Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Post-Season Open Comments

Just days before the holiday break we are waiting. Information from SPEED should be coming in shortly. The network is going to mix TV and online streaming to cover the January Daytona testing. That should be great news when it arrives.

No personnel changes in TV land in front of the cameras to report. The Charlotte Observer's Jim Utter passed along that James Shiftan, a veteran ESPN producer, will be taking over as the network's lead NASCAR producer for 2011. Shiftan is well liked and the immediate reaction to this news from crew members was overwhelmingly positive.

Despite the new president at FOX Sports, it seems that all hands are back on deck for the upcoming season of NASCAR on FOX. The NFL on FOX theme music will be used for NASCAR this season, but the good news is that Digger is once again nowhere to be seen.

We are a little over a month away from the first NASCAR TV news show returning. Race Hub on SPEED is back on Monday, January 24. Steve Byrnes returns to host and will also be pit reporting for the NASCAR on FOX team. That should make for a long couple of months.

So, if you have a question or issue that you would like to leave in the comments section, we will be answering questions all day Wednesday and updating any news that flows in. To add your comment, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

That is the Capitol Christmas tree in Washington, DC, my home town. Click on the picture to see it full size. Enjoy.


Roland said...

FOX NFL theme music for nascar? Heck yeah!

KoHoSo said...

This is probably a question that cannot be answered but I will ask it anyway.

How much lower do the television ratings have to go before Fox and ESPN will make some more changes?

Anonymous said...

JD, thank you for the incredible post season articles. While the rest of the media was gone for the winter, this site continued to cover a great deal of media topics.

In the live blogging from the Truck series finale, you wrote:
"The rumor is that there will be some new faces in some new places for next season. Look for every member of this on-air team to be intense all night long"

Have these rumors died down or are changes still possible in 2011?

DexterMorgan said...

JD, are you hearing any changes coming at Sirius Nascar Radio 128 in the coming new year? I find the current line up extremely stale. They are paid shills of Nascar whose only purpose is to tow the company line and put down people who dont like it. Pete Pistone being the worst of them. They all need to go.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter much to me whether James Shiftan is or is not poplular. It is more important to know whether he is a motor sports fan in general and/or a NASCAR fan in particular. Is there any information on this point?

Are we getting a producer who sees the sport from a fan's perspective? Is he at least going to respect the fans, listen to their complaints/suggestions, and break from ESPN's previous coverage model?

If Shiftan is a stick and ball guy who is going to continue to give us the same camera selection, talking down to viewers, emphasis on a chosen few, pre-selected story lines, playing with gadgets, incompetent on-air personnel, etc, etc, I don't care how popular he is with ESPN personnel. I would much prefer someone who is a jerk but knows how to deliver a broadcast that pleases fans and brings them back.

Daly Planet Editor said...

KoHoSo, NASCAR and ESPN had an emergency meeting on that issue in Nov. Both sides basically blamed each other. Nothing changed.

Busch, still waiting on two potential changes.

Dexter, I stopped trying to figure out what's going on over there. One thing is clear, them boys don't like me!

Anon, Shiftan is a young guy who is into racing. The NNS races should show us what he has in mind.


The Mad Man said...

Hopefully Fox won't use the NFL robot the way the used Goopher the Gopher.

Unfortunately the networks won't listen to the fans so I'm not expecting any changes. Week after week the Planeteers have come up with solutions to the problems and week after week the networks and NAPCAR ignore them. The same thing applies to Sirius 128. The only thing that gets either the networks or radio stations attention is to not watch/listen to them or in the case of Sirius not subscribing to them.

JD, the only person on Sirius that seems to be half-way decent is Claire B Lang. The rest aren't worth the powder to blow them to heck.

The only thing I see that will get more fans watching involves a major overhaul with the leadership in Daytona Beach, cars that look like cars, and a major overhaul with the networks. Expect next season to be more of the same. Fewer viewers, boring races, and emptier grandstands.

Vicky D said...

JD, nice column, I know this is minor, but have the tracks & Nascar thought about the anthem singers at all? They were simply awful this year, that needs to be addressed too. So many things need improvement first with the telecasts. I also wish there was a Nasccar weekly race from this year to get us in the mood. I can't watch Pinks, Pass or that Baker Auto Auction show. I would even prefer a 15 year old race to those things. And JD, thanks for keeping us in the loop this month too.

Anonymous said...

So - it means we still get DW & Mikey overload? Shheeesh....
FOX NFL theme is better than "rock" or rap or Gophers or whatever.

I'd like to hope that ALL the tracks have taken a real listen about the anthem & will get better quality singers than we fans endured this year.

Thanks for all your "off season" work here, it really is appreciated.

Have a Merry Merry & Happy Happy!

Donna DeBoer said...

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Hoping for a great 2011!

thebobster10 said...

Do you happen to know if FOX will be sticking to the same NASCAR graphics package that they have used since 2007 or will they be switching to a look similar to the new NFL graphic package?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same thing as thebobster ... now that Fox is showing everything in widescreen graphics-wise, how is that transferring to NASCAR on FOX/Speed?

The other Fox networks are completely in widescreen, too (at least when I watch those networks, they are) ... any word on how that and the graphics will look?

GinaV24 said...

Merry Christmas, JD and to all my fellow Planeteers. Thanks again, JD, for the great site. Its the first thing I read in the morning.

I'm with KoHo -- how much lower do the ratings have to get before changes are made? Last one out, turn out the lights.

Glad that Steve will be back with RaceHub. It sure sounds like he will have a busy schedule during Fox's broadcast period. the streaming option sounds good to me, but I'm limited on what I can do during work hrs as we have a policy against streaming online deals unless they are work related, but I'm still glad its out there.

Disappointed in the news that Fox and ESPN plan to offer us the same old, same old with the broadcast teams. What was new, fun and exciting in 2001 with Fox has become tired and worn in 2010. And I don't need any daggone gopher!

ESPN, well after enjoying Marty's efforts in PXP in Nationwide, that fell completely off the table when he had to do both N'wide and Cup --failure to launch on lots of levels.

I hope the person that has been tagged to handle the production at the track gets the message that ADD camera work isn't going to cut it for race coverage and that all the bells and whistles (in car and one car shots) do not make for an enjoyable TV experience.

By now, I'm usually missing racing on TV - it's a sign of how poor the coverage in 2010 was that I'm not.

It's a shame that brainless and the people running the money train at Fox and ESPN don't care enough to fix things.

Oh well, it's a free country and I can continue to vote with my remote AND my lack of attendance at the track.

JohnP said...



Question Wednesday :)

With ratings down, and advertisers running from Nascar in droves will there be more and more start and park cars in the Sprint Series? S&P are all over the place in the Truck and Nationwide series. Wondering if that will spread to the top series, Sprint?

Dextermorgan said...

Hey JP, there are already 7 or 8 start n park cars in Sprint Cup. And unfourtunately there is no hope of that number going down anytime soon.

MRM4 said...

My hopes for 2011 is that Fox won't sleepwalk through most of the season like they did in 2010, that TNT will find a good PxP guy to really gel with Wally and Kyle, and that ESPN will burn the Chase script.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I'll ask the FOX guys about the graphics for NASCAR this season and get back to you. Good question.

PammH said...

I know everyone is getting busy with Christmas coming up, so just wanted to thank you again JD for the blog that keeps me sane during the racing season!And to all the TV Police & Planeteers-Merry Christmas to all! I enjoy hanging out with you all on Sundays the majority of the year.

Sally said...

JD and all the Planeteers...hoping you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season! JD, this site is our only lifeline to Nascar or any racing news right now. Like Gina24, I'm usually having withdrawal from racing my this time, but find I don't really care. This is what BZF, FOX, and ESPN have done to my interest in racing. I find it astonishing that, with ratings, attendance and interest waning rapidly, no one seems to have any interest in doing anything to fix it.