SBD/December 18, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Jeff Belskus' Removal Of IndyCar PR Head Steve Shunck Panned As "Political Move"

Shunck was "the best thing" IndyCar had going for it on the marketing and PR side
IndyCar VP/PR Steve Shunck was informed last Tuesday “his job was being eliminated,” according to Robin Miller of SPEEDTV.com, who wrote the elimination of Shunck's job was the "second mindless act" of IndyCar interim CEO Jeff Belskus. Miller: "Shunck was the ONLY person in either PR department (IndyCar or IMS) who had any credibility with the national media or the drivers. He's good at getting things done." Belskus “may be good with numbers but obviously knows nothing about people and performance.” IndyCar is “a lot worse today for his lack of judgment” (SPEEDTV.com, 12/12). The GLOBE & MAIL's Jeff Pappone reports Shunck was “one of four laid off in IndyCar’s head office in Indianapolis.” Shunck had been “working there since 2010" when he was hired by former IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard. Looking from the “outside at Shunck’s job performance, this can only be seen as a political move to dump people hired by and possibly loyal to the former boss.” A life-long racing fan, Shunck was "the best thing IndyCar had going for it on the marketing and public relations side.” Pappone: “And speaking of terrible ideas, it’s entirely troubling that persistent rumours are circulating that former race director Brian Barnhart may get his old job back.” Barnhart, who now serves as IndyCar President of Operations, “became famous for getting the series bad press with his questionable calls from race control, something that finally saw him removed last year by Bernard” (GLOBE & MAIL, 12/18).
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