Saturday, January 10, 2009

TV News And Notes

Here are some end-of-the-week updates on TV-related topics:

Ryan Burr - Many fans asked what was going to happen to the former co-host of NASCAR Now since ESPN announced he will not be returning to that position for 2009.

Burr passes along that he is doing great at ESPN and is currently an in-studio host for college basketball games. He also has his own show called Midnight Madness on ESPN2 that recaps the day in college hoops.

Burr joined ESPN in 2005 from FSN's regional sports network in Pittsburgh, PA. He worked very hard to help ESPN recover from the disaster of Erik Kuselias and Doug Banks who were the original hosts of NASCAR Now back in 2007.

Even though it was clear that NASCAR was not a sport he knew well, Burr maintained a professional news approach during the programs and was part of the team that turned the once laughable series into a credible one for ESPN2.

Burr was also a regular reader of TDP and enjoyed your comments, both good and bad. Good luck to Ryan as he leaves ESPN's NASCAR coverage.

Nicole Manske - Congratulation to Manske for a big change in her life during this off-season break. Here is the story from the Associated Press:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - IndyCar driver Ryan Briscoe and ESPN host Nicole Manske are engaged to be married.

The 27-year-old Briscoe, who won three races and finished fifth in the IRL standings last season, popped the question during a vacation with Manske in his native Australia over the holidays. The engagement was announced Wednesday by Team Penske.

The couple is planning a wedding next December in Hawaii, a location chosen because it is halfway between their families' homes in Sydney, Australia, and Roscoe, Ill.

Manske will return along with Mike Massaro and Allen Bestwick as one of the three co-hosts of NASCAR Now on ESPN2 in 2009. Bestwick will host the Monday one-hour roundtable shows while Massaro and Manske will alternate between reporting from the field and hosting duties in the studio.

Mike Massaro - Click here for a great article by the Hartford Courant's Shawn Courchesne about Mike Massaro. Courchesne points out that Massaro is a Connecticut native from the Manchester area and has both an educational and work history in the area. His transition to ESPN's headquarters should be a smooth one.

It does not take very long for NASCAR fans to drum-up memories of Massaro during the time that ESPN was on the outs with NASCAR. Standing outside the tracks, along the roadways and even at the airports, Massaro was a picture of determination as he single-handedly kept the NASCAR profile alive on ESPN during a very tough period. Good luck to Mike on his new assignment.

The SPEED Report - TDP wants to make sure fans understand the recent story about this TV series. SPEED was actually planning to be on-the-air this Sunday at 7PM with the first show from the new SPEED studios all along.

TDP got information from both the website and one other source indicating the first live show should have been this past week. What was listed on the SPEED website as a live show was actually a rehearsal.

So, thanks to SPEED for helping to clear things up and we look forward to Bob Varsha, Leigh Diffey and Fox's Jeff Hammond live at 7PM ET this Sunday from the new SPEED studios with the first show.

TDP is working on getting photos of the news studio and control rooms. We will pass them along as soon as they arrive.

SPEED HD - TDP is working with SPEED to get a handle on the transition by the cable systems to SPEED in High Definition. We will have a full update next week.

Thanks again for stopping by, we invite your comments on the topics mentioned above. Just click on the COMMENTS button below. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Have a great weekend.


Dot said...

Good column JD. ;).

I think Mike is a better fit on NN than Ryan. He should've been on it all along. Funny, BSPN can make a good move on this show by putting the right guy in the right place, but the booth? Whole different story. Ryan, if you're reading, no offense.

Regarding the Nicole story, I read it on AOL Sports. I even looked around on other sites before posting here. Couldn't find anything on it. I wonder if the SPEED Report will mention it.

Just a mention on HD on SPEED. It's available on my cable system. However, not my TV. No extra money to upgrade the set. Will the TV prices ever go down? I checked out some prices. All I have to say is, it better do more than let me watch it. Like clean my house and do the laundry, lol.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates JD :)

I'm not much of a Hoops fan but I might check out Ryan's shows. I'll miss him. I hope that they let him fill in if someone goes on vay cay or something.

I look forward to the gang back on Sunday night :). I hope they enjoy their new digs.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

JD...thanks for all the updates and gossip..haha.

Wow...Nicole and Ryan Briscoe.
Would love to know how they got together! Although Ryan isn't a favorite of mine, I like Nicole so congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Ryan Briscoe, nice work bro


Anonymous said...

Good luck to Ryan Burr. He played a large roll in the restoration of ESPN's NASCAR credibility re: NASCAR Now.

In some ways, RB's lack of "insider" status was a plus. His purely journalistic instincts allowed him to approach the job from a neutral perspective. In my opinion, he performed very well.

SonicAD said...

That reminds me, I saw some SPEED HD content added On-Demand here recently on Charter (as well as some from other FOX cable networks), so hopefully SPEED HD itself won't be too far behind

GinaV24 said...

Thanks for the updates,JD. Glad that Ryan is happy at ESPN. He did do a professional job to turn things around with the joke that was NASCAR Now. Even if he wasn't familiar with the sport, he did take the time to present things well. Nice to hear about Manske and Massaro, too. I'm not planning on upgrading to HD -- I don't need to see things quite as up close as lots of people think I need to -- I just want to see the things that interest me done right.

Anonymous said...

I have been watching Ryan Burr on college hoops for a while. As he was with NN, he is the ultimate professional. He is as comfortable with Digger Phelps, as he was with all the NASCAR insiders.

I do not agree with this column that "it was clear" Ryan did not know NASCAR well. I thought he was one of the best, certainly miles ahead of Manske.

I believe going to college hoops is a ppromotion for Ryan and allows him to work with some of the great professional in college basketball. When Ryan started in the sport industry, he was recognized for his excellent work, and with this new job/opportunity, it is bearing fruit.

Delenn said...

I think Ryan did a great job, especially last year, and I for one will be very sad to loose him from the Nascar TV World. (Wow - when was the last time I felt that about anyone not called BP?) Anyway, good luck Ryan, and good luck to Nicole too.

Just before you leave us Ryan (if you are reading), would you like to talk to the top man in ESPN Nascar for us, and shout a few simple words into his ear. "PUT BESTWICK IN THE BOOTH AND PUNCH IN THE STUDIO." Ta ;-)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1:45PM,

Just to make things clear, I am not saying Ryan was ill-prepared or less informed.

He was just new to the sport in general coming from a non-NASCAR background.

As I mentioned in the column, he used his news and journalism skills to handle interviews even when the specifics of the issues were not familiar to him.

I think his experience on ESPNEWS with a wide variety of sports interviews came in very handy.

Thanks for the comment,


Newracefan said...

Glad to see Ryan was rewarded for how well he did on NN. Thanks for all the updates JD. Still waiting for Speed HD here outside Philly and it's getting old.

Lou said...

Hi JD,
Enjoyed this column. Kind of brings us up to date. Not that I would want it everyday. But it is something I would look forward to in the future on an as need be basis.


Anonymous said...

Ryan Burr did a great job of doing NN for 2 seasons & did better than Doug Banks. hopefully we still see him on ESPNEWS, College Basketball Final or doing halftime reports and soon he'll be guest hosting either Outside The Lines, Baseball Tonight, NFL Live, College Football Live, NBA Fastbreak or First Take. Mike Massaro will make great successor of Burr.

Congrats to Manske on her recent engagement and her wedding coming up in December. She is now in the her sophomore season as host of NN.