Sunday, November 30, 2008

TV/Media Notes:
Are you watching the Nationwide Series Banquet highlighs on ESPN2?

David Poole is reporting that Ray Evernham has completed his deal to purchase a local short track in North Carolina. That would be a strong indicator that Evernham will be out of GEM shortly and free to fill a broader role at ESPN.

With the recent talks about cutbacks in the TV staffing and facilities for next season, it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. ESPN has two completely different TV packages. First, they cover the entire Nationwide Series from start to finish. Then, they cover the final 17 Sprint Cup Series events.

Should ESPN decide to downsize the Nationwide Series coverage significantly and bring in a different on-air TV crew to handle the 17 Cup races Evernham could wind-up playing a big role. We will keep you posted.

By the way, if you ever wondered why print reporters should not do TV/video work without a producer, click here for the answer.


Anonymous said...

Why do you think that Evernham will play a bigger role at ESPN ?

Maybe with the cutbacks and changes he will be let go.

Daly Planet Editor said...

He seems to be an ESPN favorite. Remember the Race Wizard show?

This season ESPN used Evernham in the booth, in the studio, on NASCAR Now and everywhere else they could put him and he passed with flying colors.

One thing about Andy Petree is he sounds like he is from the South. ESPN is not big on that if you look across their stable of announcers.

Another issue is Brad Daugherty. While he played a nice cheerleader role, the "hole" in the line-up was not having a former crew chief in the Infield Studio who could talk off-the-cuff during rain delays and red flags about real NASCAR topics.

The Nationwide Series has become the stone around ESPN's neck. If they are looking to cut costs, it will happen there first.

With Evernham available, he might be just the right cost solution to handle the Nationwide Series up in the booth. It should be interesting to see how things sort-out.

We will keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

JD, If ESPN is trying to save money then they wont have a seperate announce crew for the Nationwide Series. If they did this they would have to pay more people. The way they have it now actually saves money. I dont see Evernham playing a bigger role at ESPN. Like you said, they are trying ti CUT costs. Giving Evernham a bigger role would only be adding to cost.

Anonymous said...

ESPN could do a whole lot worse then adding more Ray E to any of their NASCAR shows. He is well spoken and comes across well on TV.

More importantly he knows racing inside and out, including the "new" cars and what makes them tick.

Many fans are still upset with Ray's offtrack "adventures", thats not an issue with me. he made some mistakes, let it go.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:02AM,

I think that maybe I did not do a good job with my last comment.

The suggestion is that Evernham would replace either one or two of the existing NASCAR on ESPN team members.

I think that the Infield Pit Studio and the Tech Center on the Nationwide races are in big trouble.

Most of the Nationwide pre-race shows focused on the Cup drivers and often the NASCAR news rather than the Nationwide race.

Also, four pit reporters when ten cars are dropping off the track at the end of the first fuel run is an issue where the Nationwide Series is concerned.

Not once did ESPN show viewers pit road before the race to tell us how many teams did not even bring a pit crew.

If the Truck Series runs 33 to 35 teams and TV covers it with two pit reporters, I am not sure we will see four pit reporters back for Nationwide coverage in 2008.

Finally, all of this is just good old off-season talk. The networks want to cut costs, we are all taking about how that could happen.

One thing is for sure, ESPN went out of their way to get Evernham in the line-up this season and that is a signal that should not be ignored for the future.


Newracefan said...

I'm good with Ray but please keep Andy in the booth with DJ and have Ray in the studio.

Yes I'm watching the banquet, I would have preferred to have more of the drivers interviews and skip the musical guest but it is what it is. Hey JD lost his speech this should be interesting.

Did anyone catch the Cup and NW retrospectives shown before the NHRA awards?

Mary said...

I have just watched the Nationwide Banquet and it was typical of the way ESPN treat our sport. Cutting it down to one hour was an insult and the editing seemed very poor to me, it was obvious we missed chunks of relevant footage. Why did they even bother to show it - I'm sure the Cup Banquet will be just as bad if not worse. Unless you have ESPNC you won't be able to see it live and I see the repeat is down to 2 hours instead of 3 - no doubt it will an example of more bad editing.
Nice to see Allen though!

Karen said...

If Andy Petree gets kicked to the curb because of his accent, it would be a major injustice. He's smart as a whip and funny and helps me get through the broadcast in spite of Doc Jerry.

That would be totally unfair. Tim Brewer has an accent, maybe not as pronounced, but I say leave Andy Petree where he is. Plus if I'm correct, he has no ownership interest in a team.

Anonymous said...

I wish Ray lots of luck and would be happy if ESPN used him next season. He is a true professional and has lots of knowledge in all aspects of NASCAR.

And for those who have a problem with his personal life--get over it. What do you want? Do you want him to be homeless? Sent to the gallows? The chair? We have an ex-president that did much worse. He did not break any laws in the penal code. Let the guy make a living. Change the channel if he bothers you that much.

speedangel said...

My hope is that Andy wouldn't be cut on the basis of his accent. He does a good job in the booth and has good chemistry with DJ.

Karen said...

If Ray or Andy are put in the tech center, we'd never see them. So leave Tim Brewer where he is or go to animated explanations. I say dump Rusty, leave Brad b/c I just like him, put Punch in the studio with Ray and Brad, AB in the booth with AP and DJ. Problem solved, except no cutbacks.

Lou said...

I checked the link you gave us in the last paragraph.

It gives new meaning to a roundtable discussion. Sure could use another NASCAR Now w/AB.

Lisa Hogan said...

Just my opinion:
Since I do not enjoy Mr. Evernham, I would not be pleased to see his role increased.

If Andy is removed from the booth because of his southern accent, it would be a mistake. He is needed there.

If ESPN has a problem with southern accents, why hire him in the first place? Makes me wonder if ESPN would rather viewers with southern accents not watch their network. :)

diane said...

Ray is way down on my list of commentators. He bores me to death with his style of speaking. I'm with those who vote for Andy Petree. It would be a shame if a regional accent was the kiss of death.

Delenn said...

Under NO circumstances should Ray get anything out of ESPN at the expense of Andy Petree. Andy is the best. Ray is fine, and would be ok as Andy's backup and in a pit studio role.