Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ESPN Sr. NASCAR Producer Arrested (Updated 5PM ET)


It's been a very difficult day for ESPN. Network veteran Neil Goldberg, pictured above in the NASCAR TV production truck, has been arrested in Connecticut on four criminal charges. Goldberg is currently the Sr. Motorsports Producer for ESPN.

The nature of the charges makes it all the worse as ESPN has a long history of sexually-related incidents and arrests. The story is already making its way through the sports blogs and will no doubt be in the mainstream media soon.

Here is a concise summary from the mediabistro.com website:

An ESPN producer turned himself into authorities on Tuesday after he was caught peering into a neighbor’s window and masturbating while she was getting dressed.

Neil Goldberg was charged with public indecency, simple trespass, disorderly conduct and breach of peace, according to police in Connecticut. Last month, a neighbor walking her dog spotted Goldberg standing on a stool and masturbating while peering in a window. Goldberg later admitted to police that he watched his neighbor get dressed in her bedroom.

The 52-year-old Goldberg is a senior producer for ESPN’s motorsports coverage. He posted $1,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in Superior Court later this month in Hartford, CT.


Update: At 5PM ET ESPN advised that they are still in the process of looking into the situation. Goldberg will not be traveling to California for the ESPN NASCAR coverage. Sr. Coordinating Producer Jill Fredrickson will be producing the Sprint Cup Series race from Auto Club Speedway on Sunday.

Earlier this year, the network suspended analyst Randy LaJoie for failing a NASCAR drug test. LaJoie has been reinstated by NASCAR, but remains suspended from ESPN. Columnist Jay Mariotti was involved in a domestic incident in Los Angeles resulting in his arrest. Mariotti has not worked for ESPN since that time.

In the interest of fairness, I have known Goldberg since the 1980's when we worked on the ESPN NASCAR and Formula 1 telecasts. I have not been in contact with him for over a decade. He is one of the most veteran motorsports producers in the country.

Once ESPN releases a statement on this issue, comments will be opened.

36 comments:

Terri said...

My mouth has fallen open and no words are coming out.

dara2K said...

Well, this might explain why the quality of the Nascar Sprint Cup telecasts are askew. Perhaps this man's production was distracted by "something else"...Seriously, if proven guilty, sad for the victims and his family, and frankly, for him. Some people just like to "throw it away". It's hard to believe no one at ESPN knew of his "problem". Just sayin'

Darcie said...

Uh, is there some requirement at ESPN that you have to have character issues to work there? They certainly seem to have more than their share of amoral employees. Either that or they're all really bereft of intelligence that they get caught.

Chadderbox said...

Wow!

This is not what I expected to be reading about when when I stopped by the Daly Planet today.

Shocking!

toomuchcountry said...

Formal guilt or innocence will eventually be decided through the court system, attorneys, and Goldberg. However, a verdict or plea is not needed for continued employment decisions. ESPN should be able to do its diligence, decide on Goldberg's future, and then make a statement. I just hope they remember the hurt endured by Erin Andrews, one of Goldberg's ESPN co-workers, who was a victim of something similar to this alleged behavior.

Gymmie said...

A shame I've known Neil's name for years a shame that they have another black eye.

Does ESPN have a morality clause? I can't remember if we discussed that in the past or not.

dara2K said...

...And another thing..Eery coincidence of this Goldberg working in the same company with victim of similar crime, Erin Andrews. Is this ESPN's idea of "have at it boys?". Ok, apologies for bad joke but it is way too weird and quite a "coinquedink" if you are asking me. Professionals might speculate ESPN needs to shore up the ranks a bit.....

Anonymous said...

This is a terrible and tragic story for a variety of reasons... but I don't think it reflects on ESPN. The fact is that almost any large corporation has its share of perverts working in senior positions. The NY Times ran a huge article today about the sexually inappropriate happenings at Tribune, another huge media company.

It's not ESPN's fault that this guy has mental problems and more than it was NBC's fault when Marv Albert was arrested for leaving bite marks on a call girl. Pervs are pervs and they're everywhere.

panwhale said...

I love this blog, but very low marks Mr. Daly for even mentioning Randy LaJoie's pot dalliance in the same general vicinity of public masturbation and domestic violence.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Panwhale,

This is the paragraph to which you object:

"Earlier this year, the network suspended analyst Randy LaJoie for failing a NASCAR drug test. LaJoie has been reinstated by NASCAR, but remains suspended from ESPN. Columnist Jay Mariotti was involved in a domestic incident in Los Angeles resulting in his arrest. Mariotti has not worked for ESPN since that time."

These two were the last employees of ESPN suspended for any reason. Never was LaJoie's issue compared to the Goldberg arrest.

JD

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

E$PN does not care. All it wants is controversy. Networks that have sports division rarely have this problem. E$PN has had many controversies with their so called personalities. And whoever is run ning E$PN is doing nothing about it. As a matter of fact they are embracing it. They hand out work suspensions but that is just a slap on the wrist. Peeping and masturbating in public is worse than smoking a joint.

But I hope he gets removed from E$PN altogether though I know the wont do that. They only care about controversy to get their hands on the almighty dollar.

E$PN continues to make a mess everyday and it astonishes me that sports fans have to put up with them.

WHOEVER RUNS E$PN IF THERE IS A HELL, I HOPE YOU ROT IN IT.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Easy on the language there sbtf!

Anonymous said...

Doubt you'll see him back - no way they can allow him to interface with female employees.

Just maybe Jill is a solution?

Anonymous said...

This is disgusting & sad for all involved (family of producer)

But seriously WHAT WAS HE WATCHING when he chose camera work for tv. What kind of MINDSET does he have,

for the record HORRIBLE CAMERA work has chased me away from NASCAR.

Typing this as I watch Reds getting whomped in first playoff game.

Sophia

Daly Planet Editor said...

The rules of this blog have been the same for comments since 2007.

No profanity, hateful speech or derogatory comments.

Sometimes folks get fired up, I will decide where the line is on posting comments.

All I ask is that you remain on the subject we are speaking about in the posting. Thanks.

JD

Chadderbox said...

How will Goldberg's absence this weekend affect the coverage? Will it affect the coverage? I am asking because I don't know how things work behind the scenes on a Nascar TV Production.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Neil works for Coordinating Producer Jill Fredrickson. She works for VP of Motorsports Marc Feinberg.

Jill used to be the truck series TV producer and is a veteran.

No problem, she is just going step-in and line produce the event. Same director, talent and crew.

JD

glenc1 said...

I just saw the headline at Jayski and thought..."wha......"

well, we wanted a new producer...

Honestly, I'm sure it's a terrible thing for all involved. It will be interesting to see if we see anything different about the broadcast. I have to say, ESPN has a precedent with the other incidents and suspension. As only a 'part timer' I'm sure we'll never see Mariotti again. But this is a bit of a different situation; he's not an 'on air' person. But I think if I were working with him...it would surely make me uncomfortable...whether one is male or female.

Anonymous said...

I answered my own question. Goldberg was the one who decided Free Pass was better than lucky dog and a clearer term than Beneficiary Rule.

Still don't like the rule, but I do think he was/is right about what it should be called.

Sad about the news of him

Jonathan said...

I dont think this will change anything but maybe just maybe someone will step up and say hey maybe this happened for a reason! Lets change something here

PLEASE OH PLEASE lol probably just wishful thinking on my part


What a nutjob this guy must be

Vicky D said...

This reminds me of the David Letterman producer who is even up for an emmy but even went to jail. Everyone is under a microscope whether they work for ESPN nor not, they better not take one misstep or else!

Anonymous said...

This is the second sex related issue involving a member if the ESPN Staff, I hope Nascar pulls the Television broadcast right for all the Big three series from ESPN/ABC networks. I think i am gonna go loose my supper over this...

Sophia said...

Vicky:

Letterman producer up for an Emmy? Who is that???? Not that lunatic that tried to BLACKMAIL Letterman (who was still single when he dated women that worked for him over the years, btw)

(Sorry JD to ask this)

This is a disgusting read on Goldberg.

The thing that disgusts me is before you get CHARGED with stalking women, you have to be one (stalker that is)..and for this lewd act and bail of $1000, this guy is out of jail already? Scary. No wonder so many creeps on street...One usually only has to post %10 of bail to go home.

If this is true, I would NOT want to work with Goldberg & I am pretty open minded about sexual issues. The more you know about psychology, the scariest this should make you. This is not a 'boys will be boys or men deal.'

After the Erin Andrews stalker across country (and MY BIG gripe on that story, what HOTELS gave out her name??????????? Never heard the answer to that either)

But back on track...peeping tomes used to be considered harmless decades ago but now we know that to be different...so it's scary/sad for all involved. But Lewd acts against one's will (the women being spied upton) MUST come with a stronger PENALTY.

Anonymous said...

If I wanted to see this trash, I'd go to TMZ.com. This type of stuff has no business on this blog.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The news story in the article is from the mediabistro.com website for journalists.

The story is in CT papers, on TV stations and the major sports blogs.

The AP story was distributed globally and the arrest is public record.

The one place the story is not? TMZ.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Apologies to Rich Feinberg of ESPN, called him Marc in an earlier post.

Rich is the VP of Motorsports for ESPN, been with the company for a long time.

JD

GinaV24 said...

I was so shocked when I logged on to see this news. I don't know what to say other than to wonder, has he lost his mind?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daly Planet Editor said...

sbtf has been a regular here for a while now, he gets a bit fired up with his comments sometimes.

I take them as they come.

AncientRacer said...

In L.A. today & just popped in to see if there was talk of the sinkhole in Charlotte. Did not expect this. Had some really cute comments about the sinkhole and signs from above and all. Think I'll pass on those for now.

Not that I am any saint, but I got to say sex can do some strange things to people

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Hey Guys saltsburgtrojanfan here,

I see that some of you had made some comments about my posts. I just want you to know that I did not say bad words in my posts all i said is hell and i don't recall hell being a bad or profane word. I want to say that I am like all of you here, including John, a person who wants to make a difference.


I comment on here because I totally agree with all of you ESPN and Fox are ruining the NASCAR broadcasts and are doing next to nothing about it. All of you get fired up and all the bashing is warranted and they fall on deaf ears, even to the extent that David Hill says tough to all of us. Now thats one way to treat your customers aka viewers.

I don't watch anything on ESPN anymore because it is the all hype sports network and they give little attention to the little guys. The only place i watch sports is on the NHL, MLB and NFL networks respectively b/c they treat all sports equally.

Goldberg's arrest is one mess that keeps digging ESPN's big hole they can try to get out of but can't or not willing to.

I, like yourself and others, long for the days of Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons. We all long the days that ESPN was the classiest channel on TV. I know you used to work for ESPN John and would like to know did ESPN listen for feedback to it's viewers? ESPN was etter until Disney bought it along with ABC. The integration of ABC sports really killed me.

Sorry for the long post, John. Just needed to get some stuff off my chest and once again thanks for providing a place for all NASCAR fans to come and talk.

Oh and BTW If you need me on sundays, I'll be cheering on my Pittsburgh Steelers.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU everyone for not questioning why NASCAR Now or SportsCenter didn't address this last night. If they would've I would've been mad. It is NOT a NASCAR news story. It's a TV industry story. And as much as I'd like to think other people are as obsessed as we are with the racing TV biz, most fans do not care who the producer is. That is all! :)

majorshouse said...

I find this whole thing extremely sad and feel for all of the victims here because there are no winners here. It is quite tragic and hope that he will seek professional help for what seems to be a really deep seeded problem.

Anonymous said...

This is the most disturbing news I've heard in a while, it makes my stomach turn. Obviously, he has some major issues, but to think he wouldn't be seen by anyone doing this is unbelievable. How about going into a room and shutting the door behind you?! I feel so sorry for his family as they are the ones who will carry this forever. Please think of them when you post stuff. ESPN should definitely fire him

Tripp back in NH said...

Wow. All I can say that this is a sad state of affairs for Mr. Goldberg, but where are personal honor and values in his life? It's impossible to justify his actions and if he's convicted he'll likely have a "sex offender" tag hung around his neck and he'll have to live with that. I cannot and will not judge him.

The incident does cause me to wonder, once again, what has happened to people's values. How can one say, "I'm going to do this wrong thing, but it's OK"? Without going off on a personal values and/or faith rant, isn't this just another brick in the wall?

Ego and power are a drug, a bad drug, in the entertainment industry but it deludes those at the top of the heap that they are somehow exempt from the rules the rest of us live by. When the law or the public see people like this stepping over the line they get caught and called to account. It's happened before and this will not be the last time. It saddens me that things have come to this for Mr. Goldberg, and in a broader context for society at large.

The question can be asked, "should we then hold others to our personal standards?" I would say no because my standards are very personal, arrived at through my faith, teachings and experience. They work for me but won't necessarily work for anyone else. But what we can demand is that people have values and standards and that they live by them. Laws are one way to enforce them but once they're invoked the damage is already done.

ESPN is a community and it has a culture. Someone always sets the tone for that culture. Dave Thomas did it for Wendy's, Uncle Walt did it for Disney, Ed Murrow did it for CBS news. Who's setting the culture for ESPN? It seems that no one is... not that I can see. At the risk of oversimplifying the issue, that's a big part of the problem.

The good ship ESPN has lost it's rudder and been adrift for a long time in many ways beyond Mr. Goldberg's problems. Who will step up to management, grab them by the lapels and say, "don't you see what's happening here?"

Anonymous said...

It's worth noting, especially in regard to Tripp back in NH's comment on "what has happened to people's values", that NASCAR drivers are, by all indications, some of the most wholesome people in all of sports. Sure, there have been a few drug incidents, but none involving a big-name driver. And I have no idea when the last sex scandal involving a driver happened.