Sunday, November 11, 2007

Randy Pemberton Makes "Tradin' Paint" A Blast

The Tradin' Paint series on SPEED has been a success story for the network this season. Suggestions are flying that this dynamic show may return as a full one hour program in 2008.

The episode of Tradin' Paint at Phoenix was critical to sending this program into the final weekend at Homestead on a high note. This show features John Roberts hosting, with Kyle Petty as the regular "driver" representative on the panel. Every week, SPEED selects a different "media guest" to sit-in with Roberts and Petty.

This weekend SPEED stepped-back and made a very good selection. TV veteran Randy Pemberton has been working hard to re-build his media career after a hiatus, and he was given an opportunity by SPEED to work on various programs this season. That led to Pemberton's big break of getting a chance to anchor a channel on DirecTV's Hot Pass coverage. The reviews of his work have been fantastic.

Now, as the season winds-down, Permberton's veteran perspective was just the right touch for this program. Over the season, Petty has been very upset with the media guests many times who have ranged from AP Reporter Jenna Fryer to the always controversial Mike Mulhern of the Winston-Salem Journal. One constant on the show has been the steam coming out of Petty's ears when dealing with "the media."

One of Petty's chief concerns is the truthfulness and the validation of items that are being reported. Over-and-over again, reporters were put on the spot by Petty about their stories. In turn, the reporters then wound-up baiting Petty on various hot-button issues until he simply got so angry that all discussion ceased.

This time, Petty got to stare across the SPEED Stage at someone who is his age, from a racing family, and speaks in the same clear and concise terms that he does. The combination worked. Pemberton kept the discussion lively by simply making his own points and putting forward his own views. The debate was good because both Permberton and Petty were making their views clear without animosity.

Several topics were covered at lightning speed, and they ranged from the Championship race to new tires to the good old COT. It was very clear that these three men were a compliment to each other, including John Roberts who finally got to relax and listen, instead of refereeing a brawl.

After the failure of Pit Bulls to find a center for impartial debate, this season of Tradin' Paint has laid the groundwork for another attempt at a larger discussion.

John Roberts and Kyle Petty really clicked right out of the box this season, after SPEED replaced Michael Waltrip on the series. The addition of Pemberton brings another experienced NASCAR TV veteran who has views to state without an axe to grind.

Simply by keeping those three, and adding a rotating "non-TV" media member to the panel, it would be very easy to fill forty minutes with good NASCAR conversation and opinions. In many ways, it was the perceived Petty vs. the media situation that threw several of the shows off-track this season. Simply by adding Pemberton, and keeping the media member, it would allow more than just two voices to offer opinions.

The bonus for SPEED would be the ability to replay this hour on Monday night after Inside NEXTEL Cup , should that struggling program series return. It would allow SPEED to manufacture, at little cost, a quality hour that would finally give NASCAR fans the type of opininated discussion sorely lacking on TV this year.

Let's hope that SPEED puts together a dynamic Tradin' Paint episode for Homestead, and sends this TV series into the off-season with a good plan for an expanding future.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. To add your opinion, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the instructions. Thanks again for taking the time to stop-by and leave your comment.


Anonymous said...

I agree 100% !! Randy's comments were what a lot of people want to say but are afraid to. NASCAR definetly needs some type of fix for the future and Randy's ideas and suggestions are valid !!

Robert said...

I think Pemberton was great also but I missed Kyle setting a media member straight. I get great joy out of him telling them how it really is.
BTW - Inside Nextel Cup will never be any good until they get rid of Michael Waltip. He tries to run the whole show and he does a poor job.

Tripp said...

Balancing the points of view is a difficult task.

This week's "Tradin' Paint" was like a love fest compared to some of the episodes involving the print media. Kyle's frustration with Jenna and her cohorts is so tangible that one can almost taste it. It come from the sometimes ridiculous points of view proffered by the print media. Offered up as the absolute truth from people who do not and have not lived inside the sport. It's like someone from another planet telling you that the sky is not blue. You know they're wrong, but there is not shifting their opinion.

The solution to the periodic implosions on the show involving print journalists could well be Randy Pemberton. Aside from his background, his thoughtful enthusiasm and free thinking would bring a third leg of quality opinions for the show to stand on. In a verbal tug of war between Kyle and a combative guest, Randy could assess the comments made and take sides with one or the other, or come up with his own.

There is really no way that "Tradin' Paint" could grow to an hour with only two guests. Adding Randy, or someone of his caliber, would broaden the pool of views discussed and could spark some interesting debates that would be fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

I love Tradin' Paint and have watched it almost weekly this season. Pemberton was a good fit and yes they should keep him on along with Kyle.
I like it when someone pulls Kyle's chain, but he does get excited.
Jenna Fryer should pay more attention to what she writes if she can't back it up. Whenever I read something of hers, I often come away with the thought,"where does she come up with this stuff?" but to her credit, she's not the only one.
I feel the media in general should quit asking the same old questions(eg. "can you win from the back"--what would the media do/say if the driver answered "NO, I don't know why we're even going out today!")and find some human interest stories. There are hundreds of crewmen and media relations people and hospitality people and track workers. They don't have to talk "ON" camara to be in a story.
Often, the NASCAR media starts down the path, but they don't make their point.
Hopefully, I've made mine.

Anonymous said...

Contrarian view, I suppose - I don't find Kyle Petty to be a very good asset to this show. He was excellent on TNT race coverage, but here his knowledge is overshadowed by his behavior.

If someone says something that he doesn't like he'll start yammering and say 'I don't care' a bunch of times. His POV is then lost in the translation. I don't see why Kyle Petty has to be given special treatment because he doesn't like the media. It's not like Kyle ever says anything critical of NASCAR and nor did Michael Waltrip. Yet Michael seemed to argue good naturedly with the media person, while Kyle is hostile and appears to be in a bad mood.

I see your reasoning in suggesting Pemberton to calm Kyle down, but I think it's sad SPEED would have to coddle a show cohost by adding someone to calm him down - just because the new guy has a similar background to him. Especially when the show cohost isn't the best at that job anyway.

If it expands to an hour, I'd rather they rotate the driver, rotate Pemberton/Dilner (Dilner is very good on this show), and rotate a print media member.

Anonymous said...

There are hundreds of crewmen and media relations people and hospitality people and track workers. They don't have to talk "ON" camara to be in a story.

Actually, they do. It's TV.

Anonymous said...

Kyle has been acting like a child on this show. He overrides anyone who deigns to disagree with him by yelling at them.

I hope it is essentially an act.

If not, note to Kyle: someone who's fighting to stay in the top-35 doesn't necessarily have ALL the answers about racing.

Newracefan said...

Randy has been on Tradin Paint before and it worked just as well. I kind of like the idea of having him there all the time but I'm not sure if Kyle would stop the agressive arguing even with Randy there. As much as I like Kyle I think this is the wrong venue for him, he can get down right nasty at times and that's not what I want to watch. There needs to be a balance of Kyle's and Michael's personalities unfortunately I'm not sure who that would be.

Lisa Hogan said...

I like John Roberts and Kyle Petty on this program. I think that Randy does a good job when he is on.

I will wait and see what the show is like next season and then decide if it is something I want to watch.

Anonymous said...

I like to watch this show but when they have people on there that agree with everything Petty says it get boring, it's called Trading Paint for a reason.