Published December 6, 2012
Fox Sports execs yesterday met with Speed staff in Charlotte and addressed reports of the company's plan to rebrand the motorsports channel as Fox Sports 1. Sources said the meeting was led by Fox Sports co-Presidents & co-COOs Randy Freer and Eric Shanks. The execs assured the Speed staff that they will be a key part of any rebranding of Speed and added that Speed's production facility in Charlotte would contribute significantly to programming in the future. They did not comment on how many employees would be kept in Charlotte, or if any would be relocated to Fox Sports' offices in N.Y. or L.A. They said they would come back early next year to update staff on their plans. The meeting was supposed to be held the week of Nov. 5, but was postponed because of Hurricane Sandy. Fox Sports plans to convert Speed, which is in 81 million homes, into Fox Sports 1 by August, according to a recent report in SportsBusiness Journal
. The conversion was written into recent TV rights agreements that Fox cut with MLB and NASCAR, and the company recently began sharing a five- to 10-minute "sizzle reel" with sports and media execs touting its plans for the new channel. Fox Sports still has not confirmed its plans for Speed publicly.