Saturday, January 19, 2008

New York Times Blames Junior For TV Ratings

Over the years, I have written a number of letters to The New York Times. They have all been in reference to the same subject. That would be NASCAR.

The only professional sport that ends its season with a big New York City celebration is also the number one failure for the New York Times Sports Section. That would be NASCAR.

Let's face facts, the New York Times treats NASCAR like Superman treats Kryptonite. They admit it exists, but avoid it at all costs. Despite the fact that the NYT uses credible NASCAR reporters, the profile of NASCAR at the NYT does not fit the popularity of the sport in the nation. It has been this way for decades.

Over the years, my letters have been met with the stony silence of the Manhattan skyline. Once, an email was actually answered, and then published on the NYT website. The sports editor who responded told me in glowing terms of the expanding presence of motor sports at the Times and their assigning of reporters to "cover NASCAR."

One quick check of the website reveals something altogether different. In the Sports Section, there isn't even a category for NASCAR or motor racing. NASCAR is banished to the "other sports" clearance bin.

This weekend, reporter Viv Bernstein writes an "advancer" piece about Dale Earnhardt Junior. It is listed with stories on women's downhill skiing, Don King promoting a boxing match, and harness racing at the Meadowlands. On the same page, there is a guy in a bat suit that thinks he can fly. That one even has video.

Ms. Bernstein's story, which can be read by clicking here(free sign-up), tries to blame Junior's failure to have a good season as a key reason for the declining TV ratings. Basically, she uses the easy way out by saying that "as Junior goes, so goes the sport." Perhaps, other drivers with names like Stewart, Gordon, Busch and Johnson might have something to say about that point.

Everyone knows that if a popular athlete is in the playoffs, things are a bit more exciting. The issue Ms. Bernstein and the entire NYT sport staff has never grasped is the popularity of NASCAR nationwide.

Had Ms. Bernstein chosen to address the ratings issue head-on, she had a golden opportunity to ask the NASCAR TV partners what they would be doing in 2008, and who would be doing it.

Instead of getting a TV ratings opinion from Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage, she could have been asking ESPN President George Bodenheimer or Fox's David Hill if they thought Junior was the problem.

Like many newspapers, the NYT is transitioning to a website format with blogs attached. Needless to say, just like there is no Sports Section category for NASCAR, there are also no staff or reader blogs on NASCAR or racing.

Bernstein's last NASCAR story was November 19th, reporting on the NEXTEL Cup Championship. That says a lot about the commitment of the NYT to continue to cover NASCAR during the off-season. This is similar to the fan complaints about ESPN.

Unlike other professional sports, where the coverage shifts to human interest stories and tries to catch-up with the athletes and teams that struggled during the year, many big media outlets simply surrender to college and pro football the second the winning car crosses the line in Homestead.

TV ratings are a sum of many parts. Aside from the quality of the competition, and the consistency of the TV coverage, there is one other key ingredient.

That is the acknowledgement in the national press that this sport is important, exciting and popular. The current lack of New York City media coverage is exactly what Mr. France was trying to cure when he put the biggest NASCAR banquet right in the middle of Manhattan.

While Junior has to deal with things beyond his control, like racing luck and gas mileage, Ms. Bernstein and her partners at the NYT have no such problems. They can simply commit right now to making NASCAR a full time sports partner for 2008.

The inclusion of NASCAR text and video reports from February through November may lead to an entirely new group of readers seeking out the for the first time. Unlike the current NYT opinion of NASCAR fans, they are actually some of the most tech savvy when it comes to keeping up to date on the sport.

With three national touring series racing coast-to-coast and a multi-billion dollar TV contract on four different networks, NASCAR deserves much better from the New York Times than being plunked between Don King and the guy in a bat suit.

There are now four weeks to the 50th running of the Daytona 500. No timeline has yet been released for the bat suit jump.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the simple instructions. There is nothing to join and we do not want your email address. We just want your opinion on this New York Times story.


SallyB said...

It appears that Ms. Bernstein bought Brian France's excuse for bad ratings and attendance hook, line, and sinker. While citing these stats as coinciding with Junior's 'struggles', it's interesting to me that no one seems to also cite other things that might have had an effect since 2004. Things like the loss of the Southern 500 at Darlington, the Top 35 Rule, the Lucky Dog, and last (but certainly not least) the 'Chase'. I guess that Nascar is no longer 'bigger than any one driver', as Big Bill used to say. But, I suppose it's a lot easier to cite Nascar than do any real reporting. For the city that 'hosts' the Nascar banquet every year, and one of the high profile papers to present this a news is pretty sad.

lohur said...

First of all, thank you Mr. Daly for providing context to your recent posts by having links to the original stories.

As for Ms. Bernstein's article, it appears disjointed in tone. The headline mentions Dale Jr.'s success (or lack thereof) as being a harbinger for ratings decline. Yet the lede and second portion is more about Dale Jr.'s prospects for this season. If I were her editor, I would've asked for revisions or killed it entirely.

After reading Ms. Bernstein, it appears your concerns about shallow reporting are valid Mr. Daly. When Ms. Bernstein writes "NASCAR officials cannot make a connection between a drop in television ratings in recent years and Earnhardt's middling finishes. But the circumstances have coincided," she's effectively saying that everything you have read thus far -- and will continue to read in this article -- is conjecture; essentially filler. She's effectivley nullifying everything Mr. Gossage has to say in the previous two paragraphs (without many substantial facts).

Juxtaposing the NYT article with a recent Marty Smith piece from (where there's no mention of ratings) readers can get the sense of who truly knows NASCAR (I'm not talking about ESPN TV coverage), and who's pretending to cover NASCAR.

I loved your challenge to the NYT to fully commit to covering NASCAR. Thank you Mr. Daly. I'm sure we share a common cynicism with the NYT follow-through.

And one final thought. As your commenters and you have frequently noted Mr. Daly, NASCAR ratings won't improve (or stop their decline) until NASCAR's television partners 'fess up to past mistakes and fully commit themselves to covering the sport.

Keep up the great work!

24way2hot said...

How would y'all like to live in
Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers
belong in the Sports Section on the front page. They are the front page of the newspaper almost every day.
Try to get some NASCAR news around here any day of the year.
It's a sad situation. My father-
in-law in Knoxville, TN has to send me the news articles and beautiful colored pictures that we
don't see up here.
The NASCAR awards banquet needs to
pull out of New York, and I mean now. It's very long overdue. Let's give it to a city that appreciates the sport.
And by the way, 'the Chase' stinks. JG should have 6 trophys
for winning the title, not 4.
I love the drivers but hate the
governing body. The France family in a spoof on modernizing the sport is bringing it down to it's lowest levels ever.

New York Times Reader said...

"... Ms. Bernstein and her partners at the NYT have no such problems. They can simply commit right now to making NASCAR a full time sports partner for 2008."

Mr. Daly, good opinion on this particular article - and I agree Gossage (who is quoted by far too many NASCAR reporters these days) was not the right person to ask about this topic. But - you and others going to be waiting a *long* time if you think the NY Times is going to increase its NASCAR coverage.

Doesn't the fact that NASCAR is and has remained in "Other Sports" - there's not even a "Motorsports" section - for years provide a big clue to its intentions? If the change was going to be made, it would have been made a few years ago when the sport was booming. Now that NASCAR is either leveling off or dropping off (depending on whom you ask), there's really no reason for them to add coverage right now. If there was a track in NYC or the Meadowlands and they ignored a race there, now that would be a different story. But there isn't.

Based on the bylines I see, I don't think Viv Bernstein or Dave Caldwell cover NASCAR full time; they also cover other sports (and do it very well). In fact, the Times coverage of races decreased noticeably this year, replaced by Associated Press articles. I admit I was disappointed by that but not surprised.

I can tell you as a longtime Times reader (it's the first thing I read online each day, though I don't live anywhere near the city), when a major NASCAR story is placed on the main home page or top of the sports page, I watch during that day and the next to see if the story makes the 10 most emailed/most popular in Sports or 25 most emailed overall.

Very rarely does that happen - if it does, the NASCAR story usually only stays on the list for a few hours. Most Times readers *just don't care* about NASCAR -even if the story is placed in such a way they can't avoid it (with a photo) - so it makes sense that their resources are not aimed at NASCAR. I don't see that changing. As far as new readers, the Times is already an extremely popular site. Trying to attract NASCAR fans is likely not high on their to-do list.

I certainly enjoy the NASCAR coverage provided, but I don't read it for that and won't stop reading it if they don't cover NASCAR. I have other excellent sources for NASCAR coverage.

Side note: What you/NASCAR should worry about is if USA Today ever decreases its very prominent and very good coverage. If that happens, then the sport's media image as a national sport on the level of NFL/NBA/MLB is pretty much over.

Anonymous said...

New York metro area has Giants/Jets, Knicks/Nets, and above all Yankees/Mets. Also the Rangers and colleges all around the area. All those teams are of more interest to the average New Yorker than NASCAR. Plus there is no home guy to feature. The closest is Martin Truex Jr. I doubt hardly anybody looks to the New York Times for NASCAR stuff. The Daily News, which is more of a tabloid and aimed at the outer boroughs, does a little NASCAR stuff. Either someone at the Daily News has a NASCAR interest or the Daily News buyers, which are totally different than New York Times buyers, have indicated an interest in NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

It certainly sounds as if JR's agent has missed a golden opportunity here. According to the admission by both Mr. France and the "renowned NY Times", he should be receiving a large portion of the television revenue. He can just strike until an agreement has been reached. Get out the checkbook Mr. France and pay up for your stupid "admission", perhaps a sizeable percentage of stock ownership in ISC is also warranted. And by the way, JR., I will be expecting my usual 10% for my work.

Aven said...

I suspect the lack of NASCAR interest at the Times has to do with the management's exposure to cars. Since residents of the city frequently don't own cars, most of the management's exposure to cars is limited to the backseat of cabs or limos. It is obvious they live in a vacuum based on their coverage of many other subjects.

Anonymous said...

I have long been convinced that, despite their claims to be cosmopolitan and sophisticated, New Yorkers are the most provincial and insular people on the face of the earth. Without even thinking about it they simply believe that what happens outside their borders is beneath their notice.

I'm just as happy that the New York Slimes doesn't have much Nascar coverage because I'd just as soon not support that leftist-socialist, propaganda rag with my mouse clicks.

Nascar, where they still pray before every race and where they honor our country and our soldiers, is the antithesis of everything the New York Slimes stands for.

Anonymous said...

the NYT simply doesn't matter. Despite their feelings that they are a national paper, they are really just a New York Paper. Now of course they are "just" a paper for the largest city in the country but they are still just a NY paper. If you lean left enough to get their paper in another part of the country, odds are you aren't getting it for their sport section.

I live in the Philly area. I know this area doesn't care about Nascar so I don't expect the paper to care either. For the NYT's, it's as simple as that. If their readers actually read it, they'd write it. Hoping for them to write about it more is as fruitless as Nascar's annual attempt at being more mainstream by holding the banquet in NYC IMHO.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey All,

Thanks for the great comments. One important point to consider is the transition of companies like the NYT from a newspaper publishing to a website-based organization.

My plea to the NYT is to consider re-aligning their sports priorities based now on the national interests of fans, rather than the local interest in the NYC area. That change is in progress throughout the NYT organization.

As you may have seen from the website page, they have also made a commitment to add video and high-profile sports blogs to the "new look" site.

Delivering video reports regularly from the track and other locations about the sport, in exactly the same way they cover football and baseball, would certainly attract a new user group to this organization.

Thanks again, keep the comments coming.


Anonymous said...

Why would an article in The New York Times that was written by a woman who expresses herself in incomplete sentences be considered credible?
Who cares what Viv Bernstein thinks?
Who cares what The New York Times thinks?
Perhaps NASCAR and Brian France should rethink their aspirations.
Attaining the admiration of New Yorkers may not be such a worthy goal, afterall.

amy said...

Wow! I read four comments before I got to one that I knew would be there-the one invoking God, country, and vilifying lefties! I guess that is not too bad, actually.

If you want to know just how insular NYC is, here it is: I had a little girl in my 8th grade reading class from the city and truly, she didn't know that there was a STATE of NY. She thought NYC was all there was. I guess she thought NYC went all the way to the PA border! lol

I think we would all be surprised to know that there are quite a few places in this country that do not have NASCAR coverage. I lived a half hour from Pocono raceway and 20 minutes from the Nazareth Raceway, and can tell you that the coverage of both NASCAR races and the Busch racing at Nazareth started being covered adequately after 2000, but still really isn't that good.

NYC is indeed a world unto itself; it's a decent place to visit if all you wish to do is shop and eat. Otherwise, don't bother.

Anonymous said...

The banquet needs to be moved to a city that would appreciate it, such as Las Vegas.
New York City will never be NASCAR country, just as busses and cabs do not work in most other cities, different place.

12 race fan said...

Who cares what the NYT says about NASCAR anyway, all real fans know the only place to really keep up with the sport is JAYSKI's website anyway.

I think it's just one more reason to back Burton Smith and his idea of moving the year end show to Vegas. I do not agree with everything Burton smith does but I think this is one of his better idea's. Why keep a year end show in a city that resist having a race track and does not give the sport any press coverage?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Newracefan said...

The NYT and all papers moving to an online/blog type format need to decide if they want to expand their readership or just give their current readers a different venue. Right now it looks like the Times has chosen the latter. I for one will not be reading the NYT for my Nascar information or for anything actually. I agree this is just another reason to move the Championship celebrations; NY just doesn't care. IMO JR not doing well is the least of Nascar TV rating/ race attendance decline problems and even connecting the 2 is just ridiculous.

batchief said...

It still escapes me why Nascar continues to reward a disinterested city, meaning New York, with anything Nascar related. The experiment should be over, get the heck out of there as fast as possible and head to areas that show some, serious and not just token, interest in the sport. New York does not like Nascar.

Anonymous said...

John, you're way off base here. While the NYT may be digital and accessible to the entire nation, they're responsibility still, and will always lie with the citizens of NYC. It's they're responsibility to cover what the people of NYC care about. For sports that's Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Knicks, and then a small amount of Islanders, Nets, Devils. If they gave in to your request and based their coverage on national interests, they might as well be USA Today.

News 12 Long Island has a website as well, should they start catering to the cares of the nation rather than the people of Long Island?

elena said...

I have lived in California, Washington, and Illinios. None of the major papers in those places reported much of NASCAR. That's why the advent of all the related NASCAR web sites has been great for fans.

The best paper for NASCAR has been USA Today. My favorite is Monday's edition. The nice thing is that it is sold everywhere, and I think the price is the same. The NYT on the other hand is expensive, and if you are not in the east, you have to go to Barnes and Noble or newspaper outlets. The daily NYT in my area is $4.50. USA Today is 75 cents.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:26AM,

Those are some great questions, and here are some great answers.

The NYT is one of the key information resources in the US for both national and international readers.

The rapidly growing website is taking shape even as we speak. It is quite interesting to watch this historic organization re-define itself in Internet form.

The NYT newspaper is delivered nationwide on a daily basis. I get it at my home in South Florida. It attracts the eyes of those readers who want a bigger perspective without the "modular" approach of USA Today.

Ms. Bernstein is a veteran writer, and her bio is very impressive. She is not, however, someone who is working full time on NASCAR. While her stories last season served as a link between the NYT and the sport, this column is suggesting that 2008 would be a great time to step-up and decide if the new NYT will continue to be focused on the New York area teams, or truly create a national sports section using its fantastic resouces.

In a very ironic way, the NYT could wind-up being a good friend of NASCAR with its extensive distribution and its very high profile.


New York Times Reader said...

"My plea to the NYT is to consider re-aligning their sports priorities based now on the national interests of fans, rather than the local interest in the NYC area. That change is in progress throughout the NYT organization.

As you may have seen from the website page, they have also made a commitment to add video and high-profile sports blogs to the "new look" site.

Delivering video reports regularly from the track and other locations about the sport, in exactly the same way they cover football and baseball, would certainly attract a new user group to this organization."

I believe the Times already does provide national sports coverage. I see it almost every day.(And witness the excellent Play magazine, which comes out several times a year and is available on the site). In fact, there are regular complaints from readers that national coverage has overtaken coverage of local sports. (They have expanded their local news coverage tremendously in the past year, but not sports.)

But their national coverage of non NYC teams, as with NASCAR, usually relies on examining a particular angle of a sport/team/athlete, *not* daily news type coverage. You'll note that the two most popular sports stories this morning, for instance, are stories about a scout for the Packers helping to rebuild the team and an analysis of trends occuring in the NFL this season. That's the great thing about their coverage; they make you interested in some sport or event you don't care about. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to happen for NASCAR, not often. Video reports from the track probably won't help.

Mr. Daly, again, there is no real evidence of NASCAR interest from Times readers on the actual website (the list of top 10 and top 25 stories). I don't subscribe to the newspaper -online only - and I don't live near the city, so I would be considered one of their national readers.

In terms of NASCAR angles, Bernstein did a very interesting story about research studies examining hearing damage stemming from NASCAR races and race shops. One of the few stories that made the Times top 25 in my memory was a story about NASCAR drivers and their changing nutrition habits in the Dining section. The Times sports TV reporter reviewed Hot Pass coverage and the commercials for the Daytona 500. In other words: not race coverage.

Regarding blogs, the NBA doesn't have a Times blog covering it yet and I would imagine that would be a higher priority than NASCAR.

If Jayski didn't post Times stories, how many NASCAR fans would read the Times? Would NASCAR fans register en masse and start reading daily if they added video (which you can get from, and, I understand, from the soon-to be revamped and blogs?

As you can tell from some of the responses here, there are still people out there who believe it is a "lefty" newspaper. (???) I can't believe that. Most people read it because it's well-written and interesting, not because it's "lefty."

And as for "the Times doesn't matter, it's just a NYC paper", claim above - is already regularly one of the top 10-12 U.S. based most visited websites on the Internet, ranking not far behind Ebay, Amazon and Wikipedia. (In December, it was ranked #11 by; was ranked #35.) The site does matter and it is read.

Is it important to most NASCAR fans? Probably not. Is its coverage of NASCAR going to increase? Probably not. Is that a bad thing? Probably not.

Anonymous said...

Diane from San Jose said:

Why would anyone rely on the NYT for NASCAR coverage? Paper or web. Their readership is declining. They have been "caught" numerous times for not just inaccurate reporting, but blatantly false information. For the most part, it is an elitist paper. I agree the banquet should be moved, New York is a magnificent city, but it is not NASCAR country and most likely never will be.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Just so we are all square, home delivery of the NYT to the West Coast, including Washington state is $6.40 per week.

The price you quoted, $4.50 is for delivery of the Friday through Sunday editions.

In terms of the Internet presence, the site had thirteen million visitors in September of 2007 alone. It is one of the most visited websites on the plantet.

Rather than make this topic an "us vs. them" scenario, I am trying to encourage them to include this sport as a major presence as they continue to determine the future structure of the NYT Sports Section.


Anonymous said...

newracefan said...
IMO JR not doing well is the least of Nascar TV rating/ race attendance decline problems and even connecting the 2 is just ridiculous.

January 20, 2008 11:35 AM

Then the head honcho of NASCAR, Mr. Brian France, shouldn't have been the first one to being it up as a reason for declining ratings at the end of the season, eh?

elena said...


thanks for the correction

elena :>)

Anonymous said...

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."

NASCAR is not for everyone.

New York Times coverage of NASCAR racing is not going to make New Yorkers like or care about the sport if they do not wish to do so.

"If the prospects of making a sale are not good, go on to the next customer...."

NASCAR is a "NO SALE" in New York.

Viva Las Vegas !

Alex said...

Also keep in mind the audience of the New York Times. The majority of the people reading the paper (and online edition) are New Yorkers. Just as I wouldn't expect a market like Los Angeles put a big focus on NHL news, I can't realistically expect the New York Times to care about NASCAR. Personally I don't have a problem with that.

What I do have a problem with is when they DO report on the sport, sometimes have inaccuracies or don't know what general consensus is on certain issues.

Daly Planet Editor said...


One of the reasons I started this site was because of Rudy Martzke, who originated the USA Today coverage of the TV Sports scene.

I met Rudy many times at ESPN and on the road, and he was always very interested in what was going-on behind the scenes in TV.

Now that he has retired, USA Today has moved away from that focus and now has rotating columnists who speak to only one topic.

Since the TV portion of the NASCAR contract alone is multi-billions of dollars, I thought it might be a good idea to try and follow the TV side of the NASCAR business on a regular basis.

Like you, I am a big USA Today fan, and read it daily. I was also one of the people who encouraged them to expand their NASCAR coverage. My suggestion was a stand-alone section on Fridays that fans could use as a guide to TV and radio for the three days of weekend coverage.

Hopefully, as our newspapers become websites, they will embrace the opportunity to re-orient themselves to popular sports culture, and put NASCAR squarely on the national map.



Daly Planet Editor said...

NY Times Reader,

PLAY Magazine was one reason for this story. They have declined over-and-over again to feature NASCAR in any way.

Your point about covering national sports is valid, except for NASCAR. Remember, there are three national touring series with full live TV coverage in a season running from February through November.

There are hundreds of hours of live TV and thousands of hours of radio associated with this sport.

There is no downside to the NYT increasing NASCAR coverage. Sponsors and Internet advertisers enjoy participating in a site that attracts over ten million page views a month.

It will be fascinating to see how the NYT handles this special Daytona 500 over the next couple of weeks. If the goal is to increase exposure and ultimately drive TV ratings, this is a key step in that direction.

Thanks again,


Anonymous said...

---Also keep in mind the audience of the New York Times. The majority of the people reading the paper (and online edition) are New Yorkers.---

I have a hard time accepting the notion the majority of New York Times readers ONLINE are from New York.

If they're like me, they go to the site to read certain news articles they're interested in, often directed there by or, or by a link on a message board or emailed by a friend or co-worker. (And yes, Jayski.) The and are used the same.

I live in the Midwest and I read some of the stories there about a couple of times a week. I'm registered, but they've loosened their registration process considerably, so you can usually look at a few articles on the site before being prompted to log in. In the past, you had to be registered to read anything.

Rich said...

I don't think it's good for the NYT to report on NASCAR until they have someone who knows what they are talking about. Ms. Bernstein's article was awkward and disjointed. Seems to me the paper needed something quick to fill some space.Plus the whole topic about the ratings hingeing on JR's performance is ludicris and not worth the comments unless they would be in the form of some kind of rebutal. We have so many sources for Cup news. why care about the Times?

Vince said...

I could care less about what the NYT paper or web site reports about Nascar. It may be one of the most read news papers and their web site may have a zillion hits, but the average Nascar fan could care less about that. I'd guess most people who do read the NYT aren't Nascar fans and never will be. You could put all the Nascar coverage you wanted in that paper and it wouldn't matter. The audience that reads it are not and never will be Nascar fans.

And I agree with previous posters that New Yorkers are provincial. I've got friends from NYC and they think the whole world revolves around NYC and what happens there. About all they know about the rest of the country is what they see while driving down I95 to FL every year.

New York Times Reader said...

"There is no downside to the NYT increasing NASCAR coverage. Sponsors and Internet advertisers enjoy participating in a site that attracts over ten million page views a month."

Mr. Daly, thank *you* for the interesting column and viewpoints. However, I must ask you this: If the NASCAR articles in the Times online aren't getting the "hits/clicks" of articles dealing with other sports (and there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence to support that view, i.e. the most popular articles) - why would sponsors or advertisers want to participate there? Wouldn't they be better off putting ads on a site that does reach NASCAR fans?

Instead of sending drivers/NASCAR corporate to visit the Times offices for a roundtable visit, as I understand NASCAR has done in the past (to no noticeable effect), wouldn't it be better to send them to a news outlet that will provide detailed coverage?

And why would the Times allocate reporters to covering NASCAR full-time if the interest is not there?

I'm sorry but I would be very surprised to see increased coverage for the 50th Daytona 500 in the Times. There was quite a bit of coverage last year, but like other outlets, it mostly involved news/analysis of all the cheating scandals going on. Vescey did a nice column about Harvick after the 500, though.

I agree that a NASCAR feature in Play magazine would be nice; I don't recall seeing one. It would also be interesting to see if the story makes the "25 most emailed/popular list" of the Times, as most Play magazine major stories do.

Thanks again, have a good afternoon and season.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the awards banquet will finally leave NYC and go west. Take that week-long event to Vegas, by golly. Take it where it will be welcomed and appreciated.

One thing I look forward to after Homestead is the first weekend in December. That is when ten days of the world's best rodeo starts. Las Vegas has hosted the National Finals Rodeo for many years now and from what I can tell, Vegas does it right.

Daly Planet Editor said...

NY Times Reader,

I think you did a great job of reinforcing the issue. The "new look" Times is attracting online readers nationwide, and is mired in an internal struggle of establishing a new identity.

The earlier geographic boundaries that provided the excuses for not covering other mainstream sports like NASCAR are being broken down by the same people who read this blog. Internet users.

What you have heard in a lot of these comments is personal reactions to either the politics or the physical location of the Times as a company. Both of those issues no longer apply as the former NYC oriented group now finds itself with a hugely popular website almost dumped in its lap.

This is not a chicken and egg situation because the Times could easily elevate NASCAR to a higher level online with just one meeting. They have all the tools, and there are plenty of writers out there who would love to participate.

As many of the comments suggest, this issue has been frustrating NASCAR and its fans for decades. Now, it seems that technology has created an opportunity for this group to step-up and play.

You know, that would be a good name for a magazine.


darbar said...

Not only has the NYT abandonded Nascar coverage, but USA Today has also changed their focus. I subscribe to USA Today via the internet, and after the 2006 season, they announced that they would no longer provide separate section coverage for Nascar in their Sports Weekly edition. While they still provide decent coverage of Nascar, they are no longer covering the sport as much as they did in the past.

Is this all Jr's fault? That's totally stupid. How about the cheating scandals with penalties that have absolutely no impact? What about the boring COT? What about losing historic tracks and giving races to places where the population has zero interest? How does the huge cost to attend races impact the sport? What about all this whitewashing of the sport that has become nothing more than a corporate licking, politically correct smile-fest? And most importantly, what about the horrible TV coverage that has caused fans to abandon the sport in droves? The fall of Nascar has very little to do with the fortunes of one driver. But it has everything to do with how the powers-that-be in Nascar have changed the sport in order to appeal to the masses. Nascar has forgotten their roots all in the name of profit.

And BTW to 24way2hot, I never, ever thought I would see a Wisconsinite complain about Packer coverage. I've always said that WW 3 could start, but we in Wisconsin would never know it because of all the front page coverage of the Packers. We're lucky here in SE Wisconsin to get one small racing column a couple of times a month, even when they are racing at the Milwaukee Mile. It's all Packers all the time, and that's tough for a Steeler's fan in cheesehead country.

Truck Series Fan! said...

Poor Jr. for a newspaper like NYT to blame home for all of nascar's ratings woes. But it's the same here in Houston, the Chronicle barely mentions nascar in their sports section. Even when truck series driver & Houston, Texas native, David Starr, won a race, the Chronicle never printed one word - ONE WORD about it! I'm immune now I just shake my head.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
"As many of the comments suggest, this issue has been frustrating NASCAR and its fans for decades."

You're kidding, right JD? I read the comments and it appears most people couldn't care less if the New York Times covers NASCAR or if it doesn't. I know I don't. It's perfectly fine that you yourself may want increased reporting on their web site... but I hardly think NASCAR fans have been clamoring - for decades -for the New York Times to deem NASCAR as mainstream. Or been frustrated with lack of reporting. Nowadays there are too many other accessible web sites with NASCAR news to worry about the New York Times web site.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 3:55PM,

I understand your point. Earlier in my life, I lived in CT for ten years and was one of many racing fans in the area. Aside from going to the area short tracks during the season, the major sports source was the NYT.

Back then, it was a print newspaper that focused on the local teams for that reason. Since then, all hell has broken loose for them.

As earlier posters documented, they have been shaken by scandal, layoffs, and forced change to an online environment.

That forced change has resulted in a "new look" Sports Section that is now online and includes video content.

Certainly, the NYT is not currently a destination for hardcore fans to get info. What we were trying to address is that the site has literally millions of users every month that are not being exposed to the sport simply by editorial choice.

In terms of expanding the sport to new fans, the simple act of the NYT publishing regular NASCAR stories would be a tremendously postive step. Whether it will result in new viewers and better ratings, we shall see.



elena said...

It's a good thing for NASCAR to have some connections to NY. Now in the business world, I rather think that the business world probably reads The Wall Street Journal instead of the NYT. Many times the NYT seems like a tabloid.

Anyway, even though Datona is our FIRST race and not our Super Bowl, Fox has reported that they are just about sold out in commercials, some going as high as $500,000 for a 30 second spot.

Ten advertisers are introducing new commercials (like they do for SP), during the race. I'm not sure what they will be like, but during Super Bowl, thousands love the commercials and are not irritated by the interuption.

Though much has been made about the lower ratings, the business world takes a better look at what they are putting their money in than the fans.

If you just look at the ratings for Fox's part of the season,(the first 13 races), you'll see that the highest rating was 6.0 in 2005. Last year their rating was 5.9. So it really was very close to its highest. But just the numbers don't tell the whole story. During that time, there were 2 races that were cancelled and run on Mondays. They were run around mid day.

So what do tv watchers watch in the middle of the day? The View? The Price is Right? Anyway, I think most will agree that the ratings for a NASCAR race that was unscheduled, in the middle of the day, on a week day, would have lower ratings than those run on Sunday.

Those 2 bad ratings days were part of the 5.9 total. I don't think it's a stretch to think that if those 2 races had been run on Sunday, the 2007 ratings for Fox would probably have exceeded their high in 2005, which would have made last year the highest year ever.

The NYSE is taking a bit of a hit right now, so I don't think leaving town would be good for NASCAR. Having a presence in the NYT surely cannot hurt. I agree, the traditionsl NASCAR fan will not go there, but new fans might.

Anonymous said...

As a fan of Jrs and others, it is ludicrous to put this ratings dip on his shoulders.

If that is the case, NASCAR has bigger problems if the current fans are that fickle.

Yep, sounds like something France would say.

darbar, you are on the money...but I think that's the popular opinion except for myopic NASCAR. Poor Jr, the media scapegoat once again.

Virginia fan said...

With the recent drop in TV ratings and declining attendance, I don't think we can expect the NYT to increase coverage of NASCAR. I live between Bristol and Martinsville and subscribe to the closest daily papers for both of them. The coverage of NASCAR has dropped considerably in both of the papers in recent years and neither have any other professional sports near them.

I also watch the local TV newscasts nearest to both tracks (satellite and over the air) and they have cut back considerably on their NASCAR coverage. Local radio stations have also cut back on some of their NASCAR programing.

A few years ago, you could feel the excitement in the air in Bristol during race week but that is no longer the case. The locals have learned to stock up before the price gouging during race week and to avoid Bristol and I-81 traffic from Thursday through the weekend.

Anonymous said...

amy @ 10:33 said: Wow! I read four comments before I got to one that I knew would be there-the one invoking God, country, and vilifying lefties! I guess that is not too bad, actually.

This post is dead-on accurate and thus hilarious - point being it's just a matter of time in all matters NASCAR before some "fans" (few but very vocal) have a knee-jerk reaction to everything "out there" further than their front porch. NASCAR - good and full of innocence and light; everything else - bad and full of heathens.

It's embarrassing. And could be a factor in why many NYT readers - or management - apparently have no real interest in NASCAR.

- Born and bred Southerner

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

Please include in your comments the topic of this column. You are free to state any views, just keep them framed in the discussion about the NYT, TV ratings or the reader comments.



Anonymous said...

Terrific blog, John.

IMHO the atmosphere surrounding Nascar as a sport keeps some "elite" press/media and their readers from embracing it as the exciting sport it truly is. By that I mean perceptions that Nascar isn't welcoming to people of other races/ethnicities. No matter how exciting the races might be, some people are uncomfortable with that.

I'll tell ya what (see I'm channeling Rusty), if I was a nonwhite person and saw as many Confederate flags as I do at the races, I would never step foot at a track again. I saw Confederate flags at Watkins Glen and Dover, why in the world would they be there? We were like "what is this?" If it made us uncomfortable, I can only imagine for a nonwhite person how it would feel.

Nascar says they can't control the flags; Ole Miss managed to ban them from their games so why can't Nascar. What people do in the privacy of their own homes is not my business, but I don't want to see that flag waving all over a sporting event and I'm very hesitant to bring friends to races because of it. The perception lingering about the flag and race may hurt Nascar in press like the Ny Times.

There was just a big negative article about Nascar and race in the new Portfolio magazine, which is the newly launched big Vanity Fair/Forbes-ish magazine just out. (Naturally, it's based in NYC.) It is called "Nascar's Race Problem."

Perhaps it's not fair, but until that stigma goes away, the hope for regular, positive "big-city" coverage may not materialize.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps there is something to the negative stereotypes which plague NASCAR in the year 2008. Television analysts, who are probably good men, sound like red-neck, country yokels and portray images that are unflattering as well as uninviting. No minority racers, sponsors, executives, women.....just good ol' boys, waving rebel flags.

Mainstream America...? That would be a big no. The New York Times and any other publication worth its weight in salt will not perpetuate racism. NASCAR says it is not racist, but its image speaks for itself.

Who has time or wants to be involved or associated with such an anachronistic enterprise that has not kept up with modern society? Of course no one wants to write about or read about a sports "throwback".

Daly Planet Editor said...

Well, I have to say you could knock me over with a feather after those two comments.

That issue has never been a part of my experience, and I certainly never put the pieces together that you two did in your comments.

The reason is that I consume my NASCAR racing through TV, as I think most of us do. Even though I attend several races, I have never considered that type of at-track issue to be a force in the decision-making of a media organization.

Everybody has a right to be stupid, and most of us see people exercising that right each and every day. When you gather 200 thousand people in one place for one purpose, you essentially have a medium size city for one day.

There are bound to be all types of people in a crowd that big. Rather than let some fools deter from my sporting experience, I prefer to enjoy the action that I came to see and just leave them alone.

I understand your point, but the reality of NASCAR trying to police campers and infield vehicles and thousands of cars around the track because of a flag is unrealistic at best.

My solution is for organizations like the NYT to get out there and deal with the sport. That will do more to quell any lingering issues of "ethnic problems" than continuing to complain.

If a reporter finds that offensive, they should walk up to them and ask them what car or team that flag represents. I have the feeling you will find folks who really don't have much to say on that issue.

To me, this is a sidebar that allows some sort of justification for the lack of mainstream print media coverage to continue. This series travels well beyond the cozy confines of the deep south, and I find it hard to believe that Las Vegas, Loudon, Pocono, Dover, Watkins Glen and Chicago are rocking Old Dixie in the infield.

I will, however, keep this issue in mind and recognize your comments as well thought-out and understandable.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Daly:
After reading this column, I called a good friend from a previous life of mine who recently retired from the Washington bureau of the NYT in DC. I asked him to read your column and respond. However, shortly after the conclusion of the Giants game, the phone rang. My friend, having made some inquires, told me the following.
Auto racing has been and will continue to be lumped into the "other sports" category simply because there has not been a historical interest in it from the readership. The TIMES prefers to provide in-depth coverage and reporting on issues ranging from int'l. to local issues and stories of interest, as well as the arts and styles of the metro area. Sports is focused on the "stick and ball", as well as horse racing and other sports persued in the metro area. He indicated that the TIMES does not want to emulate USA TODAY, either in print or on the internet. Any additional material that the TIMES wishes to include on auto racing can be pulled from the "wire", keeping their in-house expenses within budget. He did indicate that much of this reasoning based on what the internet has been, is and can be projected to be, especially niche sites. Niche news sites cover a subject in far more detail and can be easily accessed by the person highly interested in that particular subject. Because of that premise, he said the TIMES website does not have to be all things to all people and they'll stick to what keeps them successful in their opinion.
Just thought you'd like to get the word, as relayed to me, by a former NY TIMESman who is still semi-plugged in.
Thanks again!
Tom in Dayton, OH.

Anonymous said...

I saw many "Old Dixie" flags in the Phoenix and Las Vegas infields in 2006. Surely not in the number in traditional south tracks, but they were there, along with American and race team flags.

The comment upthread mentioned seeing it in Dover and Watkins Glen. It's everywhere, JD. I'm surprised you haven't seen it.

The flags used to be on TV all the time. Around 2005 or 2006 I noticed huge American flags installed at most tracks (or at least being shown on TV for the first time) and also that the TV cameras started going out of their way to avoid the Confederate flag in their shots of the infield. It had to be purposeful because we stopped seeing them on TV completely very suddenly. It may have coincided with the Brian France interview on 60 Minutes where he was asked about the flag at races. But If you catch one on TV today, you know it's a mistake shot.

And while I try to stay neutral on the subject because I'm not from the South, I do know for a lot of people it's not just "a flag". It's a big deal -let's face it, most people ain't flying it because their family had veterans in the war - and it hurts their feelings to see it. While their experience may not be mine and yours we can't dismiss it as "just ignore it when you're there". Especially when they're paying good money to come to a race.

It makes an impression on the whole sport; all those little things add up when we're (fans) viewed by the media and nonfans, especially combined with the lack of minority drivers. It may be a sidebar but it's a big sidebar that won't go away.

Someone from Yahoo wrote a long column about the flag at races. I remember he wrote later he got 5,000 emails - yep, 5,000 emails(mostly calling him all kinds of names, mostly from people who flew the flag) - before he stopped counting. His theory was that if drivers themselves - not France - asked people to stop bringing flags they might listen. He requested interviews with 30 drivers. All of their PR people declined the interviews except one (junior).

So it sounded like the reporters were asking, but nobody was talking. If the New York Times comes across that attitude, somehow I think they may not be too happy and may find it somewhat of a justification (I'm sure they have other reasons too) to give extensive NASCAR coverage a pass.

Anonymous said...

I understand your point, but the reality of NASCAR trying to police campers and infield vehicles and thousands of cars around the track because of a flag is unrealistic at best.

Really, JD?

I'm going to Vegas next month.

If, on my motorhome, I fly a 3' x 5' flag that says, "F**K YOU, JIMMIE JOHNSON," exactly how many minutes do you think I will get to display it before Security stops by for a little "chat"?

I'd guess no more than 10 minutes.

Because, when they actually find a flag offensive, they'll have it taken down. Guaranteed.

The only difference is how NASCAR defines "offesnive."

GinaV24 said...

I think it's funny that all of NASCAR's ratings woes are being blamed on Jr's poor season. A few years ago when both he and Jeff Gordon missed the idiotic chase, people were all worried too. I hate the chase, but I still go to the races. The NYT is just spewing back the same spiel that Brian France produced about why the ratings are falling. Considering that this blog has had lots of commentary on it regarding the poor TV coverage, it seems to be disingenous on the part of NASCAR to blame it on one man. I live in the Philly area and NASCAR coverage in the local papers is pretty abysmal there too. I get most of my news from websites that are located in Charlotte or on USA Today's website. Honestly, I would never have even considered looking on the NYT website for NASCAR news.

The TV ratings may continue to fall, regardless of what Jr does, until NASCAR and the networks address the issues that the fans have been complaining about amongst themselves and then on the internet. NASCAR choses to alienate a lot of fans with their decisions, they are now reaping the seeds they sowed.

elena said...

Good bog, Tom in Dayton.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Maybe your friend should take a cruise over to the and look around.

The reason I wrote this column and am pushing this agenda is that the new NYT management is re-doing the entire company from top-to-bottom.

The company is actually asking users nationwide to submit ideas about how they can better serve the new online user base.

I absolutely do not dispute the info that you gathered from your friend, but I would only point out that this transition has resulted in many former "local" reporters losing their jobs as the local coverage gravitates to the 24 hour Internet and TV networks that currently serve the NYC Metropolitan area.

It should be fun to watch how it all winds-up!


Anonymous said...

Certainly, the NYT is not currently a destination for hardcore fans to get info. What we were trying to address is that the site has literally millions of users every month that are not being exposed to the sport simply by editorial choice.

In terms of expanding the sport to new fans, the simple act of the NYT publishing regular NASCAR stories would be a tremendously postive step.
It may be a positive step for NASCAR maybe, but not the New York Times. If it's their editorial choice not to specialize in niche areas, as Tom in Dayton's excellent post mentions, then why push the agenda?

I am going to trust the thoughts of a former New York Times bureau reporter and his inquiries about the future path of the New York Times much more than your predictions/wishful thinking.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 6:33PM,

If you look at how much local sports information in the NYC area has migrated to locally run Internet sites, it is amazing.

From my viewpoint, what you are saying is that one reporter can file a story that Dale Junior is responsible for NASCAR's bad TV ratings and everyone believes it is the New York Times.

The reality is that the reporter made two phone calls and then wrote the story on a laptop between her regular articles on the local and regional NY sport scene. Check her index.

So, this ill-informed and disjointed report lets all four TV networks off the hook for an entire year of big trouble.

As the TV site that focuses on the NASCAR TV networks, that is not going to fly. In 2007, the NYT would show-up with similar disjointed stories and they would have a high profile simply because of the NYT "brand."

My push, as you can read in my column, is for the NYT to step-up to the sports reality that surrounds them, despite the regional bias they have displayed in their newspaper form for years.

Long before this Internet project came around, I was involved in this debate with Times employees on a regular basis. Now, with the company absolutely turning itself inside-out to move to the Internet, this is a great moment to embrace change.

The upcoming Sprint Cup season could be the best in history. Equally matched cars with dark horse teams showing up with great motors and giving the big boys a run every time. It would be great if one of the highest-profile sports news providers came along for the ride.


Anonymous said...

JD, Viv Berstein is regularly at the track - she was at testing last week. I heard her ask a question during one of the press conferences on She is likely attending the media tour in Charlotte now.

Don't degrade her just to make your point. You don't know her work process.

You're just making yourself look bad -really.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of, why aren't you at the media tour? It's all everyone is writing and blogging about.

Shouldn't you be there since you report on the media?

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
"The reality is that the reporter made two phone calls and then wrote the story on a laptop between her regular articles on the local and regional NY sport scene. Check her index."

Let's set the record straight, shall we? Viv Bernstein is based out of the Carolinas, not New York. Most of her non-NASCAR writing is about the ACC, teams visiting the ACC, or the Charlotte Bobcats. She also covered the Davis Cup tennis matches....held in North Carolina. A search of her last 50 articles shows the majority of her articles in the past seven months -I'd say about an 85/15 ratio - are about NASCAR.

She's reporting on NASCAR regularly and doing it from Carolina.

Daly Planet Editor said...

You guys are way off-base. I read every article she wrote last season, never said she lived in NYC, and have never said a bad word about her or any other print journalist. This is a TV site.

She writes NASCAR content for one of the top national media companies. It is filed on a 13 million hit per month website between Don King promoting a boxing match and women's downhill skiing from Europe.

How is that fair to her? How is that fair to the other NYT and AP reporters? All NYT NASCAR stories get put right in the clearance bin of "other sports."

We have had every excuse under the sun why the NYT cannot get its act together. If she is at the Media Tour, filing stories on the current NASCAR scene, and doing her normally thorough job of reporting...where will we see it?

When my NYT gets to my house tomorrow morning, I will make sure and check to see where the Charlotte Media Tour story is placed in the Sports Section.

PS - no one asked Brian France one question about any of the NASCAR TV networks performance last season at his "media opportunity." All he got was a couple softballs about ratings and Dale Junior.

PPS - SPEED's first time coverage of the Media Tour debuts Wednesday at 7PM. That should be interesting.


Anonymous said...

How is the NYT one of the "highest-profile sports news providers?" Since when are they bigger than ESPN, Fox Sports or the many other sports news providers? Seems to me that people read the NYT for news not necessarily sports. That's the case for me - I live in the New York area and read the print edition or online edition of the NYT every single day, but sports stories, Nascar or otherwise, are very far down on my list of reasons why I read the NYT. That's probably true for a lot of readers. Why would the NYT add content that isn't likely to be read by enough people to justify the time spent on it? They aren't there to help Nascar promote the sport or gain fans. When there's a story to write they write it - during the season it seems like there's a Nascar story of some kind just about every Sunday in the sports section - some newspapers don't even do that.

Anonymous said...

You said Bernstein wrote her "two-phone call" article between her regular articles on the local and regional NY sport scene. You were proven wrong on that. She writes sports articles related to the Carolinas, much like a regional reporter or national reporter for a large organization.

Give it up. Please. Just give it up. This is not The Big Lead or Deadspin and your audience is not theirs. Your belligerent tone and tabloidness in topics lately is looking lame.

And since it's a TV site -the excuse you always revert back to when you have no facts to fall on -why are you stuck on criticizing The New York Times?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:39PM,

Will Leitch is a key reason I started this site, and has been a great friend during the first season.

Here are some recent columns from Ms. Bernstein:

Deacons Rally To Defeat Huskies in Meineke Car Care Bowl

Wake Forest And UConn Have Pasts To Overcome

Thrill of Victory Dosen't Last For Knicks

Rather than call me names, why don't you just join the opinion poll with your own?

Do you think a NASCAR presence on the sports web pages of the NYT including video would be a good thing or a bad thing?

Right now, the sport is mired in obscurity. Ms. Berstein's story from yesterday is listed at the bottom of the page as the final "other sports" story.

If you are here, you must be a fan. How does that make you feel?

Take off your "hate boots" and jump in the conversation.


Anonymous said...

No surprise, you're distorting the facts to suit your context. The archive of Ms. Bernstein's articles show her last two articles for the New York Times were on NASCAR. She also wrote an article previewing the Dakar Rally, and the Knicks game was in Charlotte.

The (complete and in context) list:
An Earnhardt Revival Would Also Be Nascar’s -Jan 20

Nascar Changes, and Johnson Remains -Jan 8

Deacons Rally to Defeat Huskies in Meineke Car Care Bowl (Wake Forest is in NC) - Dec 30

Wake Forest and UConn Have Pasts to Overcome - Dec 29

Danger Is Part of Race’s Allure (Dakar) - Dec. 27

Thrill of Victory Doesn’t Last for Knicks (Knicks vs Bobcats) - Dec 22

Also looks like there have been two front-page stories about NASCAR in the NY Times in the past two years - one about fans buying condos at the tracks, and one about the merchandise appealing to female fans (neither written by Bernstein). they weren't in the "Other Sports" bargain bin.

I don't blame the New York Times for not covering every bit of trivial NASCAR daily news. As many posters who read it regularly said, it's not what they are there for. It touches on some news, but their national coverage is often looking for something unique to say, not a typical daily news roundup. I have no problem with that.

I don't hate - I just stick to the facts. I really don't like it when people twist facts to suit their endgame.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I would invite you to scroll back through a year of archives on this site and find anything that twists reality or fact.

Saying "here are some of her recent columns" is 100% accurate.

This topic is not about the reporter, it is about why the NYT can just step into and then step out of the sport and expect to be taken seriously.

If you are not a fan, why are you here? If you do not want the NYT to increase its NASCAR coverage, you must not be a reader.

I have been a reader of the NYT on a daily basis for decades. This discussion has been on-going for several years.

If you go back and read the earlier posts before you arrived, it is clear there are very divergent viewpoints on this topic.

That is the whole purpose of the site. To spark discussion and debate about NASCAR media issues.

Some people like to state their case, and others go into attack mode. This site is personality driven, and some folks just do not like to have people disagree with them.

I have hundreds of columns, thousands of posts, and a lot of fun with this project. If you continue to have problems with me personally, I would suggest you email me directly and we can sort things out.


Anonymous said...

some folks just do not like to have people disagree with them.

That would be describe you to a T, JD. Too bad.

I come here for an unbiased, professional view on TV coverage and to hear other fans "vent". Lately this site has become your "ax to grind" site, not the site it used to be. The biggest change is you yourself cannot ever admit to being wrong in either facts or acknowleding that a commenter has a point.

Too bad for the fans.

I read the column Restrictor Plate This! wrote about you after the link was posted here yesterday morning (you deleted it). It obviously hit too close to home for you. The columnist was right.

I don't hate - I just stick to the facts. I really don't like it when people twist facts to suit their endgame.

January 21, 2008 10:12 PM

I agree with this. I find your skewing of the Times writer's story output rather disturbing. Your defense (Quote: "Saying "here are some of her recent columns" is 100% accurate.") sounds like doublespeak at its finest.


Anonymous said...

I read the NYT every day and want to mention that a reporter named Dave Caldwell also writes many NASCAR and some IRL stories during the season.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daly Planet Editor said...


That is part of the problem with all this, the writing about the events themselves is outstanding.

The IRL coverage of a series in transition was fascinating.


Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:29AM,

The Internet experience is very interesting. When this site was small, there was no problem with what I said or the fun debates that resulted in making many friends over the season.

Now, I get lots of "new" folks who come to judge, and are over-the-top with their personal feelings.

The other thing I get through the Anon tagged comments is people who are trying to promote their own website. That is a new thing.

The model for this site is simple. I post a story, and then people debate the points. Once and a while, I get in there and mix it up with them. Normally, the readers cover the bases so well I just leave the discussions alone.

Now I understand why the veteran webmasters suggest to me that if I continue we move to a forum-based chat. That would make readers a little more responsible for their comments, as opposed to hiding behind the Anon label.

I appreciate your viewpoint, and thank you for the comments.


elena said...

I am curious why you want so much that the NYT carry NASCAR in a more prominate manner?

They are not the paper for the heartland. It's a big city paper. Their politics are way, way left. NASCAR, to me is more of a "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet" kind of sport.

I cannot see the NYT embracing a sport that starts with a real prayer to our Lord. That would not be politically correct to them. They have more possitive stories about Fidel Castro, than our President.

Brian France's connection to NYC is a good thing. NY is the home of more Fortune 500 companies than any other city. NASCAR continues to need more and more money. Everyone, from the drivers to the guy who cleans the garages wants more money. New York is a good place to get that money. Besides, it's only once a year. Drivers realize they need to pay their dues. From what is written, most of the wives love to go there once a year.

At one time, the NYT was the paper of record. Not any more. It has been discredited quite a bit in the last few years. Now they are 3rd, after the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. For me, it would not matter if they had a NASCAR section. I would not buy it.

The only time I read their articles is when there's a link from the article I'm reading. When someone starts a sentence with "I read xx in the NYT, I just know I'm going to disagree with whatever they say."

I'm an American by choice. NASCAR is truly an American sport. When I read the NYT, I often wonder why The Times hates America so much. My family came from a communist country. The NYT would fit nicely there.

So for all your hard work and wishes, I suspect that millions our there would not rush to them because of their reputation as an anti-American paper.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Daly:
My friend knows quite a bit about the website and the "politics" internally.
One of the points he made to me (and omitted in my first post) was that the NYTimes company also owns the In't. HERALD and, as well as the respective print publications. On both of these websites, there are specific tags for auto racing, including NASCAR by name. He noted the irony that the parent website relegated auto racing to "other sports" and suggested a battle of inclusion was in process.
There are a couple of other points "not-for-publication" that I'll attempt to email you at both addresses, as when I've tried before I get the dreaded MAILER DAEMON sending to your .tv address.
Thanks again!
Tom in Dayton, Oh.

Daly Planet Editor said...


That is why I keep the account. Send anything to that address, I get it right away. Thanks for that interesting post, even though I could not say all that is going on, I think we stirred the pot nicely on this one.


Anonymous said...

"When this site was small, there was no problem with what I said or the fun debates that resulted in making many friends over the season.

Now, I get lots of "new" folks who come to judge, and are over-the-top with their personal feelings."

Either you want to be small and fun, or big and influential. Judging by the many self-congratulatory asides you made throughout blog entry comments in the season, you enjoy having some (alleged) influence over what the networks do.

You say" "I think we stirred the pot nicely on this one." Is that your goal? Interesting if so.

With influence and attention comes a greater audience, many who may not subscribe to the cult of John Daly. They may, but they may not.

Your interpersonal dealings with people who don't agree with you - or in your words, "judge" you - could use some work. Any criticism is viewed by you as being attacked. It's the worst kind of self-pity and any blogger who doesn't have his/her page set to private knows to avoid self-pity. People disagreeing with you - and not changing their minds because you want them to - comes with the territory.

If you can't deal with criticism or being "judged", then a public forum is not the place for you.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:59PM,

You are simply upset because you cannot debate. I asked over and over again for your views.

This is a rolling debate. When you post, there is going to be debate on what you post. That is the format.

We have a core group of people and many more folks who drop-by once and a while and we all debate.

This format is making you nuts. Please take your hateful personal comments and take a stroll.

I have been alive for a long time, and no angry man with a keyboard is going to get me upset. It just takes time to clean this stuff up.

If you want to debate good stuff about NASCAR TV and show us what you know, please come back and continue to post anonymously.

If you want to establish an identity on this blog, just take a minute and sign-up for a blue nick with Google.

Even after all the hateful things you say, I still invite you to open-up and express your own personal opinion of the topic, not the author.


Dwight C said...

I just looked at the Other Sports page in the NYT because I was curious about their Indianapolis 500 link. Even at the end of last year, the Indy 500 material was all about the 2006 race. They never added or replaced with 2007.

They have removed not only their 2006 Indy 500 coverage, but ALL the motor sports materials. They were at the top of column three where only Horseracing and Boxing remain.

It used to contain a link to Cup, Busch and Craftsman (although the page for the trucks was also headed Busch) which contained links to articles from elsewhere. There was also a link for Formula 1, IRL, and CART.

One would think that even if they were too good for stock car racing, Formula One could get a spot.

So they are not adding, but subtacting. They could also subtract Ms. Bernstein and it would be no loss, because she doesn't do any research, or give any thought to what she writes generally.

Viv said...

To all who have posted here, thank you for your comments. I always appreciate input from readers.

To clarify: I am a freelance writer based in North Carolina and cover sports in the southeast for the Times. My assignments range from college sports to the NFL, NBA, NHL and Nascar. Over the years I have written about everything from Mike Tyson to the Duke lacrosse case. I also cover an average of about a dozen races each year. New York-based Dave Caldwell covers many races as well.

As a freelance writer, I am not authorized to speak on behalf of the Times regarding coverage decisions. I do know the paper has significantly increased coverage of Nascar in the past four years.

Regarding the story on Dale Earnhardt Jr., I conducted 10 interviews over five days, including three days at Daytona testing earlier in the month.

Best regards,
Viv Bernstein

Daly Planet Editor said...

And Viv was nice enough to email with me and allow me to talk to her about the NYT website and NASCAR.

It should be interesting to see what happens. One story out of hundreds on one blog about the NYT can ignite that much passion.

Imagine what lots of NASCAR stories on the NYT website could do!