Last weekend saw a huge surge of protests on social media against Sky Sports F1 and unfortunately Karun Chandhok (his alleged replacement), when it was speculated that popular pitlane reporter Ted Kravitz was thought to have been sacked by the new Sky motorsports boss Scott Young.
Yesterday Sky announced that their pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz was confirmed to join in their full lineup of presenters for the 2019 season. Much speculation and even some gossip had been emailed to TJ13 by an industry insider claiming that Ted had fallen out of favour with the new boss Scott Young.
So what happened?
Ongoing discussions with Ted and Sky Sports F1 had been occuring in the background, hence the silence from his colleagues and indeed Ted himself. TJ13 has been made aware of some internal background into why Ted nearly didn’t make the cut at Sky for 2019, and we quote the industry blog motorsport broadcasting below for some interesting details by their writer David Nelson.
For the many who have been asking me, there’s Ted. https://t.co/hR9Sxb7zZ3
— Martin Brundle (@MBrundleF1) February 25, 2019
Nelson highlights the appointment of the new boss Scott Young as head of F1 following Martin Turner leaving the company as the beginning of the episode.
Young would be looking to see what needed shaking up within the Sky F1 hierarchy.
“As this site predicted months before Young joined, the new person in town had a difficult task ahead of them. “Do they upset the apple cart by creating a fresh new line-up, mixed with the old and the new, or will they stick by their current talent?” were the words that I wrote half way through 2017.” says Nelson.
“And, as reported last September, it became apparent that Young was looking to shake things up. Both Karun Chandhok and Jenson Button joined the team ahead of this season, whilst the broadcaster was quick to deny other rumours that were making their way through the Grand Prix paddock.”
It certainly seems that industry sources have believed that Kravitz’s future at Sky has been in doubt and Motorsport Broadcasting confirmed yesterday that Young indeed decided not to renew Kravitz’s contract for the 2019 season.
“However, this site can exclusively confirm that the decision to axe Kravitz was overturned from within, with discussions between Sky and Kravitz ongoing regarding his ‘return’ in recent weeks.” says Nelson.
“The u-turn from Sky is not a result of any social media storm that unfolded over the weekend, the wheels for his return were in motion far before the leak. This writer chose not to write about the subject of Kravitz’s potential exit given that negotiations were ongoing between both parties, and any decision to publish an article could jeopardise those.”
“Possibly one of the most surprising, and bewildering, Formula 1 broadcasting stories, on a human level, in years. Was Scott Young really thinking of getting rid of Ted Kravitz from the Sky Sports F1 set-up?
“Amazingly, astonishingly, the answer is yes.” claims the industry blog.
“Only Scott Young can answer why he thought axing Kravitz was a good idea. Whether it is his view that only ex-drivers and ex-F1 personnel can be pundits, I do not know. You do not need to have ‘been there, done that’ to be knowledgeable on a subject. Kravitz may not have been a racer, but he has risen through the ranks of ITV, BBC and now Sky.”
“Inevitably, some of the above leads us to the decision to overturn Young’s original move. Those within the Sky set-up will know how popular Kravitz is, and no doubt will have tried to fight his corner in the battle to keep him in the line-up.”
“Some of those working with Kravitz have worked with him since the BBC and ITV F1 days, so have had a longstanding professional and personal relationship with him. Given the outcome that we now know, clearly those that did fight for him behind the scenes went some distance to get the outcome they, and the fans, wanted.”
“For the moment, better heads have prevailed, and Sky have avoided a PR disaster after a weekend to forget across social media.” concludes Nelson.
Fans of Ted are no doubt looking forward to the return of his Notebook in Australia.