Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where's The Press?

It bothers me that I can't pick up my Monday morning newspaper and see some results and a little story about Antioch Speedway. For years you could get that. Heck, back in the 70's, those stories would appear in the Sunday paper with at least the top ten feature finishers listed. It bothers me that it doesn't seem to bother track management. I've read comments about low attendance and revenues that management has made. Does it not occur to them that the biggest newspaper in the area isn't covering the races? This has an effect on attendance. I don't care what they say.

I hear can't, or I used to hear that when I was at the track. My PR duties were confined to racing publications and internet, while the other guy handled newspapers. We had discussions about this where he said "can't" and I just thought "b.s." at the time. As the designer of the ad my sister faxed to the paper back then, I recall her conversation with the paper where they told her the track should be getting coverage in that paper. But, it never happened. I should have tried harder on my own, I suppose, but I had a full plate and half the salary of the newspaper PR guy. Was it my duty to do his job?

When I went to Chowchilla the first year, I faxed newspapers all the time, and we did get ink in the local paper every week as well as Merced and Fresno papers and smaller papers. There were times I was ignored and it definitely pissed me off. Buddy Cox used to get a kick out of what I would do to a paper that ignored me. But, we got ink, and it's a reason attendance went up that second season. Nobody's coming if they don't now about it. My work in the papers at that time is something else I'm proud of.

I don't know if John has that guy working for him or somebody else, but if he's paying somebody, he's getting screwed. They need a PR guy getting stuff to all the area papers (Even ones that may not be likely to print at first) and they need to send stuff every week to show they are serious. I suggested at the time a phone line be put back in the booth to give the track a shot at making deadline on a Saturday night. I had other ideas that could help, but I don't want to drag this out too much longer.

Even though I'm not involved in the sport, there are names I am familiar with and new names that pop up that I like to read about. It bothers me that Antioch Speedway gets no love from the newspaper, when it was far different not that long ago. I wish it would bother John a little more than it seems to. With the improvements he's made to the track, maybe it's time to let old fans and prospective new fans know what's going on again.

By the way, this is not me hinting at wanting to come back. I'm just offering an opinion. Not trying to bash anybody either, so I hope it's not taken that way.

It occurs to me as we reach the half way point of this year that the decade is almost over and we are also approaching another anniversary of something that was near and dear to me, the birth of California Racing Online as a racing news website. Might make for a good column at some point.

Anyway, I'm sorry I've been bad with updates here. I hope all is well with you, and I wish you all the best.