Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday TV/Media Notes

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Here are some of the topics and news items that are of interest as the work week gets started.

Once SPEED expanded the Race Hub show to one hour, we discussed the topic of adding a dedicated reporter for this new series. Well, SPEED has done just that.

Danielle Trotta, pictured above, will be joining Race Hub to provide the field reporting. Trotta is a UNC Charlotte grad and has been working locally in Charlotte at WBTV. Click here for a peek at her station bio.

It's been a while since SPEED expanded the line-up and getting Trotta is a bonus. She has already visited the NASCAR facilities and shops in the area for her local station assignments. This is a piece of the puzzle that makes sense for the new expanded format.

This past Saturday, TNT had quite the online evening. Turner Sports is the parent company of TNT and also operates the NASCAR.com website. They created the RaceBuddy online application that is offered free for the TNT races. Saturday night for the Sprint Cup Series race, RaceBuddy also offered a 3D version for viewing. The response from fans was overwhelming.

Here is the official Saturday scoop from the folks at Turner:

NASCAR.COM set a new single-day record for total video views (live and on demand) with 986,000 (up 544% vs. last year). NASCAR.COM also experienced over 20% growth in page views (+27% to 5.7 million) and daily uniques (+22% to 876K), with total streams on TNT RaceBuddy up 71%.

As we have discussed many times, NASCAR is completely behind the times in terms of online streaming due to a variety of rights issues. The NASCAR on FOX portion of the season aired with no streaming or RaceBuddy. Now, it seems that the final seventeen Sprint Cup Series races on ESPN will also have no online applications of any kind.

Click here for a recent interview from reporter Michael Smith with ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy. She made the point that NASCAR must change to address the younger fans who are simply not going to sit in front of a TV set for four hours.

"Technology is so important to them," said Kennedy. "Then, just the way they communicate, the Facebook, the tweeting. So how do you make your product appealing to them and also get the message out to them in the way they communicate? You just have to give people more options. NASCAR.com is a great example. You can still watch the race on TV, but the younger fan might want to go to NASCAR.com and see that different perspective. It's not shutting anyone out, it's just providing more avenues for people to enjoy the sport, and we've got to continue to look at that."

If this is really a priority for France and her brother, then getting more free and online content down the stretch should be on the front burner right now.

Click here for the TDP Facebook fan page. We have new fan pics up. Justin takes a tour or SPEED studios and TNT staff hard at work at the track.

Finally, the NASCAR Fan Council was back at it again this week. They asked a select group of fans about the TV broadcast and the length of the race. I hope that second part was in reference to the start time. The NFC also asked the following.

Compared to other races broadcast on TNT, how did you like the presentation of the Coke Zero 400 on TNT featuring the “Wide Open” format?

Much better than other races on TNT
A little better than other races on TNT
About the same as other races on TNT
A little worse than other races on TNT
Much worse than other races on TNT

TNT aired the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in their “3D” format on television and on NASCAR.COM through RaceBuddy.

Which of the following applies to you?

I was aware of this, but do not have 3D technology
I was aware of this, and watched the race in 3D
I was not aware of this

At lease we know NASCAR has an eye on the TV telecasts and the ancillary new media issues that are coming to the forefront this season.

ESPN's Nicole Briscoe hosts NASCAR Now Tuesday at 5PM ET on ESPN2. She returns at the same time on Wednesday, but there is no show Thursday due to coverage of the US Open's women's golf championship.

Steve Byrnes returns at 7PM ET on SPEED with Race Hub. His guests include AJ Allmendinger and Greg Biffle. On Wednesday's show Wendy Venturini interviews Kevin Harvick.

We welcome your comments on these topics. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks as always for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Zieke said...

I'm sure Danielle will do a fine job with her new TV gig. Doesn't hurt that she is HOT. Good luck Danielle!!!

Anonymous said...

Shark Jump time! I predicted in a previous post that Race Hub would go this route with a local TV news talent. How does this improve things?? Have you ever seen the D & D show on local Charlotte TV?Might be the worst show ever. Why not use Wendy or Hermie to do this, they are way more qualified for the job. I wish they would spend the money on bringing TWIN back.

Anonymous said...

I also wish TWIN would return. Another "Barbie hot chick" ala NASCAR NATION.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:37AM,

The challenge facing SPEED is that the other talent are already working for the NASCAR Media Group and SPEED.

I don't think it's going to be a problem to let Trotta's work do the talking.

As you may know, Wendy has been a feature reporter for Race Hub since it went to the one-hour format.

The things I would like to see included on the Hub:

NASCAR media radio/print/Internet reporters taking about issues.

Fan interaction via video, Twitter and Facebook. (Other than just polls)

Jimmy Spencer talking issues and giving opinions on the main set and not in his "Spencer Junk Yard" role.

Weekly NASCAR status update from an executive for the fans.


Anonymous said...

In reference to to the wide open coverage, it was great! TNT is doing the best job this season, by far! I don't have 3d and don't plan to.

I don't watch Race Hub but I am sure there are those happy with the talent and others who are never happy about anything. I also don't do Twitter or Facebook.

I just want to watch racing and see a competitive race without listening to either Waltrip.

GA Red

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Wow, that's some great bio - her favorite food is Cheeseburgers.

I guess Ed Hinton doesn't look good enough in a bathing suit to be hired.

What a joke! They could have put one of the Ms. Sprint Cups in her role and done better - at least they know the drivers' names. This chick was hired for here looks and her looks ONLY. HOW SAD!

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Darcie said...

It's disappointing that they choose another blond hottie for this job. Sorry, but is there not any other "talent" than this one? Why not do a real talent search and find someone with real Nascar knowledge and not just another pretty blond? Yeah, I know, give her a chance. But I'm weary of all these blonds without the credentials (Little, Spake, and Erin Andrews come to mind) or chops in Nascar who get these jobs obviously based on looks. Remember Speed, a large portion of the Nascar fan base is female !!!!!!

Richard in N.C. said...

I suspect that Race Hub is likely to have problems getting any media people to appear other than SPEED and FOX Sports writers, and possibly MRN or PRN radio people, for fear of being blackballed by EESPN.

Daly Planet Editor said...


The on-air NASCAR TV talent has an assortment of issues, but most have their schedules done well in advance for the season.

What SPEED was looking for was a fulltime local reporter who could work the Charlotte/Mooresville area and file daily stories.

That was not going to work for the national caliber talent that some folks mentioned above.

While I appreciate the comments of Darcie and others, the same things were said about Nicole Briscoe when she joined ESPN after working for SPEED.

Now, she hosts "NASCAR Now" fulltime, is Allen Bestwick's Infield Pit Studio back-up and reports from the field for a wide variety of ESPN programs.

I'm up for giving Trotta the same chance.


Richard in N.C. said...

JD, sorry I wasn't clear enough. I was referring to as guests on Race Hub.

I think Nicole Briscoe has done an exceptional job since she went to EESPN and I thought Shannon Spake did a very good job filling in on N-Now the couple of times I saw her in the past few weeks. I believe EESPN's NASCAR coverage is the perfect example for not judging people until they have a chance on-air - Nicole B. has shone, while Brent Mushberger laid an exceptional egg.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks, Richard!

Steve Ito said...

I usually agree with most of the media critiques on here, but most are flat out wrong about Trotta. She's atrocious. For example: I remember watching BTV the night Brian Vickers announced he was going to miss the rest of the year. She had no clue. But the rest of the national and local media had it covered. SPEED apparently hired her because she's done stuff at the Speedway? That's all you need these days? I challenge you to watch one of her regular shows and not notice a glaring factual error. Hate to be so negative...it's great that The Hub is spending money. But Danielle Trotta may be the worst "reporter" I've seen in Charlotte, and I've lived here my whole life. Let's just say what it is...she's blonde and cheap.

Daly Planet Editor said...


By "cheap" I assume you are saying the price was right for SPEED.


Steve Ito said...

Ha...as to not create any waves by spreading rumors, yes...by cheap, I mean what SPEED is paying. Think about it, she was already out of a job at WBTV...it's not going to cost them much.

Donna in FL said...

I'm willing to give Danielle a chance, but I'm not hopeful. Wendy V. is perfect, I've grown accustomed to Nicole B, but unfortunately a few others I can think of like Little, Spake & Lindsay C don't make my cut. They are competent enough, but I just don't like them.

And I'm going to plug Angelique Chenglis, who doesn't get enough credit at all for the great job she does!

sbaker17 said...

If the Cup drivers were elimiated from the NNS series, I'd buy a ticket to their races. Problem might be in finding enough cars for a full field. But I'd certainly rather see 25 up and coming racers try to win a race and not run for points than what is now on display.

Anonymous said...

Direct quotes from the Charlotte Observer...

Her agent shopped her around and Speed got interested. "They said, 'We kind of like you, but do you know racing?' And I said, 'I'll learn ... please!'"

I don't have a checklist. I'm very driven. If ESPN calls, I'm going through that door. I want to see how far I can go, and hopefully it's to the top."

Good luck with that SPEED!

Anonymous said...

I Read in her BIO that she once lived in Richmond,In. Yay,that is my area of the country,and we take care of our own.SO Back OFF Guys and give the girl a chance before we crucify her?She just might surprise us all?? Erin Andrews didn't get much credit at first,She is one heck of a reporter for sure!!Go Get Em Danielle and GOOD LUCK!!