Common Sense Lost as TVG Lets Talent Go

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 30, 2011 in General Discussion | 22 Comments >>

On-AirWhen I heard that TVG was letting some of the most talented on-air players leave through the backdoor, it was hard to believe.  In the beginning, it was silly and sophomoric. But it  evolved into a machine of entertainment and education. That is until now……

When you lose key people, you never know they are gone until you reach for the fruits of the labor and they are not there. That is the moment it becomes clear. Just when you had the audience in hand and they know what to expect, cut them back and run thin TV. The other hosts are talented, but they do not bring that handicapping knowledge and on-track analysis that makes playing the races fun. They had educated and entertained. Still, decisions have been made and it looks like we are heading into a channel that cracks zingers and talks about how pretty they looked at last nights party. This does not target the demographic. It may appeal to the MTV crowd, but what about the hardcore horse player ?

Bob Baedecker- Brought insight, and a humble opinion to the fans. He brought them closer, and would describe in great detail about how a horse was looking on track.  I can’t tell you how much info this brought to my attention. His cool comfortable way made you feel as if you were handicapping with a friend.

Chris Kotulak – Another perfect fit that has been sent to the showers ? Why ?? – He came across as a classy gent who knew the game. His smooth voice, and personality fit everyone. I can’t figure this out as well.  I think he will be calling races or find another gig doing what he does best.

Frank Lyons – The Irish-born horseman brought a unique insight. He played down the pretty boy image and came across as a stately man who knows the game.  I guess I will never hear another person describe a runner or trainer as one who is ” armed with a corkscrew in the land of soup.”  I guess they never got the message. This guy knew his stuff and played well with everyone.

Frank Mirahmahdi – This guy is a one man band. He can call the races and do it in a hundred voices. When he spoke in his own, I would hear the words of a veteran capper who would be wagering from noon until to 10 p.m. I wonder when the world will recognize his abilities as a race caller and turn him loose. I think he will land on his feet and entertain us for years to come. Talk about someone the younger generation could relate to. Frank was good, and if you doubt it, just dig up one of his patent calls. His capping ranks with the best.

I think we are back to fun and games, and the beautiful people can run the roost. I will miss the others, and more and more I will gravitate away from watching. I will tune in on computer and listen to others who know the ovals, and not how many shots they did last night. What a shame, I am sure next quarter they will see the difference. Many people tuned in as they had the perfect team. A little of this and a little of that. Magic to sum it up, now it is gone.

22 Responses to “Common Sense Lost as TVG Lets Talent Go”

  1. dan moore says:

    I agree with this blog. I would rather listen to people who can handicap then those who are entertaining. I cant Stand ken rudolph I use to respect him until I heard him bashing Turfway several weeks in a row. I dont think he is a good handicapper at all. Lyons and Mr B I will miss these guys can handicap with the best of them and I actually saw Bob hit a pick 6 that he gave out on the air. I hope these two land on there feet.

  2. Zenyatta John says:

    I’m stuck listening to TVG on Sirius radio – they all sound terrible to me. Just go over the horse and the facts, leave the silly conversation for Kelli and Regis!

  3. VAPaul says:

    I have to agree I am sorry to see anyone lose their job but I do feel some if not all of these 4 shouldn’t have been the ones. I would have let Todd Schrupp, Nancy Ury, and Dave Weaver go before anyone of those 4.

  4. Hoogie says:

    Oh c’mon, TVG is dying a slow death. They were showing Will Rogers Downs as a headline act yesterday.

    Just expedite the process and end the fiasco already!

    At present they’re merely starting the funeral before the death certificate is signed.

    Who cares?

  5. Bottom Feeder says:

    With all due respect Hoogie, what were they supposed to be showcasing yesterday? Besides Philly (which I’m sure they had on) Will Rogers was offering the best product of any that were racing yesterday!! You prefer Fairmount & Beulah with far inferior stock & purses? Fine. But understand they must market the best racing and yesterday that was WRD & Prx.

    TVG does as proactive a job as any segment of the business. Understand that their content restrictions are NOT self imposed. HRTV reserves exclusivity for MDI tracks because they are a subsidiary of MDI! Can’t blame them there. But you cant blame TVG either.

    When they start showcasing WRD on Sat, you can get back to us on what a joke they are. Until then, come up with a better excuse to bash the business you take part in. After all, as bad a shape as the business is in, I really dont think TVG’s “competance” is a do or die issue to the industry as a whole.

  6. Michael says:

    I agree with you Ed, the one I would have gotten rid of is Ken Rudolph, he constantly shows his lack of knowledge on the sport and he’s been on for so long. I know how hard the job is, I have held the position as a track handicapper and track personality before the races. We all have to remember in the old we all screamed ‘wouldn’t it be great for the sport if we had our own channel of racing’. Then we got it and all I heard complaints about how it was run. Don’t get me wrong, I have screamed at TVG in the past for split screens, showing only the stretch call of a race that I bet or instead of race replay show we get AQHA shows from the 1980’s. Hopefully they can get their act together because with the age of internet we all have many choices where we can watch the races now.

  7. Ed says:

    I have to wonder who will step-up in place of the layed-off ?? – My money is on Schrupp to try and take the lead dog role……

    Who do you think it will be ??

  8. dud dew says:

    TVG was the original villain regarding exclusive contracts
    with tracks. Churchill and Stronach’s operation only chose to make TVGs example worse…

    And it’s probably a good idea to spell any word correctly you decide to put in quotes. Competence, anyone?

  9. WendyMc says:

    This is a big mistake. Mr.B is liked and respected by all. A good number of the others are not. I feel it must be money I would guess they were the highest paid due to experience and I do hope it’s not based on “appeal”. I’d rather look at Mr.B for 4 hours than Matt or Ken, really.

  10. Jane Lenartz says:

    I Totally agree that this is a travesty. If it were me I’d get rid of Ken Rudolph as well. Actually, I normally mute him. It’s sad to see the best talent leaving. Hopefully HRTV will pick them up

  11. Pete M says:

    I think Ken is good at what he does, he is a good broadcaster, dont think he pretends to be a racing expert. Schrupp and Brey need to go. They are terrible, singing, impersonations, constant name dropping..they are pathetic alone, together they make me want to throw my tv out the window,

  12. HRTVfan says:

    Numerous sites are reporting today that TVG’s voice of reason, the classy Gary Seibel, has been shown the door as well—I hope that HRTV hires this guy ASAP.

  13. Jack says:

    Hey been watching TVG for 5 years the last 2 with the mute button on..cracking jokes doing skits making fun of horses handicapping the purses etc… it is not funny when you have a tough day at the track and the way when was the last time on air hit a pick 4 and for how much??? what about the cost for the year I bet there R.O.I. is negative for the year betting those on air pick 4’s at least I can show a profit of 10K betting pick 4’s in 2010.. Hey the one’s that are gone will be missed the one’s that are left will be continuing the game don’t bash on it make money on it

  14. jerry in louisville says:

    ken rudolph is the most annoying person on TVG. He knows nothing about horse racing and comes across as a blathering idiot. He says one overused cliche’ after another.

  15. edna Johnson says:

    I would like tvg to put all the people they let go, back on.Mr. B. is a great handicapper.Chris kotulak, a great handicapper for the quarters. Get rid of all the sily young hosts who know nothing about racing. When I watch racing on tvg I wan to hear qualified handicappers ,: handicapp the races. I don”t want to hear jokes: therefore get back the the business of helping handicappers win races. I don’t care what the people look like. Get rid of enough low paid people and put the pro’s back on tvg.

  16. william g rosario says:

    ii love watching tvgon belmont stakes day i met todd and ken rudolphs i got there autographs on my yankees jersey they were very professional and polite to me but yes they sometimes get out of hand but they do work very hard at pickingwinners is not easy but they need to get back mr.seibel case close

  17. william g rosario says:

    tvg should give christina oliveira power to run her own show as to have or to produce some of these personality especialy these young guns that tvg are hiring and laid off those real horse handicappers the show should be name no nonesense critina o handicpping

  18. rache says:

    Well, I am reading this blog in disbelief regarding the info on the talent that is not going to be seen on air any longer; Mr.B, Chris K, G Siebel, Frank M, is this for real these people are gone???
    These men know their stuff and listening to them talk about the races and the handicapping hints from them make a usually irritating type of television viewing interesting and insightful. Good luck to them at whatever they are moving on to do. I won’t be watching much without them. Mr Rudolph is better suited to something else as he doesn’t really seem 100 percent involved with the whole business of horse racing. He is a good broadcaster, as a previous poster mentioned but it is clear racing and horses are NOT his passion. Christine O is very good, Rich P, likewise.
    This info on the loss of talent is not new to most of you who regularly read this blog but it is new to me today. Sorr stae of affairs…..

  19. rache says:

    OOPS. Missed my spellchecker in the previous post….sorry state of affairs.

  20. john olszewski says:

    I can not believe that TVG would let these people leave. MR B was great at his job, when I see him on HRTV, it like going from the major league to the minors. HRTV is getting all of the talents, they always follow what TVG does. First it was Christian than MR B. What a shame. Its not right.

  21. Kevin malcolm says:


  22. Gary says:

    When Ken Rudolph is on air I hit the mute button, totally inane comments

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