Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday TV/Media Notes

Here are some items of interest as we head to a split weekend with the Sprint Cup Series in Sonoma, CA and the Nationwide gang in Elkhart Lake, WI.

Wednesday it was announced by NBC4 in Washington, DC that Lindsay Czarniak was going to be leaving that local station where she had worked since 2005. Her new destination is ESPN. Czarniak is currently working at her part-time summer job hosting the six TNT Sprint Cup Series races. She will wait until July for the ESPN move.

Czarniak started her TV career as a production assistant at CNN after graduating from James Madison University. She has already worked two Olympics for NBC Sports in Turino and Beijing. Czarniak is a versatile on-air personality in the Krista Voda mode. That is someone who is at home in the studio, working as a reporter or hosting in the field. No doubt she will be a good addition to ESPN's on-air team.

Sticking with the ladies, SPEED's Danielle Trotta has been working as a field reporter for the RaceHub series. This weekend, she gets an interesting opportunity to try something new. With Voda hosting Trackside and Adam Alexander working for TNT, Trotta will take a turn anchoring the SPEED Center shows.

She will be handling the cut-ins and the Sunday morning preview show, but the big challenge will come Sunday night at 7PM. That one-hour version of SPEED Center is the most diverse motorsports show on the network. It will pull Trotta far outside the comforts of NASCAR.

Speaking of outside the comfort zone, four NASCAR drivers will appear in Sunday night's 10PM ET version of The Glades on A&E. Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers filmed the episode earlier this year at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"Shooting The Glades was a really cool experience," Logano said. "To see Homestead-Miami Speedway turned into a Hollywood movie set was certainly interesting. I can promise you this, I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon. The show did an amazing job making the set and garage area look authentic. I know we had The Home Depot Toyota there, the extras were in our crew shirts and we even had our tool box in the garage stall. They did their best to make it look as real as possible and I think the NASCAR fans will appreciate that."

This weekend TNT will again have RaceBuddy at Sonoma. There will be a different look to it since Infineon Raceway is a road course. The free online service will continue to offer ten video streams, including four in-car cameras. TNT reports that RaceBuddy delivered over 700 thousand live video streams last weekend.

For you NASCAR history buffs, TNT's Pride of NASCAR feature shown in the pre-race will feature former driver Rex White. Now 81 years old, White competed for the original Chevrolet racing team and accumulated 28 wins and over 150 top ten finishes. He is in several halls of fame and was named one of NASCAR's top 50 drivers.

No Marty Reid this weekend for ESPN. Allen Bestwick gets the call to handle the Road America coverage with Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree. Once again, no coverage of practice or qualifying is offered by the ESPN networks. The actual race telecast is Saturday at 5PM on ESPN.

Speaking of no live coverage, on Friday SPEED is time-shifting the Sprint Cup Series qualifying from Sonoma to 11PM ET. The network instead is carrying six live hours of the Barrett-Jackson auction from Orange County beginning at 5PM.

This also means that the popular Friday night Trackside program on SPEED is out of luck. Krista Voda will host the show airing on tape delay Saturday at 11AM ET.

Speaking of Saturday, SPEED will also time-shift the two Sprint Cup practices to air beginning at 2:30PM ET. The network will instead carry the Rolex Sports Car Series race from Road America live beginning at noon ET.

So, to sum it up there is no coverage of practice or qualifying for the Nationwide Series at Road America by ESPN. Also, three Sprint Cup Series on-track sessions, including qualifying, will be delayed by SPEED from Infineon Raceway for an auction and a sports car race.

We want your comments on these topics. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Brian said...

Going to put it simply and bluntly. With this move, there is ZERO reason why ESPN shouldn't have LC hosting the pre-race and studio shows with Bestwick back in the booth. Everybody is then in the position in which they most thrive.

I'd go outside the box and rotate analysts all season between the booth, the bench, and the pre-race.

Daly Planet Editor said...


There has been absolutely no indication that Czarniak will have any NASCAR TV duties at ESPN.

Most expect her to head off to the studio or work as a reporter on news stories.

We will keep you posted with the latest information.


Anonymous said...

If the above is true, then they are wasting her talent. I agree totally with Brian...I've been screaming as loud as I can scream to have Bestwick handle the play by play.

And the rotating analysts sounds like a good idea...I guess that proves the Brian is not followed by the last name "France." Atta boy! ;)

Adam Wood said...

I can understand delaying practice for the Grand-Am race, but delaying qualifying for a car auction just doesn't add up to me.

Adam Wood said...

Also-wish we could see Road America qualifying. The Nationwide Road Course qualifying procedure is very interesting and keeps my interest. Too bad we won't see it.

Buschseries61 said...

Good luck to Lindsay at ESPN. Hopefully she will appear on SportsCenter after the NASCAR events on ESPN and bring some much needed class and decency to the table.

It’s great that Bestwick has been given the opportunity to call more Nationwide races than he has in the past. Hopefully ESPN will put him back where he belongs in 2012 full time.

Moving on to TNT, I think the RaceBuddy numbers are good, but fail to justify why the post race is cut short for Why cut the broadcast short for 4 million people for an audience of around 700,000?

I love the Pride of NASCAR segments, Rex White will be interesting to watch. Too bad FOX wasted their pre-race coverage this season with meaningless fluff & Darrell Waltrip promotion.

I don’t mind the lack of practice / qualifying coverage. NASCAR fatigue starts to set in this time of the year. Also, qualifying hasn’t been very exciting in Cup & Nationwide all season due to the sorry state of the back half of the field. Nationwide road course qualifying is normally very exciting, but they are still 2 cars short of a full field, even with a handful of backup cars entered.

Anonymous said...

"H", it's bad enough that ESPN kicks us under the bus, now Speed is getting in on the action?? No..., I love Speed and know that some wks. are over whelmed. But the Barrett Jackson thing gets old.

Far as Marty...., wouldn't hurt my feelings if he never came back. I *hate* his "Well, there's goes another Start & Park", like they are low-lifer's or something. Other analyst bring it to focus, just not with just disdain. Maybe a "There goes another" or "So & So is going behind the wall" lovingnascar

Anonymous said...

Man, I sure am glad nascar's ratings are up and everything is looking good - according to bzf. I would hate to see what kind of coverage we would get if ratings were bad and sponsors were leaving the sport. MC

Anonymous said...

I'm a qualifying junkie. Love to watch, and recently, more than I do a full race. Love the chatter that goes with qualifying.

I'm having a hard time keeping my love of Nascar alive this year. Anyone else?

MRM4 said...

Good for Lindsay (I think). Funny thing is the story on the station's web site makes no mention of her working for TNT doing NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

As far as Nationwide practice and qualifying, ESPN is never going to take time to show practice and qualifying. I am sure they probably get higher ratings for almost anything they would play instead of NW practice.

As far as Speed I actually enjoy watching the Barrett-Jackson auctions. There are only four in the year, so I don't have a problem with delayed qualifying and practice on these weekends. Again, I think that must have to do with a contract and/or higher ratings with the auction. Last, I would expect that showing the Rolex Sports Car race live takes precedence over practice of another series... it is a live race.

GinaV24 said...

Congrats to LC and I hope that Danielle does a good job on Speed Report.

Hooray for Allen in the booth for the Nationwide race. I always love it when he does the PXP. Such as waste for him not to be doing this every race and for that matter, calling the Cup races when ESPN takes over. Quite bluntly, he's the best that ESPN has for PXP and it is stupid of them not to use him - unless of course he doesn't want the job full time.

Looking forward to RB for the road race -- having those extra cameras will be great. Hope that Adam A can pull it together and give the fans a decent PXP - since they took Jim Noble away so the booth could be the focus, then the booth needs to do the actual job of PXP for the race.

Bruce Ciskie said...

I'm a big fan of Barrett Jackson, so I won't complain too much. Big problem IMO is NASCAR doing TV deals that provide no coverage of practices or qualifying unless the TV partners feel like it.

It should be a priority as part of the package, as opposed to an option that can be tape-delayed or ignored when there's something else to put on TV.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy watching road course qualifying, so I am very disappointed.
Does Race Buddy have scanner channels too? My computer screen is too small to really watch the video.

The Mad Man said...

Looking forward to seeing my friend Rex White on Pride of NASCAR. Great guy, great champion, and a wonderful human being.

I sure hope the race coverage is better than the last two weeks.

West Coast Diane said...

Ditto congrats to LC. I have always liked her. Hope they find a great role for her at ESPN.

The schedule for Sears Point is pretty poor...on TV, but at the track, too.

We are only 90 minutes away but won't go for the weekend (while traveling 7000 miles round trip for the Daytona 500). RV spots are expensive relative to the number of events over the weekend. K&N series + Cup just doesn't justify the $$$ spent. Won't go for just the race because traffic is terrible.

We gave up our IndyCar tickets for this year because like with the Cup race there just isn't enough activity over the 3 days to keep us entertained and $$$ spent.

We will go up tomorrow 1) because it is so beautiful, 2)the weather will be great and 3)my husband likes watching how the Cup guys navigate the course, especially the great ones, as he races there a couple of times a year.

West Coast Diane said...

PS...another gripe, relative to tracks/NASCAR not getting it. For Friday at Sonoma, there are no general admission tickets. You buy a ticket at $25 or $30, depending on location...drum roll...with specific seats! We were there last year with a ton of empty seats. We actually got checked by an usher. Do they just not get it? Well based on what they allow for TV coverage as well, guess the answer is "Nope, they don't".

Thank you...blood pressure returning to normal :-)

OSBORNK said...

The top 35 and the lack of participants have made qualifying close to meaningless. Almost everyone gets to race and qualifying is only for starting and pit position. It is not worth the time to watch something with so little meaning.

GinaV24 said...

Wow, West Coast Diane, I had always wanted to go out to Sonoma because it looks like such a pretty area. It's great to get feedback on things like traffic and things from people who have been there. I guess I'll watch it on TV.

Watkins Glen is closer from a driving perspective from here in NJ, so if we decide to do a road course, that will probably be the one after all.

I don't know much about Rex White, so I'm looking forward to the segment. The pride of NASCAR segment is the best part of the pre-race.

West Coast Diane said...


I would recommend putting up with the traffic as a one time experience. The views around the track are beautiful. The town of Sonoma and others nearby are quaint with lots of great food and shops. If you went for the weekend, I think only race day would be an issue. The other 2 days are not widely attended. Plus if I was coming from a distance I'd spend a week and take in all the sites. Weather in the 80's and "good" I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Vince said...

Congrats to LC for getting the ESPN job. She's great on TNT and hope ESPN will use her wisely. She's obviously over qualified to be hosting Sports Center. They'd have to send her to Clown College first. Hope she can avoid all the sexual harassment pervs in ESPN's upper management. Go Lindsay!

Tom said...

I'm sure you know the drill already, but when race day comes, I'm heading to the track well before dawn. Gates usually open by 6 a.m., and the traffic on Highway 37 starts to build just after the sun comes up.
I've been to Sonoma six times, and it's worth going every time.

Anonymous said...

Just an ESPN II note: Was watching Wimbledon coverage today and the tennis announcers were doing a promo for this weekend's Nationwide Series race and one of the announcers mused the possibility of a NASCAR race in China. The announcer then said that when the first pro tennis match was held in China, that not a single ticket was sold for the first day. The announcer then went on to say that to avoid that happening if China hosted a NASCAR race, that perhaps the race be held in the southern part of china. So much for NASCAR's attempt to be recoginized as a national as opposed to a regional sport.

Anonymous said...

WOW Diane I didn't know that they made those changes that's a shame :(.

Good Luck to Lindsey in her new adventures.

Palmetto said...

"Also, three Sprint Cup Series on-track sessions, including qualifying, will be delayed by SPEED from Infineon Raceway for an auction and a sports car race."

You say that like the Rolex series isn't worth watching. A couple of hours of delay for practice isn't comparable to a six-hour delay for qualifying. Qualifying results are impossible to avoid for that long (assuming the East Coast stays awake), and the coverage rarely reveals any real insights. Practice results are easier to avoid for that short a period, and coverage provides better overall information and commentary. Let it slide for couple hours and watch the sports cars; a viewer might develop an appreciation for a slightly different style of racing, including a class of cars that are much closer to "Stock" than anything in the Cup, N'wide, or Truck series.

The Mad Man said...

Gina, if you get a chance, read the book "Gold Thunder". It's an autobiography about Rex White. Great book and a lot of good history on the good old days.