Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bill Weber Removed From Sunday's TNT Broadcast


This post will remain up during the TNT pre-race shows to see how the network deals with this issue. TDP will then add a new post for the actual coverage of the race.

This statement was issued by TNT early Sunday morning:

"Bill Weber will not be part of TNT's NASCAR coverage of the Cup Series from New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend,” said a company statement released by senior vice president Sal Petruzzi. “As this is a private issue, it’s the policy of the company not to discuss personal matters involving our employees.”

Update: Veteran Reporter Dustin Long saying the issue is personal and Weber has not been fired. (11AM)

Update #2: From That's Racin': According to witnesses, Weber got into a loud, public confrontation over the weekend at his hotel in Manchester, N.H. He was at the track on Friday.

Update #3: Reporter Shawn Courchesne of the Hartford Courant is calling this a one race suspension by TNT because of the incident mentioned above.

Ralph Sheheen will step in for Weber on today's telecast. TDP will update this story if and when more information comes in.

We welcome your comments on this topic. Just click the comments button below to add your opinion. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. TDP will live blog the TNT coverage beginning at 12:30PM ET.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why, but I feel Dave Hill is behind this.

:) :)

Seriously, JD, do you have any info about this? Is this a punishment or are they letting him not attend by request for persnoal reasons?

Daly Planet Editor said...

No additional info yet, waiting for some emails to be returned.

Will update ASAP.

RHCP24 said...

Hopefully Everything Is Ok With Bill And His Family!!

Anonymous said...

Let's hope a personal tragedy is not behind this sudden change.

The Sunday move doesn't give Ralph Shaheen much prep time. Ralph is the consummate broadcast professional, but a couple of hours is pretty short notice.

This is obviously a tough situation for all involved.

bevo said...

Hope all is well for him. He's improved so much the past two seasons - he will be missed today.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Does not appear to be health or family related right now.

Dustin says Weber has not been fired. We will wait until real info arrives.

Be nice to hear from Bill.

editor@thedalyplanet.tv

Kate said...

I don't think anyone is every 'removed' because of a personal tragedy. My bet... rehab or a serious legal matter is in Bill's future.

Vicky D said...

Bill has been doing a super job with the TNT broadcasts I wonder what is going on this is very strange indeed.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Well, here we go and it's not good:

"According to witnesses, Weber got into a loud, public confrontation over the weekend at his hotel in Manchester, N.H. He was at the track on Friday."

from That's Racin' website.

RonFWNC said...

One too many? Who knows? He was probably provoked. I hope it blows over.

Daly Planet Editor said...

No clue Ron if anything like that was involved. Bill is intense, but not the party boy type.

RonFWNC said...

I didn't mean to imply that he was and I withdraw the comment. He seems like a nice guy and a real professional, which is what makes this story so unusual.

It will be interesting to see Shaheen do a Cup race.

Dot said...

Wow.

Anonymous said...

This is the same network that brought Charles Barkley back. Let's not blow this out of proportion before knowing everything involved.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Working on it. We are going to keep things factual as this story moves forward.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The Billy Mays story is at TBO.com, which is Tampa Bay Online.

What a very strange week.

Dot said...

The celebs are dropping like flies this week. RIP to all.

Can't wait for the reason Weber got booted from the booth.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Dot,

From That's Racin': "According to witnesses, Weber got into a loud, public confrontation over the weekend at his hotel in Manchester, N.H. He was at the track on Friday."

There ya go.

Andrew said...

Is this some sort of Turner-imposed punishment for Friday's incident? (And I have to wonder what actually happened there. Weber doesn't seem the type to go off the handle.)

And now Billy Mays has died? This has officially been the craziest week ever.

Dot said...

No mention of missing Weber on TNT yet.

Thanks JD. But I meant, what and who set him off?

Anonymous said...

Oh, for God's sake, is everyone involved in this sport and its presentation turning into a wimpy corporate yes-man? Unless Weber asked for the time off, this is totally unnecessary. Probably some petty, vindictive office-politics crap from a passive-aggressive TNT exec or a Quisling lawyer.

Maybe I'm alone in this, but I want the people in NASCAR (and not just the drivers) to be people - to get emotional, to have flaws, to be real - and for that to be shown to me in an unvarnished way. If I want to see a bunch of calculated, focus-grouped, stage-managed talking heads whose entire existence is dedicated to never offending anybody, I can watch network news.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon, that is a nice script but we really have no clue who was involved or what the issue was about.

One thing is for sure, if it got the network play-by-play guy actually sent home, it was big.

Ken-Michigan said...
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Anonymous said...

Kinda ironic.....Maybe TNT will replace Weber next season the same way Weber replaced Bestwick. Allen was out for 2 races, and bill took over and was hired. Maybe now Ralph will get hired....

Daly Planet Editor said...

Shawn Courchesne of the Hartford Courant is reporting Weber got a one race suspension for his actions at the hotel.

Vicky D said...

This has got to be the strangest weeks ever!

Andrew said...

The Wood Brothers! Nice to see them again.

bevo said...

@JD- any idea if they're ever going to run the Roush car collection story?

Daly Planet Editor said...

bevo, they never responded on that one. I have the feeling it did not happen. Jack is not the easiest person to get a hold of...

Kassidy said...

Just find it quite bizzare that TNT chooses to not mention the missing announcer..do they think we won't notice? That does not say much for their trust in Weber having a fan base??? Thought by now 30 minutes into the show it would be mentioned...

RonFWNC said...

Okay, the million dollar question then, and the last piece to the Weber puzzle, is who was he talking to? If it indeed occurred in public, then there must be witnesses. Anyone?

Jojaye said...

Did I miss it - or is TNT pretending everything is the same as last week personnel wise?

Daly Planet Editor said...

It's the Charles Barkley approach....just ignore it and then he eventually returns...*poof*

Daly Planet Editor said...

Ron, the mouths in the media room are shut tight. TNT is not on Twitter today and not answering messages. Nice PR approach.

Ryan said...

no skin off my back....Weber the Whale can take the next 3 races off for all I care...It will be nice to get some new blood in the booth

bevo said...

I imagine they'll mention something when the race broadcast starts. They're not going to go into any details

Jojaye said...

Wow clouds over track are really dark& heavy looking. Think it will make it 1/2 way?

bevo said...

2pm 70% chance rain
3pm 5%
4pm 10%
5pm 30%
6pm 60%

diane said...

Kurt Bush is so needy. Every time the Jimmie thing comes up he has to work in how its a championship thing, just two champions, etc. Kurt is not at Jimmie's level, and I'm no Jimmie fan, but it all makes Kurt look desperate for respect.

glenc1 said...

diane, I know it's off topic but I noticed that too...I don't hate the guy, but when he has to keep calling himself a 'champion'...well, you don't hear Jeff or Tony or Jimmie talking about themselves like that. But at least he's stopped trying to impress everyone with his vocabularly...

Ryan said...

@ Diane

There aren't many drivers on Jimmie's level, but you can't dismiss the fact that Kurt is a past champion as well

red said...

in re: weber: having no idea what happened, all i can do is sigh (altho' i admit: the 'one race suspension" comment had me laughing > he's not a driver and yet he gets a 'race suspension' as opposed to a 'broadcast suspension'? just struck me as taking nascar a teeny bit too far . . .)

hunkering down and praying this all goes away strikes me as a rather shortsighted approach by tnt et al. it just never seems to work out folks hope it will when they start digging that hole in the sand. of course, since it's a member of the media who's "the story," this approach may just work out for tnt b/c it reads as if all of his colleagues are going along with the "i see nothing" approach. granted it's a tough situation, having to report on the alleged bad behavior of a colleague but that's why they get the big bucks, isn't it?

again: sigh. too bad . . .

Vicky D said...

Diane, with Kurt Busch, he just sounds like he's reading not talking off the cuff and he is being so careful what he says.

David said...

Crowd looks pretty solid...probably not a sell out but certainly not half full either.

Daly Planet Editor said...

No Ralph Sheheen for Countdown to Green and Marc Fein never even mentioned his name....wow.

Anonymous said...

Although I don't wish Bill Weber any harm and hope he is personally OK, I have to admit, I am delighted he's not announcing the race today. I am NOT a fan, do not like his abrasive holier-than-thou attitude and snide comments to the other announcers. I am looking forward to this race now more than I already was.

Anonymous said...

Is TNT operating short a pit reporter or did they have enough time to pull someone off the bench?

bevo said...

Since we're close to halfway through the season a good feature on the pre-race show would be an examination on the no test rules and it's effect on race teams performance, especially Roush and Childress.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for your comments on the TNT race coverage from New Hampshire.

diane said...

Maybe there was no time for Ralph Shaheen to get to the track on short notice.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1:35PM,

No subs in the game yet.

Andrew said...

Dear TNT,

I have a rather nasty headache. Listening to Countdown to Green on barely audible volume is not helping. It is wholly unnecessary for the commercials so suddenly be so loud as to cause my head to POUND.

bevo said...

Their timing is way off coming back from commercials. Also please, please, please adjust the audio levels!

Anonymous said...

I thought his name was Dick Weber...who cares to be honest...i turn the volume down on the tv and crank up the radio...

SonicAD said...

diane: Sheheen was on earlier, and he'd be at the track earlier as he's a pit reporter for TNT, so that's nothing to do with it.

Sophia said...

WOW. Only 6 races and he is suspended from the booth. Most curious but I hate the change..the chemistry in the booth has been fabulous.

To pretend nothing's changed is weird.

Gymmie said...

this has been the oddest week ever.

3 celeb deaths and now a new one to start the week and Weber is sent home...hmmmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

hey JD,
feature idea for racebuddy you may want to pass along to TNT/other networks interested in the technology...

I was sitting here thinking I could watch the entire race on racebuddy with one exception--- replays!

perhaps have a DVR-style slider like nascar online raceview uses.

not to be picky, but this would complete, what is by far the best TV feature to come to NASCAR in years!!!!!

Anonymous said...

hmm just noticed a serious lack of comments.

Anonymous said...

oops that would be because I'm commenting on the wrong post, lol

Anonymous said...

It's actually a much more palatable broadcast without B.W.

KudzuCarl said...

Broadcast went smoothly and was much more entertaining that with Weber involved. I can't stand him anyway, always feeling like he is talking down to me. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

I still miss Alan Bestwick. He did a much better job than Bill Weber.

Anonymous said...

met bill 3 weeks ago @ an applebees with wally he is a complete di## not only did he complain abt the volume on the finals of game 2 he stiffed the waiter!!!! happend in bethelem 45min south of pocono!!!!!!!! hope he got FIREDDDD

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Richard in N.C. said...
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Denny said...

Do not enjoy Weber on any broadcast. It always seems to be about him instead of the race. Hope Sheheen or Bestwick replaces BW.

kensgarbagecan said...

As long as I don't have to hear "Reach up and grab those belts..." and "Bogity, boogity, boogity", I'm a happy camper. I'm really tired of those phrases.

Shaheen was fine today, but I like Weber better.

Brian said...

Shaheen seemed very uncomfortable in his role today, so hopefully Weber will be back next race. Might have been better just to pipe in the PRN radio guys for the race.

Anonymous said...

I've never had a major issue with BW. All of the announcers and commentators have their quirks but they all get the job done. I just watch the race and tune my ears accordingly. :) As for the OT Kurt/Jimmie thing, not a fan of either but Kurt is as much the driver as Jimmie is when his car is set up right.

Anonymous said...

It was much better show without Bill Weber. I wish him well but TNT did the right thing. Please keep him off.
I personally don't like him in the broadcast.

Anonymous said...

As a vendor who worked both cup races at Brooklyn Michigan the 1996 season, I am not suprised that Bill Weber is being disciplined for unprofessional behavior. I observed Bill verbally abusing several other vendors and a couple of fans who accidently got in his way while walking during a practice session on a saturday afternoon. Maybe Nascar and TNT could do without Mr Weber for awhile!!

Anonymous said...

Weber out at Daytona. He will not be back. TNT has an immage to protect and will not put the broadcast at risk. The fight to have thier day and are inferior to all other networks. They can not have any perseption of not taking the relationship with NASCAR seriously. He is friends with Mayfield and was defending his honor as I was told. The hitle was a bigger deal than what has been reported. Make book on this Weber will not be back!!!!

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