Saturday, September 29, 2007

"Tradin' Paint" On SPEED Suddenly Misfires

SPEED has been working hard on their talk show called Tradin' Paint since the NASCAR season began in February. This is the thirty minute show that features a regular host, a rotating media member, and one regular driver.

The premise of the show is that the media member and the driver talk back and forth in a debate about the issues of the day involving the sport. Michael Waltrip began the year as the driver, but SPEED made a change and inserted Kyle Petty into that slot in the spring of this year. It was a great move.

With Kyle on-board, things really took off in an entirely new direction. His views on many NASCAR issues were completely opposed to the members of the mainstream NASCAR media. Kyle has debated topics with the print, TV, and Internet reporters of NASCAR with lots of fireworks as the result. About three weeks ago, the show was just hitting its stride for the season when something very strange happened.

One week ago, instead of a media member, it was Ray Evernham alongside of Kyle and series host John Roberts. Other than hosting a weekly kids show for TV, Evernham has absolutely nothing to do with the media. This show, which had been working its way up to one of the top NASCAR shows on SPEED, suddenly turned tail and ran from the NASCAR media.

Evernham and Petty talked with Roberts about all kinds of issues. They talked as owners, they talked as drivers, they even tried to talk as fans. The one thing they could not make themselves into, as hard as they tried, was journalists.

This week, it was certainly time for the network to rebound from this problem, and bring in a hardcore reporter at this critical time of the year to deal with the big news issues. SPEED selected veteran reporter...Richard Childress. Believe it or not, good old RC was in the media chair and just grinning and talking about stuff. RC has been mistaken for many things in his days in the sport, but a reporter? Never.

Suddenly, it did not matter what Kyle Petty said. Suddenly, it did not what topic John Roberts tossed out for discussion. Tradin' Paint had become RaceDay. It had become Trackside. It had become NASCAR Live. With the one element that made this show unique missing, it was just another collection of NASCAR talking heads.

Petty had been escalating in his clashes with the media guests, and it was sometimes tough for him to keep his temper in check. That is exactly what made the show interesting at last. Petty talking with Jenna Fryer of the AP, Nate Ryan from USA Today, or Bob Pockrass of Scene Daily resulted in actual debating of real NASCAR issues on SPEED. Petty and Pockrass were outstanding.

Now, SPEED has suddenly "killed off" the position on the panel that might dare object to something that Petty might say. They have eliminated the panelist who might "step away" from towing the NASCAR line and have some new ideas or opinions.

Changing the reporter position to an owner position on this series was one of the worst television decisions of this NASCAR season. Even if the network decides to change it back, the damage is already done. With less than ten races in the NEXTEL Cup season and in the middle of The Chase, SPEED has shot itself right in the foot on national TV. The burning question is why?

There were no fireworks on these last two shows. There was no debate. There was only Kyle being very loud and spreading his wings because there was no one there to disagree. While Kyle is a veteran of the sport, he is on this show because of his perspective, not his wisdom.

He may have an opinion, but that does not make it an absolute truth. Anything he says is up for debate, and suddenly he does not like that very much. Apparently, its much more comfortable now to turn and see another team owner in the next chair.

Tradin' Paint is gone from my DVR list. Among the many hours of drivers and owners talking to John Roberts on the SPEED Stage, Tradin' Paint used to be special. Now, it blends right in with the RaceDay hi-jinks of Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace, the Trackside fun with Larry Mac and Jeff Hammond, and the Bob Dillner driver interviews on Victory Lane.

One can only wonder what the NASCAR media thinks of SPEED fleeing any type of journalistic integrity or an actual difference of opinion on NASCAR issues being shown on TV.

Whether this change is a result of a NASCAR phone call or just Kyle Petty throwing his new found TV weight around, it speaks volumes about the real value of freedom of speech and open discussion of real NASCAR issues on SPEED. What a shame for the fans.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below, or email if you wish not to be published.


Anonymous said...

The original format reminded me of "Pit Bulls" with driver input. I still say NASCAR pulled Pit Bulls because of continual hacking on NASCAR be people like David Poole. Mr. Poole will tell you different, but if he watched himself beating on the sport week after week -- perhaps he would have understood the opinion. Tradin Paint with Waltrip was a wind-bag approach to Michael spewing his nonsense, most of which contradicts itself the next day and next interview. I like Kyle, and think most of what he says holds merit. I do however note a contradiction from the Calififornia tradin Paint Show and the one at Dover. In California Kyle stated that if the track cant achieve a sell-out NASCAR needs to place the event elsewhere. In Dover Kyle watered-down that tune by suggesting California needs the opportunity to change its date to work with social demand. That in itself tells me that someone spoke to Kyle about his comments. To boil it down, NASCAR controls this sport. They would like to have you think people are allowed to speak out -- but in fact that isnt really the case. NASCAR doesnt care about people ripping on each other, but dont mention NASCAR or the ISC. Been there done that, am living it.

SophiaZ123 said...

Funny you can't speak out against NASCAR on SPEED but they allow their own promoter, ESPN to whiz on the sport with shoddy coverage?

To me, THAT is dissing the sport but I guess, ESPN gives NASCAR lots more money than SPEED so Pee SPN can do what they want.

But SPEED is just a part time gig in this and you better not bad mouth NASCAR on that station?

I do not understand the difference when you get down to it.

NASCAR CLAIMS they do things for fans but when somebody more than Jane or Joe Citizen criticizes them on TV, they are chastise or called to the principal's office and 'told to become a Stepford NASCAR Husband' and that's the name of that tune.

Too bad.

NASCAR keeps saying they do things for the fans. HA.

I shall not be tuning into Trading Paint if it's all about Fun and Games. Indeed, as JD said, we can get that on Sunday pre race shows.

I am really starting to wonder why I fell in love with this sport a few years ago. If ONLY I could just walk away.

NASCAR is such a monster and with creep son Brian France running it and his father gone, no hope of ANY SANITY being retained.

Though I understand the long history of the FRANCE FAMILY always doing things THEIR WAY.

But to kill debate about things most think are central to the heart of the sport is sad.


Sorry if I am rambling but I have HAD it with all the fines, and stupid rules and on top of it all, DREADFUL COVERAGE ON THE TV.

Anonymous said...

You know John, maybe the rotation just worked out that 2 owners were on back-to-back. Maybe there's no change... no agendas... no nothin' other than working different opinions into the show.

Daly Planet Editor said...

What rotation are you talking about? The show has one driver, one media member, and one host.

They used Humpy Wheeler earlier this season in the media chair, but he debated like a pro and was very interesting.

If Tradin' Paint wants to add another chair for an owner, they had better expand this show to one hour for next year.

What they did was cut out the media. That was not about rotation, it was about purpose.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if NASCAR has put the clamps on SPEED.

Look how quickly and obviously Chad Knaus and Bootie Barker dodged the question about Carl Edwards' penalty on NASCAR Performance last night...

It's a shame. Tradin' Paint is my most-anticipated show of the week other than INC. What is the point if they don't trade any paint?

Labbie said...

I would like to see David Poole and Robin Miller on this show. I know Robin is not a NASCAR journalist, but he does have an opinion about NASCAR, to say the least. LOL

If they are going to use the owners as panelists, they need to bring on some of the lesser known owners, Beth Ann Morgenthau (BAM Racing) and Bill Davis come to mind.

This would have been a great week to have Geoff Smith of Roush on, to discuss Carl's penalty from last week.

Anonymous said...

No, no, no...if John Daly said there is an agenda, then there is an agenda. I am sure that if next week's episode of Tradin' Paint includes a media member, it is due only to SPEED listening to the genius of all racing media, John Daly. And, since John won't have it on his DVR, he will miss a good show. We, as viewers, must not enjoy any programming unless John says it is acceptable to enjoy. The world is not always black and white, John. Sometimes there are shades of gray.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what the ratings difference is when there is Media vs No Media on the show?

Lisa Hogan said...

Just my opinion:
If a viewer liked “Pit Bulls”, then NASCAR took it off the air.
If a viewer disliked “Pit Bulls” then it went off because of low ratings.
Viewers are split on this one and will always be that way.

Get the scoop for us on Tradin‘ Paint. Is this a change, or just happenstance?

Anonymous said...

There is only one reason anything is on TV, Ratings!
They change readers and sets on the Nationl Evening News casts to try and get better ratings and their just reading news!!!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

In this one instance, ratings are not going to be an issue. But, your comments are right on. Why the change now is the big question?

This show was on a roll after several years of frustration in trying to define itself.

We will be updating this story on Monday with guest information for Talladega. It will be interesting to see what SPEED decides to do after these two last programs.

Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Its become obvious to me after reading your columns for a while.... that you and I see things VERY different. You watch with the sole purpose of finding something/one to blame the demise of a program on... I watch for entertainment.... I guess this is what keeps you employed....I hope that others don't take your opinion as serious as you take yourself.... Maybe no one from the media was available this that wouldn't work, you'd have no show to predict the end to.....

SallyB said...

Nascar programming is already too heavy on the 'entertainment' aspect, and extremely light on the actual debate aspect. This was the one show (after Mikey left) that wasn't afraid to debate the wisdom and motivations of some of the decisions Nascar has made recently. It's nice to hear from people like evernham and Childress, but this was not the right forum for that. Nascar could benefit from being more willing to listen to those who aren't necessarily beholden to them.

Anonymous said...


Can you post the by-laws of Tradin' Paint? I've never seen them listed before, and obviously that's how you know the rotation HAS to be host, Kyle and MEDIA MEMBER!!!

darbar said...

Can you all freakin' believe this? ABC is leaving the Kansas race so they can air news. Here we go again, with ABC showing that Nascar is second class to ABC/ESPN. What about Nascar fans who don't have cable or who's cable network don't carry ESPN2?


Daly Planet Editor said...

What rotation are you talking about? I don't understand the point you are trying to make.

BA said...

I was very disappointed in the last show. The journalist/writer combined with Kyle really made the show exciting.
I don't want to hear the company line reiterated over and over again. I want opinions and debates.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR is hellbent on making all of their t.v. shows all happy and friendly for the unitiated viewers. They are so desperate for new fans, sponsors, additional media coverage and money, that they are essentially putting the same repair tape used on the cars over Kyle Petty's mouth and anyone else who dares to speak one little bad word about them on t.v. or wishes to have a lively debate with someone.

I will probably continue to watch Tradin' Paint for the remainder of the season because I am a fan of the Petty racing family. As for the other NASCAR shows, I haven't watched any of them in weeks and don't plan to start watching them again anytime soon. Until they put the edge back in to these shows, what's the point? If I want to watch fluffy shows, I'll watch soap operas.

It's a sad shame that NASCAR doesn't care about their longtime loyal fans anymore. Their bank accounts and pockets are more important, aren't they?

Chris in Austin, TX.

Richard in N.C. said...

Personally I would much rather hear what powers in the sport like Richard Childress have to say than what 90% of the media have to say. There is no question in my mind that RC is much more knowledgeable and honest in what he says than 90% of the media. Some of the media members who frequented PIT BULLS had decided anti-NASCAR agendas that they promoted on the show.

Vince said...

Hi guys,

Ever notice that most of the posters on here who disagree with us or John or have negative comments always post as "Anonymous". Wimps..........

Anyway, I'd like to see Tradin' Paint go to a different driver every week like they were doing with the media member of the panel. I like Kyle and respect him, but after all, it's just HIS opinion. I'd like to hear some other drivers opinions on the issues.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Burton is a cheat AND a liar. Pulls his fender out during a rain delay, caught on camera. Then complains that he didn't on his radio, when he is sent to the tail of the longest line.

John B said...

Maybe the media people don't want to be seen on TV with that no talent old man with the ponytail who thinks that because his Daddy is Rchard Petty and he owns the camp the world should bow down to him.

JHD said...


I think the rotation people are talking about refers to the rotation of media personnel in the third chair. One week it's Jenna Fryer, the next it's David Poole, the third it's someone else.

Anonymous said...

John you are a douche. It's all about ratings and no one wants to hear a prick that hasn't spent anytime behind the wheel.