It's incredibly rare to see a network fire an announcer midseason for a mistake made in the broadcast booth, especially after 30 years associated with the network, but ESPN has taken that drastic step with racing announcer Marty Reid.
According to the AP, ESPN has confirmed that Reid is no longer working for Bristol. ESPN will have lead NASCAR announcer Allen Bestwick call Nationwide races and will name a new lead IndyCar announcer at a later date. Reid had called five different racing series for ESPN - NASCAR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Truck Series as well as IndyCar and NHRA. Perhaps the biggest development in all this will be ESPN searching for a new voice for the Indianapolis 500, which Reid has called since 2006.
This all stems from a mistake Reid made last weekend at the Nationwide race in Kentucky. He mistakenly called the race over at the white flag and had to sheepishly be told by his broadcast partner that the race was indeed not over. While that may have been the straw that broke Reid's career, it was far from his first high profile blooper.
It's hard to criticize ESPN for making a change and ultimately replacing Reid, but one can't help but think the timing is harsh. It would be one thing to move another direction after the season and let Reid finish out his duties this year before quietly parting ways. But firing Reid now seems extreme and such a rare step, again, especially for someone with such a long history with the sport.
As far as consequences for announcing gaffes go, you can now put miscalling the end of a NASCAR race at the top of the list.
Sorry Marty I think you really got shafted over this deal. I wish we could can the president over such a mistake.
A lot of people couldn't get ESPN2 when it first came out or ESPNU. FOX and the providers will continue to work things out and eventually you will see a family of networks. It's going to take programming and interest, which will soon follow. I could see FOX getting an NFL game on Saturday nights in the future and putting it on FOX1.
I don't know the whole story behind the scenes. But I have been watching motor sports for a very long time.
I watched the very first live NASCAR event as a child. Seen many mistakes made over the years. I think that ESPN may of fired Marty one lap to early. I for one will miss you Marty.
what a stupid thing to fire someone over,doesn't really matter nascar won't be around long anyways because alot of people can't get fox 1 or fox2 so they won't be having many t.v. viewers won't be missed anyways nascar is getting boring and it stinks to watch because every week the rules changes
This is coming from the television network and racing body that had the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Kentucky 2 races ago on ESPN News. Maybe if someone actually cared about the fans I could have watched the race on TV... NASCAR has a lot more very serious problems with the loss of shows that were on Speed. How will next year go with Fox Sports 1 or 2 and NBC Sports Network? .... Say good bye to NASCAR. If they, NASCAR, doesn't care what channels their races are on and when a large percentage of fans can't watch this sport Nascar will die and will go the same way as MLB baseball, roller derby and wrestling.
Does this mean that the drivers will NOT be required to thank all 20 sponsors during each and every post race interview with Reid's replacement?
@awfulannouncing they have to pay Ray Lewis now for his compelling insight.
His service may seem worthy. Fact of the matter is he hasn't been paying attention to the races he calls for over 10 years. As a consumer that watches and listens to these races he was aggravating at best. It's like he was reading the society section of a newspaper and occasionally speaking up when it was required.
I'm not going to say good riddance, but it was long past time he wasn't doing that job.
@awfulannouncing yet Berman
@awfulannouncing amazing they have any announcers then amirite
@WxDan Yeah. Because he called the end of a race one lap early. Jack Roush didn't fire Mark Martin for that in the 90's.
@awfulannouncing So it WAS specifically because of that call? Wow...Jack Roush didn't fire Mark Martin when he pulled into the pits early.
There has to be more to this story. It seems WAY too punitive! Race announcers make mistakes all the time. Especially in open-wheel cars, where the image is small, and maybe the only difference is the helmet colors. Sometimes I see something happen, and I wonder why the announcers didn't see it. Well, they are juggling a lot, during the race. But most of the time, they see things I didn't notice. Especially the racers in the booth.
You don't fire someone for simple mistakes. It's not like this changed the race in any manner. And it was just the 2nd tier series. ESPN just look like cruel dicks for doing this. I never had any problems with Marty's announcing. What a disservice to this guy. And to not at least let him finish the season? Or to man up and tell him why he's being replaced? He will now go out thinking this was some big moment, and he screwed it all up. Personally, I HATE watching races on ESPN. They either don't know how to do it right, or don't care. They are always the worst channel for auto races.
Was this just a way for ESPN to reduce headcount because they aren't getting renewed by NASCAR for 2015? I don't know how many people actually saw this race because of college football it was shown on ESPN News.
For sure, they should have let him finish out the year. Surely a 30-year tenure should buy you that?
And even if, as you say, the firing is more for a long track record of bloopers, the way they've done it makes it look like a huge overreaction to a single, and fairly innocuous gaffe. Not a good look at all.
Yes Marty Reid made some mistakes, but he has been a steady voice for many years. More often than he wanted to, he was on the scene when a racing driver was killed or maimed. I'd rather remember Marty for how he handled Dan Wheldon's death, for which he should have won an award. I paraphrase his signoff that sad, sunny afternoon: "(When I sign off) I say 'until we meet again' instead of 'goodbye' because, sometimes, 'goodbye' means forever. Goodbye, Dan Wheldon." Good luck Marty, until we meet again.
@mdcubfan Only a Cub fan would consider MLB as a dying sport. BTW, roller derby and wrestling, like NASCAR, are not sports.
@wxmc Struck me as a bit surprising, considering his long history with the network.
@WxDan We were in Birmingham in 2011 the day Dan Wheldon died. Marty Reid was world class that day. I'll not forget his words then.
@WxDan I have to think something else was up. Maybe Paul Page is coming back?
@sir boxington Keep on trolling.
@WxDan I remember not trying. I knew from the reports about the wreck that it wasn't good. I was particularly gloomy that day.
@wxmc I remember that - we were all watching the video on our smartphones.