Baedeker, Kotulak among 20 victims of TVG staff reduction

  • click above & share!
    X
  • click above & share!
    X


  • click above & share!
    X
  • click above & share!
    X

On-air hosts Bob Baedeker and Chris Kotulak are among about 20 employees of TVG terminated in a “restructuring” by the horse racing network owned by British-based Betfair. Employees were notified on Wednesday that their positions were being eliminated.

“We are restructuring segments of company operations, including streamlining some production roles and automating some sections of the network,” said Stephen Burn, CEO of Betfair TVG. “One result of this is the elimination of approximately 20 positions from TVG’s workforce.

“Any job losses are regrettable, particularly those involving people who have given many years of loyal service,” he added. “We will continue to invest in our business and are committed to delivering the high quality programming and service our customers have come to expect.”


Baedeker, whose family is well-known in Southern California racing circles (his father, Bud, was a longtime handicapper and publisher of Baedeker’s Guide, a popular tipsheet, and his brother Rick was an executive at Hollywood Park and other racing organizations), was with TVG for about nine years.

Kotulak, a former track announcer in Nebraska, Louisiana and California, joined the racing network in 2003.

TVG operates an advance deposit wagering network in addition to its racing channel.

New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry
  • http://paulickreport.com progressive

    Kotulak won’t be missed. Too bad for Bob. Hope Michelle Yu is still around!

  • T.N. Trosin

    Yeah well I won’t miss Baedeker, good handicapper, bad TV personality. If Les Onaka survived the cut that’s a shame. Another good handicapper, bad TV personality.

  • RickHulce

    Have to wonder about Frank Lyons and Frank Mirahmadi as well. I wonder if TVG/Betfair is looking to make the big plunge into track ownership and Key Account/VIP rebates to players?

  • trackman

    It;s obvious that TVG is trying to get a younger audience with all the stupid shows (the DDouble, Michelle Yu wearing no shoes and a tattoo on her neck – really Micehelle??, stupid Tuesdays with dancing Todd
    whipping Weaver, low tolerence Tuesday – could not be any more annoying, etc.). Too bad for Chris K., he was pretty good. Oh-well, at least I have HRTV (better tracks & announcers) !

    • Footsie Lover

      I wish I could lick her toes

  • Ray Paulick

    For all you armchair TV personalities and handicappers, please consider that 20 people who have worked in horse racing are now without jobs. I’m sure many of them have families to support.

    I suppose in this era of style over substance a guy like the brilliant essayist Eric Sevareid wouldn’t last a week on CBS News because he didn’t have enough “flash.”

    I happen to like both Mr. B and Chris, and feel bad that they’re not on the air anymore. But I feel just as bad for those 18 others I may not know.

    I also understand corporate decisions are based on making money for the shareholders. It’s a cruel world sometimes.

  • Don Perata

    Baedeker just was a bore. Age didn’t matter with him he was bore when he was younger also. Others that need to go Todd, Todd, Todd, he is awful. I really do wonder what he has on TVG management. His is an idiot and I tune out of TVG whenever he is on.

    Since TVG does not listen to their customer base, I voted with my wallet and stopped pushing money through them; I now use Xpressbet and could no be happier.

    TVG will see future cuts if they continue to ignore their customers.

  • Mister Horsey

    TVG/Betfair, in a cost-cutting mode, can’t be a good sign for the industry. Outside of Mr. B and Kotulak, I wonder if any of the other 18 employees let go were in wagering-related positions?
    Times are tough and I feel bad for the entire group and their families.

  • Superfecta

    Isn’t Betfair one of the suitors for Monmouth Park? God help that track and its employees if it sinks its claws into that grand old racetrack … same thing can be said for another Brit company, Greenwood. Both companies will cut things to the bone and destroy the ambiance and class of the old Oceanport oval. Better hope that somebody who actually cares about racing is awarded the lease or ownership.

  • John F.

    TVG in it’s current format is not an asset to the Thoroughbred industry. It is one of the problems. When 90 percent of the target audience prefers the track feed to the TVG telecast, one would think they would change the format. I can’t watch for more than a few minutes. The future of our industry is all about account wagering, but the problems are best solved when the ADW’s are owned by racetracks. TVG brings nothing to the table in it’s current format.

  • Tinky

    Given the dearth of good quality racing that TVG covers in the winter, I’m surprised that it took this long. Even in the warmer months, how much “talent” does a network of this kind require to cover a few major tracks from the studio?

    Furthermore, the notion that they are “cutting to the bone”, or that Betfair is somehow out to reduce the quality of their property, is baseless. In fact, like it or not, they are right in line with the vast majority of companies which operate in the U.S., being in ‘cost-cutting’ mode.

    Yes, it is unfortunate for the employees who lost their jobs, but they were obviously dispensable, and like countless others who have found themselves in similar positions recently, they will find some interesting challenges ahead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BombsawayBob Bob Grant

    i’ve never seen a Company improve their business by cutting jobs. Chris & Mr.B. were both positive ambassadors for racing,i’m sorry to see them lose their jobs. Beginning to look like we’ll be listening to a lot more “TVG Muzak” once TVG talent is on the road for Weekend OnTrack remotes. Nobody will be left minding the TVG studio.

  • http://Bellwether4u.com Bellwether

    NEED TO GET OUT OF “THE BOX”…”A HAPPY MEAL” FORE HORSE PEOPLE & GAAMLER$!!!…STAY TUNED…ty…

  • Watcher

    Baedeker and Kutulak added some dignity to an otherwise juvenile lineup. Now that they’ve left I’m sure glad my remote mute button works well.

  • BuckyinKentucky

    I am in step with Ray, 20 people lost their job they must have surely loved and that is a shame.

    Couple this with Betfair moving out of their previous country and this should put the powers to be on notice:

    Watch TVG-Betfair, the wagering format Betfair offers will not be good for horse racing.

    Bet-UN-fair may be a better name.

    Caveat Emptor.

  • http://Bellwether4u.com Bellwether

    ps…GAMBLER$!!!…ty…

  • http://Bellwether4u.com Bellwether

    HRTV NEEDS TO BRING A HAPPY MEAL TO THEIR PARTY…ty…

  • tonyaz

    Twenty people lost their job in the horse industry?? No big deal- how many people lost their cash supporting LAT and the other shams in this business? How many fans and horses have been continually cheated throughout the years? Can’t wait to see those slot machines care for the horses and the fans who support this con game. Lets be real, this is viewed as a game and not a sport, hence the name Television Games! Maybe TVG,NRTA/KHB/CHB etc can hire Ron Previte to be the national commissioner overseeing drug testing, ethics, fan appreciation and horse welfare?

  • Picksburg Phil

    Jobs are supported by customers. No customers, no jobs. If fixed odds and/or exchanges are ever implemented, and implemented with a “fair” rake, new jobs will be created. Betfair is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale industry.

  • http://www.spotplays.com SpotPlays

    Sorry to hear this. Two class acts.

  • Tinky

    Rumor has it that Frank Lyons is gone, too. While he had some reliability issues, it is still a much greater loss, given that he was both the most knowledgeable and entertaining of the lot.

  • http://puckbuddys.com/ Craig

    Tough beat for the 20. Ouch. I used to watch a lot of TVG but they wouldn’t write an account for me in DC. I signed up for BetAmerica but they won’t let me play NYRA tracks. I’ve given up on the game. It’s rudderless and leaderless and nothing will stop the hemorrhaging.

    Now I watch hockey and find it refreshing – a sport with a future.

  • Glimmerglass

    Ouch that’s quite a bit of cutting especially when Betfair appeared to pouring more money in to expand wagering. They don’t appear to be hurting when it comes to expanding the number of races they underwrite as title sponsor.

    I concur with Tinky that TVG is exceedingly thin with any live content relevant to the run up to the Triple Crown. Just take this afternoon – TVG’s got sulky racing from Dover while HRTV has Santa Anita and Oaklawn. However the tide shifts by the time Keeneland’s meet starts.

    Bob B and even Frank Lyons (if shown the door too) have racing gigs on the side which have been awkwardly mentioned on camera. I liked Chris as on-air talent goes as his oration was smooth, he wasn’t juvenile and knew his stuff.

    If anyone is actually watching any on-air talent exclusively for picking horses you’ll always be a bitter viewer. Nobody on any of the networks is a top notch handicapper and if they were they wouldn’t be on air.

  • Tommy Two Step

    Sad to hear. I want to know how Matt and Todd still have a job. They are the stupidest people I have ever heard

  • Callipygian1

    I like Bob Baedeker. I recall 2 years ago when Ken Rudolph laughed on air at one of Bob B’s selections for the Kentucky Derby. Mr. B calmly stated that he is a gambler, and would not mind putting money where his mouth is…

  • maggie the wonder dog.

    Tough times everywhere. The bright side is Mr B’s brother owns a yogurt shop. Mr B might be able to slip behind the counter. Would you like that in fat or non fat?

  • Matt should Go

    What is going on with Betfair. That is what you get when someone from England takes over in the US. Heads roll. Betfair is the company putting money is this and that. Now this. I hear all this stuff on here saying Mr. B was a bore. I didn’t always agree with his picks , but that is life everyone has different opinions. If anyone should have been canned it should have been that Matt Crappers. The clown is full of himself. A total buffoon. And what about Todd and Simon . Those guys are useless. TVG is on the way out. Hope Matt goes with them when leave

  • Imdonewithtvg

    Ray,

    Don’t you think it’s time you took down that TVG banner ad and took a long hard look at TVG? Are they really the kind of company that racing should be getting involved with.

  • http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com Pacingguy

    I’ll miss Chris Kotulak and Mr. B. They were enjoyable to listen to and had class. Unlike Betfair. A pox on Betfair’s house.

  • Marty

    That is a shame.. I will miss Chris and Mr. B..I hope the others will be able to find other employment. Good luck to all of them.

  • David

    Mother always said work for the side of a company that makes money, not the one that spends it (money). Putting out a national cable/direct broadcast/streaming video was, is now and forever is a big time loser. Lose the other network splitting an ever-declining market and allow the industry players to be properly taxed and you could justify what you have now; otherwise, hope those ADW account-holders keep on finding a few bucks to bet. This business is hopeless and most of the contributors (this blog) simply don’t get it.

  • Donald

    They probably let the wrong guys go. Schrupp, Carothers and to a certain extent Ken Rudolph are basically unwatchable. TVG is getting crushed by HRTV on air personalities. If CHRB allowed HRTV to televise Hollywood Park and Del Mar nobody would watch TVG.

  • http://yahoo roger

    I still want the CA Marketing Committee Fund to develop our own CA Racing channel which benefits the horseman,breeder,track and customer with non stop coverage.

    CA has more than enough tv talent to make it enjoyable.Chris and Dr.B are a credit to the industry and hopefully they’ll be back on-air soon.

    CA Marketing Committee was created to BOOST CA Racing and having our own Racing channel is something that should’ve been done about 5 years ago.The recent funding of purses at HPark last year and possibly others from the CA Marketing Fund is an absolute disgrace and legally shouldn’t be allowed.

  • big dog

    ok , I admit it, I’m a TVG (and HRTV) junkie. It’s on whenever I’m home and even in the car on XM. Except for that annoying drol Rich Perloff, I think the show is great. If I wasn’t a sick gambler, I would rather watch grass grow (which is basically what you do sitting in the granstand at any track) than watch racing. Todd & Simon are hilarious and the babes aren’t bad either. The harness coverage is second to none. Too bad they don’t get the major tracks like HRTV (which does a great job on the more serios side)

  • Crystal Ball

    On the other hand…..hasn’t TVG committed to a hundred new jobs in the Bay Area in order to put together its exchange wagering business? Now lets just think about this….do you think they expect to pay as much in commissions to the horsemen and tracks from exchange wagering as they presently do for ADW??? Of course, not. If I were the horsemen I would start getting my wartime bunkers ready. These guys are going to try to rob the industry blind.

  • SixteenK Claimer

    Chris K..Bob B…Frank Miramonte all class acts and hopefully will be back on the air asap. Don’t think anyone will miss Frank Lyons…and the other 16 people..hope they find employment as well.

  • John

    This really is sad. I remember Bob Baedeker with his friendly father out in Del Mar in the late 60′s and early 70′s touting their tip sheets along with a three or four others in designated kiosks immediately after the admission gate.
    And you could always seen both dad and son on the rail every morning with their binoculars watching the horses workout.
    Another sign that the sport of kings is on life support.

  • The Realist

    For people so critical of TVG, you sure seem to watch a lot and know a lot about the personalities. HRTV is bleeding money. We’ll see how long Frank keeps it around now that the money is his, not his shareholders. Take TVG off the air and handle goes down everywhere, like it or not. Between LA, San Fran, Oregon and Colorado, TVG’s got 300-400 employees in the US. Twenty jobs may seem like a lot, but it’s a hiccup for the company.

  • emeraldway

    I hate to see anyone lose their job if they were competent and productive.

    On that note, how did Todd, Matt, and Ken survive the layoff? As expressed by several other commentators, there are serious reasons why this racing household avoids watching TVG at all costs and frequently utilizes the mute button when TVG is a rare necessity. Those reasons include the three on-air personalities listed above.

  • http://yahoo roger

    meanwhile, at Santa Anita today a season low handle of $3.7 million.

  • http://CITATION Gary Sherlock

    TYG they say they use the on air “TALENT” to atract a younger audience but all they have done is canibalize CA racing.34 million people in ca no marketing other than the Racing Form and TVG they suply no content and if you want to watch your horse run forget it! HRTV maybe thier Talent would better suited for radio but thy know what they are talking about and you can listen to them and mybe learn something. it’s not a comedy show. If TVG was knocking on doors and siging up 1/10 of 1 percent of the people then maybe the ends would justify the means . And anyone in this business thinks X change wagering is good for this business then you should go out and buy some horse !
    GS

  • Tinky

    Gary Sherlock –

    “anyone in this business thinks X change wagering is good for this business then you should go out and buy some horse.”

    What, exactly, is that supposed to mean?

  • http://Lazyeranch.net Butch Wise

    Chris will be missed. Consummate promoter of racing and a thinker – too few like him. A dumbing down may be in progress.

  • http://www.toosmarttofail.com/pap.html Walt Gekko

    Roger wrote:

    >>meanwhile, at Santa Anita today a season low handle of $3.7 million. >>

    Considering the card today at SA was essentially seven races (the first was the very first baby race of the year I believe ANYWHERE and a complete crapshoot), not as bad as I would have expected.

  • reb

    They should have got Todd and Matt instead. What a couple of clowns. At least Kotulak and Baedeker had a little class and knew how to handicap a race without trying to be smartasses. If TVG just went strictly to the trackfeeds and got rid of all of their talking heads no serious horseracing fan would miss them.

  • Google Act 71

    Every time I hear Todd Shrupp say “the all button” or “free square” I want to barf all over my TV.

  • Honestly

    I’m with you Ray! Sad times Chris did an excellent job with the story of Blane Schvaneveldt and Mr. B will be sadly missed. Good god does that mean more of that stupid song at Del mar. I guess I will continue my boycott of TVG and still continue NOT to use their wagering website!!!!

  • imdonewithtvg

    almost like they are intentionally making tvg unwatchable. interesting that the employees are not part of betfair but another company. easier to get rid of once the xchange starts. just a thought.

  • Raven

    I find TVG to be totally unwatchable. The personalities on HRTV can wipe the floor with these clowns. There’s a reason Gary Stevens left the former to go with the latter. I do feel bad however for the 20 employees who got the axe…especially during times like these. Hope they’re all able to find better work!

  • Don Reed

    Well, there have been caustic comments (as if we’re forced to watch/listen) & sympathetic comments (who hasn’t lost a job?).

    I’ll try it another way.

    Recently, we dumped Time Warner Cable in favor of FIOS.

    (Returning signal boxes = descend below sea level to the rancid TW depot in Badly Paved Ex-Swampland NJ. NYC-OTB’s bankruptcy auction: Yellowing, moldy linoleum peeled up off the floors of their betting tombs on 2nd Avenue = sold to TW & shipped across the Hudson.)

    At any rate, for the first time, we now have TVG & HRTV.

    I haven’t seen/heard ANYONE on either channel that I would miss, were they to vanish (as they all do, on all channels, eventually…3rd Place Katie is about to sail away, bon voyage).

    Generally, they’re poor conversationalists (inarticulate);

    Possess 2nd rate wits (if that); & to compensate for that failing – as if it can possibly be faked! – their sterile, “forced humor” is inflicted on each other & the viewers.

    Meanwhile, EVERYTHING is the bet. So we hear a LOT of racing clichés (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…).

    (This runs in parallel track to the race callers who call the same race over & over & over again, that’s right, all year long.)

    This isn’t a great concern; TV itself is a goner. They certainly aren’t anymore inane than the geeks on the Weather Channel, or the Australian handicapper tonight at Albury in New South Wales (“UM…UM…” Say, can we draw some kind of line by banning Kim Kardashian as a guest handicapper for the 2011 Derby?).

    What I’ve said can’t apply to all of the on-air HRTV-TVG people, because I doubt if I’ve seen them all.

    But like I said, I haven’t seen anyone that I’d later notice was missing, in the aftermath of another wave of cost-cutting.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t dislike any of the TVG personalities. But TVG puts them in some bad spots. They expect the commentators to handicap every race. Last year Mr.B hit his first pick 4 at TP. How many races has Mr.B been forced to handicap at Turfway Park knowing he can’t pick anything at TP?

    TVG needs to come up with a better format for the remaining personalities.

  • http://CITATION Gary Sherlock

    Tink
    buy some Horses! what I mean is to have something to bet on. people have to go out and buy horses and pay to train them the % we get from handle dictates purses and thats the only incentive to race. Now the product is poor because its such a losing proposition owners have fled the business! the handle is larger and the% back to horsemen is not close to offseting Expenses leaving a shortage of horses to BET on!Everyone is taking a big bite of the pie. we have to get the businesss healthy again. bigger fields better product!

  • Edward

    Don Reed,

    I just finished what you posted.
    Dude, in at least half of what you wrote – what the hell are you saying?
    You talk about signal boxes from under the sea and some moldly linoleum floors in a tomb, then you menton something called ‘third place Katie’ salling away somewhere.
    Man, what are you smoking?

  • Mike R

    Bob Baedeker is a class act. The worms at the top of TVG’s production do not deserve to have a quality man like Bob. He will land on his feet and be better off. Watch out for the exodus to come as opposed to layoffs. ANYONE that thinks Betfair is good for racing/Calif. racing is blind. They are using TVG to get a toe hold in the U.S. market with the hopes of taking bets on all professional sports as soon as they can in the future. States desperate for cash flow may be tempted to fall for their spin. PLEASE CHRB do not let this exchange betting thing go thru. May be good in the short run, but in the long run will further degrade racing. JMHO

  • Brad Ross

    Bob is a good guy. He is also wealthy so I am not too worried about him. I am sure if he wants to work he can find work.

    Kookulak will and should probably get picked up by the AQHA. He’s talented and knows his stuff.

    The sad part is that it makes no sense how these two lose their job and Ken keeps his. These two have forgotten more than Ken will ever learn. Meanwhile Ken tells everyone he is still LEARNING the game? Really? Youre going to pay somone to learn the game ? Unfortunately, we all know the real reason why Ken wasn’t let go.

  • caroline

    Gary Sherlock – no-one is taking a bigger slice of the pie in CA except owners right now. And that pie is shrinking dramatically (gross loss appears to be 96 million on the year across the two MID tracks) because takeout/price to bettors went up. And yes, more generally, over a longer time period, handle is down because the product is in decline – relative to close substitutes. But you cannot arrest the decline in product by punishing your customers; that simply aggravates the loss of revenue and handle.

    It’s a structural problem – partly national, a function of the fact that racing simply has proven itself unable to compete effectively with other sports and gambling outlets, and enhanced in California by state specific issues that should be addressed directly – but not by punishing the customer on whom you all depend for purses as you so eloquently point out.

    Handle is not up – it is not up nationally, and certainly not up in CA. It’s down. Big time. What is happening is that as revenue declines, everyone is fighting for a larger slice of a SHRINKING pie. Very nasty. Why not seek ways to increase the size of the pie without punishing the customer?

    While Tinky may or may not own horses (really that does not preclude Tinky from having a valid opinion), there are many gamblers that do. Do not assume for one second that significant gamblers do not understand the economics of horse ownership and training. That is a fiction created by organized horsemen’s groups, as far as I can see. In any case, owners bet. Trainers bet. Assistant trainers bet. Grooms bet. Exercise riders bet.
    Hot-walkers bet. Farriers bet. In fact, gamblers that don’t have an inside option and understanding of the economics of horse ownership are the ones at most risk, I’d say.

    Finally, I’d like to say how very fortunate race horse owners are for having the opportunity to compete for PURSES. There are roughly 10 million horses in the US right now, all of them supported financially by their owners who pay out of their own pockets to support those horses – very few of them see any reward to that ownership. It is pure consumption. Pure amateur expense. PURE EXPENSE. 100%. It is a privilege to be able to own horses.

    Enjoy your purses.

  • Stillriledup

    Caroline makes some good points and i want to add to her talk about horse ownership being a privilege. Owners actually believe they are entitled to make money. Bettors don’t ever believe they are entitled to win money betting yet somehow owners feel entitled to make a profit.

  • Little Big

    Caton and Jill gone and when Simon is gone they are empty. Unbearable to watch.

  • phattty

    anyone who can remember when the only option was to go the track to watch racing can only hope TVG makes the changes required to stay viable…

    that said, i really won’t miss Mr B…..

  • Rachel

    They probably didn’t kiss enough butt well enough. I will certainly miss these guys…I love Mr. B, and the other guys were great.
    There are other “personalities” that are truly annoying and I have even hit the “mute” button while I waited for the race to be run.

  • Bob C

    They should have dumped Shrupp instead of Mr.B. That guy is so annoying he should be with the freaks and geeks on HRTV.

  • http://thesouthfloridaracingjournal.wordpress.com/ SG

    Lets hope HRTV can pick up Bob and Chris. Hard to believe they kept an a-hole like Todd with his stupid and infantile headphone act for the 4 minute pick fours…

  • http://thesouthfloridaracingjournal.wordpress.com/ SG

    TVG is the reason HRTV is not available on Directv. Indirectv as I like to call it let’s TVG dictate the programming of horse racing and refuses to allow HRTV on Directv. Just ask yourself why Dish not only has TVG and HRTV but about 70 other horseracing channels and Directv only has one. However directv does have about 70 channels that sell nothing but junk , this they have room for. TVG is doing nothing but destryoing horseracing and by betting with TVG and the racetracks that give them “exclusives” are doing nothing but hurting horsemen.

  • quarter horse fan

    Will miss Chris K. His coverage of all american futurity and los alamitos always added a note of professionalism. Wont be tuning in to watch them rest of them on the los al show, where they sing those childish songs during a million dollar race. Please tell them to stop. There are a few others who might have been let go before bob & chris. Count me in as a nother non watcher now.

  • http://paulickreport.com progressive

    Would be nice if both channels merged and we saw ALL of the racing ALL of the time instead of “here’s my pick 6 at Hollywood” live racing should be the focus instead of on air banter.

  • Mike R

    #55 Caroline–great post!

  • SixteenK Claimer

    to: Progressive

    GREAT point. But your point makes too much sense. And the tools at TVG are not smart enough nor do they have the common sense to do something that makes so much sense and would be the BEST thing they could do.

  • Mike R

    Ray P.–You should add a “recommend” button at the end of each post so posters could flag the entries that they believe are the most worthy of reading by just scanning or read them all if they like. I just posted that I liked a particular post–very inefficient. Just a suggestion.

  • John F.

    Man look at all these comments. It’s pretty apparent that EVERYONE hates TVG. Isn’t it amazing that TVG management has stuck with the same unwatchable format for so many years ? They could shave a huge percentage of their costs and make their customer base happy by just doing the following:
    1. Deliver the track feed 90% of the time
    2. Cover only 2 tracks at a time
    3. Limit the commentary and interviews to 10% of the telecast.

  • Realist

    Interesting … The worst on-air personality by far is Ken Rudulf. Sure makes it look like he got a free pass on this one. Mangagement probably to chicken to fire the minority !!!

  • Glimmerglass

    #68 John F. – I simply think this is a vocal minority who cares little for some remaining hosts. The reality is you’ll find some people who care little for NBC News’ anchor Brian Williams too.

    Further gripes with talent doesn’t speak to TVG’s vastly superior on-screen presentation of information, on-site hosting of races, on-site interviews, et al. I get both channels and absolutely loathe listening to Joanne Jones, Camilla Ball, Jeff Seigel among others. Scratchy voices, snippy remarks, and a continual condescending tone. That isn’t to say outgoing Frank Lyons, for example, wasn’t painful at times too on-air.

    What HRTV excels at is a program like Inside Information with its historical archive footage with some stories and it being pre-produced vs. live.

    If you like watching just the feed from tracks then watch TVG on Tuesdays when it typically is just that mixed with music between races.

    Maybe there is hope for the departing talent at TVG: Chris Harrison, today best known as the host of ABC’s reality series The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, got his start an TVG host.

  • Clem Clemson

    Are you kidding me! TVG let go of the only credible in air pesonality it had – Bob B. What a shame. I doubt that I will ever watch it again. I cancelled my subscription a long time ago because most of the talking heads were empty brained. Bob was the only one among them who had any presence. Now I am done.

  • tommy boy

    Let’s go down the line up

    Bob and Chris were knowledgeable and guys you wouldn’t mind sitting at the track with and handicapping. That being said, it doesn’t fly in today’s hyper entertainment world. I don’t agree with that–it’s not why people tune to TVG (nor HRTV for that matter. To begin with,people who watch it are already horse racing fans that are gamblers. You don’t see many people from Manhattan hurrying home on Saturday to watch “White Tail Hunting” on Versus do you? Probably not. The people who watch special interest shows know what they’re going to get. TVG doesn’t need clowns, young chicks and such. People would be happy to see Bob, Chris and/or a live feed. PERIOD.
    As for the others……..just read they’re bios on the TVG website. No relative experience, save a few, in horse racing whatsoever.
    Todd Schrupp- ex Calder paddock boy, thinks his haircut is cool, is condescending to the audience and must be getting paid to promote California racing at a time when it’s horrible.
    Matt Carothers- while some of his methods are good and he shows the ability to handicap, his style really grinds on you. Possibly a future weather host on one of those morning shows.
    Ken Rudolph- the Stuart Scott (ESPN) of TVG. I don’t want to hear the post parade or handicapping in ebonics. I’m not interested in the fact you played music either. Possible future on the NBA Channel.
    Greg Wolfe- Why is he even talking about horse racing?

    Frank Lyons, Simon Bray and Christina Olivares are knowledgeable horsemen with years of experience. Lyons is the sharpest of them and tells it just like it is. His brand of humor is directly proportionate to the people who tune in. Simon needs to put space between himself and Schrupp and not get sucked into his juvenile antics.
    The quarter horse guys are good. Les Onaka doesn’t need to get more personality. He’s not their for that. He’s a handicapper, not a dancer.

    TVG was a great thing when it first came on. For example, on one Saturday night they show the post parade and up to one minute to post of a $ 300k Futurity race from Remington Park and then switch away to horses loading in the gate for a $4k race at Los Al. I know the action is to see everything, but wouldn’t you rather watch the 4k on tape?
    Let Ken Ramsey set the lineup for TVG…..we’d all be happy !

  • Donald

    Caroline, Gary Sherlock was talking horse owners not racetrack owners and he is dead right. Owners are leaving in droves because it is a virtual losing proposition owning horses. Fewer owners, fewer horses, less betting interest and wagering handle drops. You must make the business a more viable economic entity in order to keep owners in the game. More owners, more horses, much more betting interest and higher handle..
    Regarding Kotulak and Baedecker et al. TVG has it azz backwards letting those two guys go..

  • Indulto

    Mike R #65, #67,
    I agree with you about Caroline’s post #55 – talk about truths held to be self-evident – but not the suggestion to add a “recommend button” which I believe corrupts the commenting process by preventing equal consideration of all contributions.

    However, I might have missed that post had I followed my initial inclination to avoid another piece dealing with TVG personalities, so I do wish it were practical to somehow be made aware that a designated favorite contributor has posted in a given thread

    What I would most like to see here is the ability to be automatically directed to the last post in a comment thread that I had previously read.

  • caroline

    Donald, believe me when I say I understand what he was trying to say. However, I dispute the following statements:

    “people have to go out and buy horses and pay to train them the % we get from handle dictates purses and thats the only incentive to race.”

    The % you get from handle doesn’t dictate purses in the manner he’s implying, but it is a very typical argument. If this were true, then take 50% – purses would be huge right? No, because handle would shrink to practically nothing. The increased % that owners are currently taking is hurting handle in California, killing off custom, reducing revenues to everyone except owners, and that will hurt tracks, owners, hence fields, etc. even more in the future. What will ya’ll do then? Increase takeout again? You need to attack the reasons for lower “real” purses/higher costs, and lower than necessary handle in the state. Not kill off the custom you have.

    “Now the product is poor because its such a losing proposition owners have fled the business!”

    Again – check the structural reasons for higher than necessary costs, lower than necessary handle, and address those issues directly. Don’t kill off your custom. And if racing ownership is purely about investment returns – really, try the stock market for 10 years instead. I’m guessing there is a consumption or utility benefit to racehorse ownership as well…

    “the handle is larger and the% back to horsemen is not close to offsetting Expenses leaving a shortage of horses to BET on! Everyone is taking a big bite of the pie. we have to get the businesss healthy again.”

    The handle isn’t factually larger – I assume that is what he meant – so let’s get that straight on the record. The % back to horsemen in CA is higher than its ever been. I don’t see field size increasing here, do you? And if it did ever increase with purses, would that be sufficient to induce bettors back to the CA races to support the higher purses? I’m don’t think so. I think CA has permanently lost some custom as a result of its current takeout increase and that was inevitable. And I am far from sure that simply raising purses was ever going to be sufficient to stimulate ownership and the horse population in CA right now – was anyone ever?

    “bigger fields better product!”

    No question this is correct – the real question is how do you achieve it? Not via an increase in takeout that raises the % of handle going to owners – that’s my point.

    Sorry if the post had too much of a “Shut Up And Own” tone to it :)

  • Erick Weiss

    I have a good “Mr. B” story…..

    As you may or may not know “Mr. B” is a proud Democrat and used to make cute little comments when the horse “Democrat” would run.

    I am in bed after a surgery two years ago, It’s a Tuesday or Wednesday and it’s slow, so the producers decide to have a contest for a $100 wagering voucher. The contest is: If you were going to name a horse after “Mr. B” what would you name it?

    I send my entry via Blackberry, hit send and literally 10 seconds after sending it, hear an audible laugh in the background.

    “Mr. B’s” co-host (I think Ken Rudolph) is holding back a giggle as he says “there were a lot of good submissions, but…”

    Anyway, I didn’t win.

    My submission: “Democrap”

    Vaya con dios “Mr. B”.

  • Wendy

    What a shame. I really like both of them. Chris is so knowledgeable and is a true horseman. I hope they reconsider. You often get a gambler or a horseman, but not someone who knows as much about both areas as Chris does.

  • http://CITATION Gary Sherlock

    Caroline I know the gambler is a partner in all this and they supply the income but the two go together.Horse owners have to constantly recapitalize and pay to train them so there is a product to bet on. What has happened OFF TRACK WAGERING made our % smaller because the on track handle is down so bad. The pie is being cut by ADW The Hubs so now more is bet but HORSEMEN are geting a smaller amount.
    Now the takeout increase only started Jan ! there is no way the effect can showup on population yet! But the purse increase makes more sense to race horses. With all due respect there are Thousands of horses not Millions the TB foal crops are at a all tine low .
    Just a question why dont more people make more stright bets where the takeout is the lowest in the country ? ,maybe more people would win ! I think players are more upset from losing and blaming the takeout! With all these exotics I think too few people are winng anymore!

  • http://CITATION Gary Sherlock

    Im sorry for going on. I know this is a TVG issue but I just wanted to make the argument to justify the takeout increase. I hear Franks are gone also!

    out

  • caroline

    Gary – just a quick note on the number of horses; I was referring to the total horse population of the US, not the TB population.

    I completely agree the ADW situation is a mess in the sense that historically it appears some very poor signal pricing decisions were made. That is one of the structural issues I refer to that needs to be addressed – directly.

    However, that issue is not resolved by raising prices to bettors. Raising the price to bettors simply makes matters worse because you kill off your remaining customers, and because everyone else loses except the recipient of the take percentage increase – and in the worse case scenario (very large handle reduction) even the recipient can lose.

    That relatively poor/small on-track custom you refer to is being made WORSE by any takeout increase, not better. You chase away the on-track and brick and mortar guys that are left, eventually. That is what happened at Los Alamitos in 2010 when they increased their takeout on all bets; on-track and brick and mortar in state took a huge hit, while ADW survived pretty nicely with rebates playing a role and the 50/50 split of the take increase which permits that. Rebates prevent the take/price increase from being passed on fully. Fair? No. Just a fact.

    The current large handle declines you see at SA and GG are not the outcome of a poor economy or purely random fluctuation I believe. Handle at Los Alamitos (which undertook its takeout increase in early 2010 and took the hit to handle immediately if not in anticipation of that) is steady. Why do you think handle is down at SA by 16+% and GGF by 20+% but there is no handle decline at Los Alamitos in the first quarter of 2011 relative to 2010?

  • http://CITATION Gary Sherlock

    I totaly understand your argument did LOS AL change the takeout back or did the handle just stablize ? anyway good debate !

    GS

  • John Merriweather

    As much as I despise Philly Park and its management, they had the right idea with their now-defunct PhoneBet TV show. They hired a couple of talking heads who would just read the entries, results, scratches, changes, etc. and then they would cut to the live feed from up to 4 tracks during the afternoon or evening. When the host wasn’t talking, or there wasn’t a live race to show, they’d put up the odds for each race. This show was on for years, until Greenwood Racing, which owns Philly Park, decided it wasn’t going to negotiate with Comcast in the Philly area and pulled the plug, laying off all the employees. Now I hear the horsemen are going to try and get it back on the air. Anyway, my point is that TVG would better serve my needs if it switched to a similar format. I don’t want to be entertained by anything other than horses. At times I did find TVG valuable – “The Works” show during the week before the Derby gave me a lot of good information that translated into winners on Derby day. Also I liked the Breeders’ Cup works show. As for the day-in-and-day-out coverage, I find it extremely annoying that they delay showing the race replays, sometimes as long as 15 minutes after the race is made official. This is why I now watch the live video via TwinSpires.com, where I can control which track I watch and get instantaneous results. This spring, especially, TVG isn’t worth a damn, because you can’t get Santa Anita nor any of Stronach’s tracks. It really shouldn’t exist at all, frankly.

  • caroline

    Thanks Gary :)

    Los Al still has the takeout increase in effect. Handle seems to have stabilized in 2011 so far. Statistically there is no significant difference between the first quarter handle at Los Al in 2011, gross or per race, relative to the first quarter of 2010 in mean or variance. Bad news is they were down really badly in first quarter of 2010 when takeout was first raised. The thing is that on-track fell by roughly 25% in 2010, inter-track/brick and mortar in state similar, ADW only 11%. You see what I’m saying? Their on-track handle is down 44% on 2007, inter-track/brick and mortar CA is down 37% with much of both but not all coming in 2010. You don’t want to increase takeout if you’re concerned about on-track and inter-track customers where you’re taking the bigger % for revenue.

    Anyway, we will all see I guess how things progress in the rest of CA this year. Speaking for myself, I’m not optimistic about handle recovering though. I think what you’re seeing is very much what you can expect for the rest of the year, in terms of the percentage decline. Del Mar will do better, because of its very different on-track client. But I’m not hopeful for the rest.

  • Don Reed

    To Erick Weiss (poster #76)

    “Anyway, I didn’t win.

    “My submission: ‘Democrap.’ ”

    By far, the best punch line of 2011 – so far this year!

    By the way, how much was the surgery “takeout”?

    Edward (#52): If you found poster #49 complicated/confusing/hard to follow, get an agent!

    Charging people to watch you trying to figure out a Pick Six (“What to select?”) could put us all on Easy Street.

  • caroline

    It’s great that some people don’t worry about ROI on betting and think it is a joke for investors to worry about. I appreciate that portion of custom in any investment – they are the inelastic guys that don’t think when they bet or invest. They are also the people that get completely screwed time after time in financial markets, but I suppose they have the income to continue to invest blindly. It is dumb – but I guess it is a fact of life that they exist.

  • http://www.toosmarttofail.com/pap.html Walt Gekko

    John M.:

    The Parx Racing (formerly Philadelphia Park) show did not have any hosts at all for the last couple of years it was on until the plug was pulled about a year ago. They were not able to show NYRA on that show anyway, and Phonebet itself I believe now offers most tracks it takes via their website to customers anyway.

    Comcast (which is based out of Philly) I believe was going to stop carrying Parx anyway, regardless of whether Parx wanted to continue negotiating with Comcast, that likely wasn’t going to matter (Comcast since added TVG to its sports pack, I believe in part because Harrah’s Chester uses TVG for their phone wagering accounts).

    Anyway, I’m surprised TVG had the production level it did when you consider they likely got in very little ad revenue (I doubt the ads shown on TVG are exactly the type that usually get big bucks to be aired). The layoffs as a result are not that surprising, especially given they don’t exactly have the high-level winter tracks.

  • http://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/baedeker-kotulak-among-20-victims-of-tvg-staff-reduction/?commentStart=40#Comments Locktowner

    Let’s face it: HRTV handicappers have it all over TVG’s “handicappers.” I’d rather TVG keep Mr B and Chris than Ken “know nothing” Rudulph or Carothers. Perloff is their most thoughtful handicapper.

  • Glimmerglass

    Worth mentioning that Frank Lyons was on TVG this morning (with the Dubai coverage) and he was laughing about the DRF article citing him as one of those shown the door.

  • SheldonG

    Good…TVG is responsible for blocking HRTV with the help of indirect tv.. This hurts the horsemen and although not illegal, it is morally irresponsible

  • Bob C

    Obviously this decision was not based on knowledge of horse racing because Mr.B and Chris Kotulak know their stuff. Mr.B and Chris have probably forgotten more about horse racing than some of of TVG’s on-air personalities know about the game.

  • nick p

    Do our racing shows become MTV-like?

  • mickykuzel

    Just want to put in my two cents that Mr. B and Chris K were great, and Matt, Todd and Ken are unwatchable.

  • molly

    Still smarting from the departure of Mike Watchmaker from Blinkers Off (for whatever reason), and liked Mr. B and Kotulak as well.

    Good luck in whatever you do next, gentlmen.

    They were quality for sure, but must admit I will particularly miss the obscure Nebraska references.

  • G.K.

    I guess if you show any gray hair you lose your job. How does Todd Schrup and Matt Carothers keep their job. Two clowns and all Carothers does is pick favorties. Ridiculous

  • Aunt Bea

    when corporate america has everyone on dried beans and cornbread, maybe they’ll realize their profit-making strategies aren’t working out so well.

  • Aunt Bea

    that being said (my previous populist post), the in-studio day-long hosts concept has to be a losing proposition from the git-go, just filling time with inaneness(?).

  • Mister Horsey

    #88

    The buzz at the Frontrunner today was that Frank Lyons was working a 3-hour per diem shift for TVG.

  • horse watch

    TVG does not need any hosts. Just show us the odds and races.

  • http://Bellwether4u.com Bellwether

    BOTH TVG/HRTV NEED BETTER PRODUCTION…PERIOD…ty…

  • Ron O

    Nobody was more knowledgeable than Mr. B. He was also the only one who told it like it was, especially when it came to trainers with a 40% win rate.
    Most of TVG has been unwatchable for years.
    RO

  • http://Hickorytech.net Brian H

    Larry Lakewood: You’re an idiot!

  • http://thesouthfloridaracingjournal.wordpress.com/ SG

    In case you are not aware of this TVG and BetFair are conspiring with Directv to block HRTV from being shown on Directv. Any racetrack giving TVG an exclusive is also hurting its horsemen by agreeing to this unfair practice. In fact, you can say the BetFair is UNFAIR!!!!

    It seems the only way TVG can get viewership is by helping block HRTV from Directv. However what they do not realize is that most people have DISH network which not only shows TVG AND HRTV but also has about 70 other horse racing channels. So who is BetFair and TVG hurting? Themselves. As long as they continue to block HRTV fro DirecTV TVG with be able to show nothing but grade “B” racing except for a few tracks like Keeneland and Hollywood Park who seem more interested in TVG exclusives than the horsemen. We are now working with the California horsemen to stop this unfair practice. All California bettors should be able to view ALL California racing on either channel, TVG or HRTV, on dish network OR Directv.

  • Honestly

    Dish has RTN- then you don’t need the talking heads. Caroline could you run for governor of California and help fix the industry? Valid points were made- it does seem like TVG/Betfair continue to shoot themselves in the foot.

  • Matt

    First off, it’s sad that people lost their jobs. After reading all the comments on here its obvious that most of these posts are from the “older generation.” You’d just rather have these guys sit there in the studio and be serious all the time. I never saw Mr. B ever take a horse over 4-1 and he’s even been getting the names of the horses wrong for a couple months now. The industry is suffering because there isn’t much new blood thats following horse racing, don’t know anyone else my age that follows it. The commentators aren’t going to offer me any knowledge for my handicapping, so I don’t mind all the joking around that takes place. It lightens things up. When your generation is gone the sport will die unless it starts to attract the next generation. At Dubai yesterday there was practically a rave between races, those kind of events is what’s needed to get people of my generation interested. I appreciate the sport for what it is, but most younger people don’t and the only way to draw them in is by catering to them. Watching Mr. B was like listening to my grandfather talk about the olden days and that’s not going to keep a 20-something tuned in for more than 30 seconds.

  • Ron O

    Matt,
    you make some valid points, but the joking and nonsense that goes on at TVG at the expense of actually showing the races and post parade (which is extremely important if you are sitting home and not at the track) only makes things more difficult for the bettors who are relying on TVG for information. We all like a little entertainment, but the bottom line for the players and TVG is how much money gets wagered, and most people betting at home tune in to get that information. The race itself and the post parade is usually less than 3 minutes…plenty of time for entertainment around that. Just goes to show that management does not know how to make the show the best it can be, for any generation.

  • Matt

    Ron,

    That’s fair, they could show more of the post parades but on some days the way the tracks have the post times set up, the races go off on top of each other. I watch the live feeds online for the post parades and local track announcer info, since I’m already online wagering. I’m sure TVG could do a better job structuring things, but I don’t rely on them for too much other than watching the race on a bigger screen than my laptop

  • David

    For all you media experts, try closing your eyes and imaging a world without TVG or HRTV. Everyone (in this inane blog) should hit their knees before going to sleep and thank Betfair, MEwhatever and CDI for underwriting sure-loser businesses. While their motivation isn’t unselfish without their dime you guys would be dialing up track feeds on notebooks and watching slide shows. Instead you get caught up on ridiculing for not expressing in parlance that’s as dead as Latin. Get lives for Christ’s sake.

  • Ron O

    David,
    You also make some valid points, what you don’t do is express them like a gentleman so we can have a spirited debate, which is what makes things better in ANY business.

  • RickHulce

    #97 re: “The buzz at the Frontrunner today was that Frank Lyons was working a 3-hour per diem shift for TVG.”

    Good crowd at Santa Anita’s Frontrunner yesterday. Didn’t see many big players (Big Vern, David Milch, Norm G., Count) tying up the windows however.

  • David

    108, If you’re looking for constructive criticism or “spirited debate” you’re wasting time in this exchange. Check out (some of) the observations about the departed and current TVG talent crew. Face it, this business is populated by individuals (aka fans) who are the only ones on respective blocks that bet on horses and think the rest of the world somehow are like them.

  • Maferwin

    It’s sad when people lose their jobs, but while corporations have their point of view I don’t understand why on earth Ken Rudolph is still on. This man is the very worst of the lot. Rudolph and Carrothers have no place on TV and neither has Miss Yu nor the guy who used to be a catcher. Here is hoping the 18 find jobs real fast.

  • Ken

    Well….how could they possibly get rid of the best handicapper on staff Mr. B…? really thats malignant dumb….I enjoy all the other personalities but always appreciated Mr. b’s expert analysis….ridiculous from here….thats all there is….

  • http://paulickreport.com jerry in louisville

    I can’t stand listening to Ken Rudolph. His constant blabbering shows he knows absolutely nothing about horse racing.

  • the-distaff-side

    If you think TVG is bad now, wait until they go back to interviewing all the drunk hipsters at DMR–the ones who bet $2 to show on the odds-on choice.

  • ReallyTVG

    Is TVG’s attempts to capture a younger audience working? I had my 25 year-old daughter watch the Late DD. After squirming her way through an hour she asked me if she could leave. She said those old guys, Greg Wolf and Tim Bader were embarrassing.

  • M. Martini

    I’m going to miss Mr. B. I’ve only been wagering on horses for about a year, but he was one of the few guys on TVG from whom I have learned things. What I liked about him was that he always explained the thought process behind his handicapping. For new players, he was a teacher. And I loved the stories that he told.

    If TVG wants to attract a younger audience, or any audience, they should keep people around who know the game.

  • billemerson

    Hate to see Chris go. Class act with great flow to his words and remarks. Especially good at night with both Delta and EVD. He will be missed by real horsemen as opposed to the comedy troupe they have assembled to attract a newer, hipper audience. While those guys go for the cheap beer and drinks at the track, some of us are betting $20 exacta wheels. To each his own I guess. Good Luck Chris wish you could join the Oaklawn team.

  • http://yahoo.com Former Announcer

    Just like many race tracks TVG has decided that experience and dedication can be replaced with
    Long Legs, Big Boobs and stoll even younger “Big
    Boobs” who wouldn’t know a race horse if it stepped on them. Horse racing has gone to hell thanks to the bean counting, over educated and unimaginitive morons who
    currently reside in management positions at most race tracks in this country. Their Motto -cheap is best and
    screw the bettors 0 they are too dumb to notice.

  • Mike R

    Maybe if Chris and Bob would have dyed their hair and used the words “like”, “awesome”, and “dude” more often they would still have their jobs. Attracting a younger audience is necessary, but not to the detriment of the existing audience. Clearly from many of the posts the TVG model is not that well liked. The on air “talent” needs to let the horse racing be the show and not try to be the show themselves.

  • Al

    Seems like TVG has cut Woodbine Harness and Mountaineer in recent weeks.

  • ReallyTVG

    my question is whether or not the experiment to attract younger viewers has been a success. i admire the effort, we do need young blood in the sport. the management team at tvg is rife will old guys and degenerate gamblers. do they really have a handle on what young people want? i do not know but quite frankly, i doubt it. if they are serious about attracting a younger audience while maintaining their horse racing audience, there should be a management team in place that is knowledgeable in this aspect of the medium.

  • http://Bellwether4u.com Bellwether

    FAMILIES…FAMILIES…FAMILIES…YOUNG & OLD!!!…PLEASE…ty…

    • Blacky

      I think we should blame Obama for the cut backs he gets blamed for everything else ha ha

  • john meairs

    I totally agree with the majority opinion that TVG commentators are so dismal that they are humorous when they are being serious. Trainer Sherlock addresses only some of the woes of California horse racing.

  • Al

    Ray, just found out they let Gary Seibel go yesterday after coming back from vacation.

  • http://125 tom a

    bob b will not be missed,his picks would always be the first or second morn line choice,or the leading jock.you could hit five wins on a tracks program and lose money. chris k was so boring i felt sorry for him and had to turn tvg off.i am tickled these two guys are gone

  • kelley

    My God…Ken Rudolph survived. he is annoying and unwatchable. HRTV here I come

    • d. griffin

      what about that annoying Vercruysse on hrtv

  • ex-TVG

    I worked for TVG for over 10 years. This “restructure” was inevitable. The production started out with 20 camera people, 8 audio, 8 technical directors, staff Directors, ADs, and three times the staff. Lets face it, better economy and big dreams/vision by Tony Alevato (ex-HRTV) and Ray Brune (now head honcho at Merv Griffen). After a year or so, they were down to 6 camera operators, and ADs were promoted to Directors. Once the TV format was established and the customers lined up to watch and wager, change happened. Comcast acquired the building in the second year from the purchase of ATT Broadband and TVG was booted to make for their G4/Tech TV/E! and other productions. TVG ended up at Howard Hughes Center in the old Telemundo building and proceeded to update technically to needs and specifications. 6 or so years later, they are now down to even less crew and staff, no make up artist, and I knew it would happen. They had one camera guy, 4 audio, 4 TDs, and less in Tape Ops and MCR. I’m curious who is still left.
    I was always skeptical of the ethics and wondered about the “picks” and on-air Talent wagering. The question of who or whom was benefiting from the “picks” was always in the back of my mind. The incident where Shrupp and Cox celebrated “their” pick six ticket win on air to fans. The only problem was that they changed their ticket from the one they pitched to the fans, forgot, celebrated like asses, and then “down played it” till it was under the carpet. Needless to say there was some backlash with confused and angry players. My dad is a long time SoCal horseplayer, hates Schrupp, picks the ponies better than most of the on-air talent (and I use that term loosely), and puts more back in the wagering account. I really wonder what is on the “up and up”. Or the scuttlebutt and rumors of Executive Producers utilizing off shore accounts and wagering, benefiting financially from their racing industry connections. It’s been a personal ATM for some, and getting screwed for others. There have been many who have left TVG or been let go, regardless of the circumstances there are a good portion of them who are not happy. In fact, there is rumor of a huge lawsuit from a previous employee, and he has serious grounds for his suit. Like most companies there is another view from the water cooler and plenty of dish. Kotulack is a class act, Baedeker is the dad you wished you had, and with the exception of a few others who have let it ALL go to their heads (who You all know), there are good people and friends at TVG whom I miss. I’m Happier since I left, and I hope my wounded commrades will fair well out in the bad economy. Chris Harrison is laughing and cashing the big checks that Todd wishes he could.

  • http://internetexporer ted pryse

    I wish tvg would just go to music all of the time instead of watching fools put pick 3 and pick 4 tickets on the air with 90% of the time there tickets were losers. all of the on air talent select 90% favorites every race. they are on air for three hours and only showing three tracks sometimes two with the favorite winning 34% of the time they will pick winners when there on the air. mr. b i called him mr. c for mr. chalk, gary seibel was the best tv person they had by far and leeting him go is beond me. maybe because meadowlands is closing that is why they let him go. but watching the on air talent select one favorite after the next totally made me sick, if porkey the pig was 3/5 they would all love him. the worst is rich, he loves favorites, he will put up a pick three ticket at philly for 24.oo and the ticket will come back paying 16.00 becauseall of his picks are chalks, todd is a great on air televisionerson, his voice is great and he is good, siomn bray to me is nothing but a broke down trainer, who now loves every favorite in every race, tvg needs to be like hrtv on monday and tuesday and ply music all day, instead of rich picking all favorites every race and reading all of the dull e-mails sent to him, he has not one time read a bad e-mail sent to him,,, tvg wants to go young, real gray old boring rich isn;t going young

  • http://internetexporer cincinnati kidw

    why would tvg fire the best on air talent gary seibel and keep some of the others,,,,,, gary and todd are the best on air talent they have,, when tvg did the works show todd showed how great his talent, he could be a news ancor on tv somewhere,, when i bet 90% of the timei keep my remote on mute because i do not want to here threr picks because there wrong most of the time, another thing that tvg does that is wrong,, i called at 6;00 in the morning for a pay out, and they told me i would have to wait until the next day to get it,,, they want you to keep the money in your account and bet it,, tvg isn;t for the horseman or fan they are for them selves

  • Peter Di Girolamo

    I am a horse player and at the suggestion of a fellow racing enthusiast recently became part of the TVG viewing audience. I expected track feeds and serious commentary. Instead, I am subjected to one “dog and pony show” after another. There are only a few who supply useful information to the serious better. The others are just “filler”. TVG……….GET SERIOUS. Back to OTB for me.

  • Carolyn Townsend

    I was very disappointed to hear that Mr. B had left TVG. Ken Rudolph is the best announcer. He has the voice and the pizzaz for this type of announcing.

  • choot ‘em

    I don’t miss Bedecker or Chris K. The Sarge makes the best picks. Christina does the best interviews. Michelle is a cutie. Ken doesn’t have a clue about racing. I make better picks than Todd and Simon….

    • chuck z…phd

      I agree the Sarge is the best…plus christina ……matt is silly.

  • ErnieB

    I must say after reading all these comments I have to say that Mr. B has landed back on TVG and so has both Frank M. and Frank Lyonst too. Really wish chris all the best i thought he knew something about handicapping. why couldn’t they just layoff people like todd, matt, frank m. (even though he cameback but never liked him), nancy, michelle nick or simon. because those guys don’t know nothing. the only person on tvg i trust is christina olivares i think her picks and interviews are worth betting on. like a few times she’s interviewed trainers that were at prices like 15-1 or like a 17-1 she’s not affraid to go against favorites. i think she’s the only that has the brain on their and you could tell sometimes when she’s working with these clowns she’s a little bit uncomfortable. she could’ve been with the rival network hrtv still had hrtv given her chance because that’s one of hrtv’s biggest regrets by not giving christina a chance to be on air as much as she was on because i did knew that she was gonna be something special down the road. michelle yu she is a clown sometimes and sings too. but michelle has kind of stopped with those chessy picks in terms of how they look in the paddock and post parade and now looks through the racing form. i think she is underrated and gettin better with her analysis but needs to stop with the clowneyness. the same with nancy ury whenever she’s on. michelle lately has been doing in-studio work than before because last year she at one point was involved in the major broadcasts but hasn’t really been on the major broadcasts for a while. tvg has to face it hrtv has the better on air people like jon white, joanne jones (formerly of tvg), laffit pincay iii, jeff siegel, peter lurie, aaron v, becky witzman, caton bredar (formerly of tvg), carolyn conley, kurt hoover, jill byrne (formerly of tvg) and alyssa ali. actually i think the paddock analysts at woodbine like dawn lupul and renee kierans know their stuff and provide the track reports from the racetrack and give out tickets for the races too know what they’re saying. then donna barton brothers whenever she’s on tvg during it’s kentucky coverage also is a very good reporter and analyst on their as she has a new book out right now so maybe people could look at her more as a handicapper now than before.

  • mwat935139

    I can’t believe that Bob and Chris were let go while they keep others like Greg Wolfe who in my opinion has no personality or racing knowledge. Ken is a professional announcer and brings humor to the show and everyone knows he’s not a race analyst nor does he pretend to be. Christina is good, Ron Ellis is full of himself, Frank Lyons is (deleted), Tod Schrupp..oh well. Simon Couldn’t pick his nose, Matt will make you very rich or on welfare, Michelle is great eye candy, Paul is a pretty good handicapper but needs anger management. I just learned that Ken is leaving, time for me to watch the races over the net.

  • chuck z…phd

    I agree the Sarge is the best…plus christina ……matt is silly.

  • Trayle

    We, as horse owners, watched TVG from the time when they had two clowns with bags on their heads with two eyes cut out, announcing the races. They talk more than they show the races. I like Dave and Greg and Sarge, but Matt, Ken and the others don’t know a horse from the bags they wore over their heads. When cable let people subscribe to Simulcast,  that is where we went. Any track that is running is available live and you choose which track you want to watch. We don’t have to listen to Ken talk about some guy in the band’s butt while we are missing watching one of our horses run at Evangeline that they were supposed to show. It’s really aggravating. No one can predict how a horse is going to run. You can give an educated guess, but my theory is the horses talk to each other and when one has a headache, he tells the others to go ahead without him. That’s what makes horseracing.  As for Chris Koutalek, TVG’s loss was Remington Park’s gain. Chris is from Oklahoma and he landed on his feet as the main announcer in Oklahoma City. He shrugs the mess that happened at TVG off. He’s a great guy, funny, knows a lot about the horses and is there in all weather. Cool guy. It doesn’t surprise me that a bunch of Brits made these decisions and are involved in how TVG runs. God, their racing is strictly thoroughbred. They know nothing about how Americans watch racing. No wonder they lost the revolution, they just don’t get us!

    • Kingzewiey

       I’d like to agree with you but The European bankers have been running our Economy since it was established. The Banks won the revolutionary War not the Colonists !!!

  • Trayle

    We, as horse owners, watched TVG from the time when they had two clowns with bags on their heads with two eyes cut out, announcing the races. They talk more than they show the races. I like Dave and Greg and Sarge, but Matt, Ken and the others don’t know a horse from the bags they wore over their heads. When cable let people subscribe to Simulcast,  that is where we went. Any track that is running is available live and you choose which track you want to watch. We don’t have to listen to Ken talk about some guy in the band’s butt while we are missing watching one of our horses run at Evangeline that they were supposed to show. It’s really aggravating. No one can predict how a horse is going to run. You can give an educated guess, but my theory is the horses talk to each other and when one has a headache, he tells the others to go ahead without him. That’s what makes horseracing.  As for Chris Koutalek, TVG’s loss was Remington Park’s gain. Chris is from Oklahoma and he landed on his feet as the main announcer in Oklahoma City. He shrugs the mess that happened at TVG off. He’s a great guy, funny, knows a lot about the horses and is there in all weather. Cool guy. It doesn’t surprise me that a bunch of Brits made these decisions and are involved in how TVG runs. God, their racing is strictly thoroughbred. They know nothing about how Americans watch racing. No wonder they lost the revolution, they just don’t get us!

  • Jackwhite21

    Oh those are the two guys I would tune in to hear from!  Are you kidding me?  I just read this article and could not believe it.  HRTV has way better announcers for sure now.  

  • Jackwhite21

    Oh those are the two guys I would tune in to hear from!  Are you kidding me?  I just read this article and could not believe it.  HRTV has way better announcers for sure now.  

  • Kingzewiey

     I’d like to agree with you but The European bankers have been running our Economy since it was established. The Banks won the revolutionary War not the Colonists !!!

Twitter