would be dealing with such basic issues as "NASCAR knowledge" and "TV studio hosting?" Certainly not me. What we would like to see and have not...are these issues addressed.

Q - Why do you seem to like SPEED Channel?
A - You obviously have not read my columns on Inside NEXTEL Cup or several of the more "interesting" efforts by that network this season. This small network has a multi-year head-start on ESPN. We have taken them to task this year for everything from Michael Waltrip on Tradin' Paint to Jimmy Spencer ranting about Kelly Elledge. Right now, however, they seem to be on a roll in their NASCAR coverage. (Please note we do not deal with The SPEED Report or Wind Tunnel.)

Q - Why are you so negative all the time?
A - Once again...who knew? This season was supposed to be about a celebration of NASCAR and its new TV package. Instead, we have networks refusing to show cars crossing the finish line, arrogant announcers who feud on-the-air, and studio talent being assigned to NASCAR as if it is Arena Football or another "minor sport." Like I said before...who knew?

Q - Is there anything good about NASCAR TV this season?
A - Absolutely. The best weekly post-produced show is Survival of the Fastest . The best live racing series is the Craftsman Trucks. The best show live from the track is Trackside with Steve Byrnes. The best "specials" were the Ultimate NASCAR series. The best play-by-play is Mike Joy. The best analyst is Larry McReynolds. The best pit reporter is Allen Bestwick. How's that?

Q - Do you get paid by anyone to do this?
A - No. I started this project after being encouraged by my family and friends. Instead of returning to TV fulltime, I decided to follow a different path and use my network management, TV production, and on-air operations background to talk about the "new" NASCAR TV package this season, as it will only come along once. I thought it was an opportunity not to be missed, and that certainly has proven true in many ways.

Q - Do you get paid by Sirius Satellite Radio?
A - No, I met Dave Moody after we both published articles on the same topic, we hit it off, and he asked me to guest on Sirius Speedway every couple of weeks so he could "talk some TV."

Q - Where is your bio on the website?
A - Unfortunately, I was naive when I started and published my bio information not knowing the reality of the Internet. My former employers got harassing phone calls and emails, I had people actually trying to locate my house, and I even got several direct personal threats. Needless to say, I pulled back my information. If anyone would like to talk about my background, simply email me and I will be happy to correspond.

Q - Why are people talking badly about you on the Internet?
A - One of the realities of the Internet is anyone with a keyboard becomes God for a little bit. Since I drive very heavy user traffic, anyone who uses my site name in their posts get listed on the same search engines that carry my site. That way, simply by "flaming" me on some obtuse point, they get listed that day on big engines like Google and Yahoo.

Q - Will you return next season?
A - That is a decision that will be made in the next couple of weeks. We will also take a look at how to deal with the off-season, and the TV stories that occur during those months.

Thanks again for emailing questions, I hope that I have done a good job in answering the issues that pop-up as we move forward in the first year of this media project.


Anonymous said...

Q - Why don't you name the production people you discuss like Producers and Directors?
A - This forum is for discussion of their work, and that is simply not a reason to make things personal. TV is subjective, and opinions are just opinions, including mine.

It seems there is no problem trashing the ESPN hosts by name..why not Producers and Directors? By only naming some, you really make it look personal.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I respectfully disagree. No one has "trashed" anyone on this site. Opinions are just that, opinions.

There is a big difference between someone who has chosen to be a fulltime on-camera host, whether that be in studio, on location, or in the announce booth and those behind-the-scenes.

Those people have chosen to remain off-camera for a reason. Since the vast majority of the readers on this site do not know the Producers, Directors, and other people involved, what would it serve to provide that information?

ESPN struggled earlier this season with several NASCAR shows, and has now decided on Suzy Kolber on Countdown, Erik Kuselias on NASCAR Now, and Dr. Jerry Punch as PXP in the booth. That is their line-up, and that is what we will continue to discuss.

Thanks again for your comment.

Anonymous said...

My feeling was that alot of your opinions, like split screens with no interaction, phone interviews and not getting correct guests or having reporters not on location..had much more to do with the producing and directing than the hosts.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great comment. In fact, the individual show Producer works with a Coordinating Producer, an Assignment Editor, and several Associate Producers to tie everything together. In addition, there are several management types who host "show meetings" that plan the rundown and format of each show.

It would be tough to get into names, because of the contstantly changing faces, but I will certainly take your point and be more specific about which positions on the race and studio programs are responsible for the issues we see and discuss. Excellent idea.

Anonymous said...

Any chance you're in discussion with Sirius Satellite to host a radio version of your column? A couple of hours on the weekend would be great.

Anonymous said...

John: I for one read your blog avidly and literally cannot wait until the next day for your post. You have a totally unbiased stance on this entire ESPN thing: you gave it more than enough chances for them to turn it around and make it a weekly destination before the race weekend but enough is enough and they have hoisted themselves by their own petard. Your opinions are just that -- opinions and your creativity and objective opinions are wonderful. You do not paint issues as NASCAR would like (which a great number of other bloggers and writers do) you to do and for that I have great respect for you! Keep it going PLEASE - could you also let me know how long is the ESPN contract with NASCAR? I'd like to hope that it concludes with the end of the 2007 season. As a PERSONAL OPINION, ESPN MUST STOP THE GOOD AIR v. BAD AIR - it is absolutely the silliest thing I've ever seen in my life and such a bloody waste of the viewer's time - we have little time to actually SEE the race since it is so littered by commercial fare. Thanks John!

Scott said...

Keep up the great work. Please don't go anywhere, or seel your site to a bigger company. I think your perspective is dead on and the only people who don't like what you write are the folks at espn who do actually read you work and respond anonymously. So great job and keep up the articles and professional opinions.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work. Don't let the negatives get you down. Great column and forum.

I also agree that a 1-2 hour block on Sirius to discuss TV would be beneficial to all.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm sorry to say I wasn't aware that your column might be a one shot deal (this season only). Ever since I came to this site, by way of a Jayski link, I return again and again. Please keep it up, I truly think the fans need you.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for all your kind words, there will be some news on what next season will bring shortly.