Wednesday, October 17, 2007
News About Rusty Wallace and ESPN
Over at the AOL Fanhouse they are reporting that Rusty Wallace will not be returning to the ESPN/ABC NASCAR package in 2008. The details are sketchy, and I am going to post this page to document the progression of this story over the next several hours.
Wallace has been struggling on the air, and his Charlotte comments about Jeff Gordon really rubbed some ABC executives the wrong way. On the Busch side, Rusty has been stepping away from running his son Steven's team to do the telecasts, and often expressed frustration with some of the incidents and decisions made in his absence.
So, here we go. This will be the Rusty Wallace news thread:
1:15PM Eastern - AOL Fanhouse goes with the "Rusty fired" story. No details on when, how, or why. Just a brief blog report of a "source" telling the Fanhouse Rusty is done.
1:39PM Eastern - Second confirmation Rusty will finish the season and then step aside. No one named as his replacement. (Email from TV source)
2:30PM Eastern - Waiting for any official comment from ESPN. Last heard by email Rusty finishes the season and then moves in a new direction. Two emails do not make an official confirmation, so we are still waiting for something from ESPN.
2:51PM Eastern - I just want to add that Rusty has always been professional in our TV contacts, and he has a great sense of humor. No one here "wants" him to stay or go, this site offers opinions, and then lets fans offer theirs. We are merely following a story that was reported earlier on AOL.
4:00PM Eastern - No answer from the ESPN Media Relations group and the NASCAR contacts we have been using all season.
5:00PM Eastern - "Rusty Wallace is our guy. We have a long-term contract with him. He's the voice of NASCAR on ESPN." This from Norby Williamson, ESPN VP of Studio and Remote Production. As Jayski would say....DENIED.
Thus ends another exciting afternoon of chasing Internet "Silly Season" rumors. I have a feeling we will be visiting this issue again soon.
As we update this page, please feel free to add your comments. To post your reaction, please click on the COMMENTS button below, and then follow the instructions for posting. Thanks again, this should be an interesting story for The Daly Planet.