NASCAR announced today a number of strategic moves designed to further strengthen its broadcasting and production units by re-focusing business strategy, improving alignment with other key NASCAR departments and bolstering the overall leadership structure.
Steve Herbst, who has overseen NASCAR’s broadcasting and global media rights since May 2011, has been selected to lead what was formerly known as NASCAR Media Group Productions as vice president, broadcasting and production. This unit is being rebranded as NASCAR Productions and will join NASCAR Broadcasting, NASCAR Digital Media and NASCAR Entertainment in being more closely aligned with the company’s other fan engagement and development departments. Herbst will report to Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps.
Steve Stum has been promoted to vice president of operations and technical production, Tally Hair has been named managing director of production and programming and Seth Bacon has been elevated to senior director of broadcasting. Each of these appointments is effective today. NASCAR Vice President of Digital Media Marc Jenkins will continue to lead NASCAR Digital Media and report to Phelps. Zane Stoddard, managing director in NASCAR’s Los Angeles office, will continue to lead NASCAR Entertainment, reporting to NASCAR Vice President, Strategic Development Eric Nyquist. Jay Abraham, who has held various leadership roles at NMG, is no longer with NASCAR.
In addition to the realignment of these business units and the leadership appointments, NASCAR also announced a streamlined business focus for NASCAR Productions. Going forward, NASCAR Productions will focus solely on delivering content and executing projects that support NASCAR’s broader mission of serving current NASCAR fans and growing new audiences. Current projects unrelated to NASCAR will be completed but initiatives outside NASCAR’s core mission will no longer be pursued.
“Over the last two years NASCAR has taken a number of steps and made significant investments to drive long-term growth and build value for industry stakeholders,” said NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France. “This is the next evolution to better position NASCAR to meet the challenges of the existing business landscape and to capitalize on the growth opportunities before us.”
NASCAR announced earlier this year that it had restructured its digital rights agreement with Turner Sports. NASCAR Digital Media is currently building a team that will be based in Charlotte, N.C., to assume operational control of NASCAR.com on Jan. 1, 2013. Strategic alignment of NASCAR’s broadcasting, productions, digital media and entertainment groups, along with Integrated Marketing Communications, is the latest step in preparing the company to execute against a long-term industry action plan focused on fan activation and audience growth.
“We have built a state-of-the-art production facility and NMG has achieved great success on a number of initiatives over the years,” said Phelps. “We believe clearly focusing these assets against the core tenets of the Industry Action Plan is necessary to achieve the industry’s overall objectives. We also have great confidence that Steve Herbst, Steve Stum, Tally Hair and Seth Bacon are the right leaders at the right time to lead this refined approach.”
Herbst, who will split his time between NASCAR’s New York and Charlotte offices, joined NASCAR in May of 2011 from CBS College Sports Network where he served as executive vice president and general manager. Prior to his time at CBS-C, Herbst spent 19 years with the National Basketball Association in a number of broadcasting positions, including SVP of Broadcast and GM of NBA TV. He was also responsible for managing the league’s relationships with ABC, ESPN and TNT.
Stum joined NASCAR as director of field operations and has served as managing director of operations at NMG’s Charlotte headquarters since 2007. Hair, also based in Charlotte, has been serving as NASCAR’s senior director of broadcasting since May of 2011. Before joining NASCAR, Hair was with Fox Sports where he served as a coordinating producer on the The Best Damn Sports Show Period. Bacon, who works out of NASCAR’s New York office, has been director of broadcasting since 2008. He joined NASCAR from Fox Sports where he worked on NASCAR Victory Lane – All Access and The Best Damn Sports Show Period, among other assignments.