Media General's station group is syndicating a NASCAR-related special produced by its station in the mid-size Johnson City, Tenn. market and has signed up 80-plus stations. The hour-long show celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Bristol Motor Speedway located in the market.
Stations in Phoenix, Orlando and San Antonio have signed on to air it. The Johnson City station, CBS affiliate WJHL, is set to broadcast this week.
The Johnson City market -- which straddles Tennessee and Virginia and is known as the Tri-Cities -- is an important one for Media General, since it also operates a daily newspaper there.
Media General said several national advertisers bought time in the production "Bristol Turns 50: Half Century Half Mile," which takes place as the track hosts a NASCAR race Saturday night on ABC.
"Almost half of the households in the United States will have access to this program," stated Jack D. Dempsey, general manager of WJHL.
Even as NASCAR has dropped races in many small markets in favor of Dallas and Chicago, it still holds two races a year in the Tri-Cities area, the country's 91st-largest DMA. The market did move up two places on the Nielsen rankings this year and now has 337,000 households.
The special includes interviews with NASCAR greats Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace and current luminaries Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch.