Thursday, December 18, 2008
Despain Inked For Two Years By SPEED
The Wind Tunnel franchise is apparently safe on SPEED for two more years. Thursday, it was announced that the network has signed host Dave Despain to a new TV contract through 2010.
The shrinking amount of content on SPEED that relates in any way to actual sanctioned racing has been a concern as the network plows ahead with multi-million dollar "lifestyle" shows at full speed.
Wind Tunnel is part of a three hour block of highly visible and successful SPEED programming on Sunday nights that includes The SPEED Report and Victory Lane.
Despain originally hosted Wind Tunnel five nights a week or more and it became the home to great discussions of various racing topics with fantastic guests from all over the world of motorsports.
Now, Despain presides over a very quick hour of programming that tries to tie-in live guests, co-hosts, email and viewer phone calls. The program essentially has taken-on the persona of adding additional content to the stories featured on The SPEED Report.
TDP has many times compared Wind Tunnel with Despain to CNN's Larry King Live. The combination of the show and the host has become one of the strongest brands on SPEED. No other show carries the journalistic weight of Wind Tunnel on the network.
With the global economy affecting racing like never before, SPEED would perhaps be wise to consider cranking-up Wind Tunnel in January and providing the only connection on-the-air to race fans other than the SPEEDtv.com website.
Waiting until Speedweek in February to start the program may cause SPEED to completely miss-out on the biggest stories that will be shaping the face of racing in North America and around the world for 2009.
Please give us your thoughts on Wind Tunnel and what you like and perhaps dislike about this program series on SPEED.
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