CHAMPCAR/CART: Radio Network Programming Changes for 2000

DETROIT (February 29, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams today announced the restructuring of the CART Radio Network for the 2000 FedEx Championship Series season and beyond. CART will be directly responsible for production of its race ...

DETROIT (February 29, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams today announced the restructuring of the CART Radio Network for the 2000 FedEx Championship Series season and beyond.

CART will be directly responsible for production of its race radio broadcasts on the CART Radio Network and will provide supplemental radio programming for network affiliate stations under the new organization.

CART Broadcast Services, under the direction of Vice President of Broadcasting Keith Allo, now oversees the operation of the CART Radio Network. CART has entered into an agreement with Clear Channel Communications, the largest radio group in the U.S. with over 800 affiliate stations nationally, to serve as distributor and affiliate-relations partner for the network.

"The world of radio, in terms of sports broadcasting, has changed on a national front," said Allo. "CART is attempting to stay on top of those changes and by bringing the CART Radio Network in-house, we are able to better control our air time. Fans can look forward not only to getting a great report of the race itself on our broadcasts, but now we'll be able to showcase the personalities and the behind-the-scenes activities that make Champ Car racing so exciting. This will also give us the opportunity to do some cross-promoting and to get some key messages across to our fans."

The key to the new CART Radio Network plan, said Allo, is securing relationships with affiliate stations in CART's identified 'core markets' and assuring that these stations are committed to carrying play-by-play broadcasts of all 20 races on the FedEx Championship Series schedule.

"The problem we've had in the past is that we haven't consistently had radio coverage in all of our key markets," said Allo. "Now we will have that consistent coverage, which is very important to CART, our sponsors and our fans."

CART's core markets include: Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Long Beach/Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Detroit, Portland, Cleveland, Toronto, Chicago, Columbus, Vancouver, San Francisco, St. Louis, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Tom Michaels, who has worked on the CART Radio Network since its inception in 1992, will serve as play-by-play announcer under the new format. He'll be joined in the booth by Ned Wicker, Editor of Championship Racing Magazine. Wicker, who begins his ninth season with the CART Radio Network, will provide analysis.

Larry Henry, who has been broadcasting motorsports for over 25 years, and Jim Murphy, who enters his fourth season with the radio network, will report from pit lane during race broadcasts.

In addition to complete race coverage, many of the CART Radio Network affiliate stations will also air 'CART Hotline', a one-hour, live call-in show that is scheduled to run Friday evenings throughout the season. The show, hosted by Henry, will feature extended interviews with CART drivers, owners, officials and key team and manufacturer personnel. Fans will be able to chat with the stars of the FedEx Championship Series on 'CART Hotline.'

"Radio is the perfect medium to allow this kind of access to drivers," Allo said. "CART Hotline will allow fans to talk with the drivers as well as get the inside scoop on what life is like away from the track."

Plans call for 'CART Hotline' to be broadcast live from the track paddock before an at-track audience on race weekends. The show will be hosted from the studio on non-race weekends. 'CART Hotline' will be simulcast on the Internet at www.cart.com so fans online at home can also send their questions to guests of the show.

CART Radio Network affiliates also will have access to 'CART Update', a two-minute news and feature report on FedEx Championship Series happenings hosted by Henry and Michaels that is intended to air daily on affiliate stations during weeks leading up to a race. As part of each station's commitment to CART racing, it will guarantee airing a specific number of segments Monday through Friday.

The full complement of CART Radio Network programming will be in place for the opening round of the FedEx Championship Series, the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota from Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 26.

For the past eight seasons, Indianapolis-based Page Productions has served as the producer of CART's radio network.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series, which, in 2000, is comprised of 20 races in five countries on four continents. Champions Juan Montoya, Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the drivers who battle for the series title on oval circuits as well as temporary and permanent road courses. CART also owns and operates its top two development series -- the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.

-CART-

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About this article
Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser