Saturday, June 9, 2007

Who's Hot - Who's Not

I'm gonna have to rant at little here.

Gee, that didn't take long. Only three posts.

In my local paper, I used to get plenty of coverage of Antioch Speedway. In the 70's and 80's, the Contra Costa Times covered it.

In the 90's, we had the Ledger for the Antioch side of the hill, and there was great coverage in there. That is, until it was merged with The Times.

Now, we get, who's hot and who's not. Just a little mention of who won last week and who crashed along with a mention of what is racing and how much it will cost to see.

Frankly, that sucks, and I mean, it really sucks.

Last I checked, Petaluma got good newspaper coverage. So did Merced, Watsonville, Chico, Marysville, Madera. Not Antioch. Coverage sucks for Antioch.

The motorsports column covers NASCAR. Antioch gets the occasional mention. It just so happens that it was mentioned. Just two or three sentences to mention a big money Late Model show on the 23rd and the fact that one of the Wallace brothers will be racing. Well, La Di Freaking Da!!! Thanks for nothing.

So, who's to blame for this? Newspaper or Track? I'm gonna have to blame the track on this one. During my time at Antioch as announcer, the promoter did advertise in the paper. Jackie and I handled this. I designed the ad and she phoned it in and talked with the people there. It was mentioned to her that some room could be made for the track stories.

Well, I was carrying a pretty big load at the time and didn't really want the story thing. Besides, the track had an old veteran writer named Jack who was doing it. Is he still? Anyway, when I told him in front of John, he talked of how he can't and John agreed. Way to earn the money there Jack!!!

Anyway, since that time, I headed to Chowchilla to announce and write. I had a list of some 8-10 newspaper fax numbers that I sent to every week. 2 stories every week. Did every paper print everything? No, but they printed some. Chowchilla got coverage amongst the more established tracks there, and I'm rather proud of that fact. Sure, it disappointed me when nothing was printed, but I was also proud when presistence paid off with a printed story.

Back at Antioch, unless you get the Antioch, Oakley or Brentwood Press, you ain't reading about the track. The old "we can't" bill of goods has been sold to track management, and it has been bought. Don't despair though. For a few weeks, anyway, fans had the opportunity to print a flier from a pdf on the track's web sight to put in store windows.

Thing is, the relationship between the track and newspapers has been nonexistent for years now. Anybody who were brought in to handle PR now would have their work cut out for them. But, it could be done. Several things would have to be done to convince the wine and dine me sports media to give the track the time of day, but it could be done.

The track desrves better. It has a history of nearly 50 years of continuous racing. That's worth a few paragraphs twice a week.

Now, I'm not trying to point a finger at anybody or tell them how to do their job here. I'd just like to see some coverage again.

I'll end my rant here. Just something I wanted to say.