Sunday, January 16, 2011
Monday TV/Media Notes
It's a big week with lots of news and changes on NASCAR TV scene. Here are some topics of interest as teams get ready to head to Daytona for testing.
Click here for the link to the story on Ricky Craven in the Bangor Daily News. Craven has been slowly working his way up the ladder at ESPN and in 2011 he will be adding seven Nationwide Series races to his existing duties in the ESPN studios.
Craven has been the standout studio analyst for the network, patiently working in a wide variety of circumstances and with a wide variety of on-air talent. ESPN cements a valuable piece of the puzzle with this move. Craven gets a presence in the TV booth in addition to holding down the studio on weekends and appearing on the one-hour NASCAR Now show on Mondays.
ESPN spokesperson Andy Hall told me late last week that the network had no production announcements to make, so we are still awaiting official confirmation that Jamie Shiftan will be producing the network's race coverage. The only on-air personnel shift was Ray Evernham leaving ESPN after agreeing to work for Rick Hendrick.
Over at SPEED, things are popping. Two shows will not be returning for this season. NASCAR in a Hurry was a review show that appeared in an early morning timeslot with video updates of the weekend. Adam Alexander and Randy Pemberton were the hosts.
The second series cancelled was NASCAR Smarts. This show featured host John Roberts asking trivia questions to Kyle Petty, Rutledge Wood and a group of fans or special guests. It began as a part of the Ask.com sponsorship package, but quickly got off-track and became half-hearted attempt at comedy late last season. Now, it's over.
Instead, SPEED will focus efforts on the NASCAR RaceDay pre-race show that absolutely needed a makeover. While the same on-air talent will be returning, look for substantive changes inside the program. The length will remain at two hours, although specials may extend the show.
Three veteran series will be returning. NASCAR Victory Lane, NASCAR Live and NASCAR Performance are popular shows that have clicked from the start. Originally produced in the field, NASCAR Performance was shifted to the studio in 2010.
This week, SPEED.com will be offering fully-produced long-form live video streaming of three days of Daytona testing. It will be a first for the network and should be interesting to watch online. Friday at noon ET, SPEED will also stream the widely anticipated "competition update" from Daytona. Mike Helton and Robin Pemberton will be explaining the new rules and changes for this season.
Monday should also bring official word from SPEED about a special series of TV programs related to the life and times of Dale Earnhardt Sr. on the tenth anniversary of his untimely passing. As usual, SPEED will be originating over one hundred hours of programming from Daytona. Check back for updates throughout the day.
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