Ted Kravitz’s Notebook will return to Sky’s Formula 1 schedules in a reprieve for the programme, the broadcaster has confirmed.
Kravitz, who is with Sky for 13 races this season, will present the 30-minute Notebook at this Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix following their Paddock Live post-race programme.
However, the Qualifying Notebook does not appear to be returning as of writing. An article on the Sky Sports website outlining their Chinese Grand Prix schedule references the Notebook, but omits any reference to Kravitz presenting the show.
Since Sky’s article went online, the broadcaster themselves has noted via their customer facing @SkyHelpTeam Twitter outlet that Kravitz will present the programme. Whilst Sky may not be calling the programme Ted’s Notebook, instead giving it a generic title (this Sunday it is “The Chinese GP Notebook”), the presenter is indeed the same.
The Notebook is returning for all of Kravitz’s 13 races. Kravitz’s status with Sky, and their communication around it, has been subject of much social media attention in the past two months.
In the interim period, Kravitz joined forces with F1 themselves, with a post-weekend Debrief show airing on F1 TV and Sky’s F1 channel. It quickly emerged though that Kravitz’s Sky return came with a reduction in his role, from 21 to 13 races.
In the weeks since Australia, Sky have communicated to customers via social media that Ted’s Notebook is not returning to their output. Now, in a second u-turn, the Notebook returns this Sunday following a significant social media backlash.
Analysis: Another u-turn from Sky
The saga that is Ted Kravitz’s status with Sky Sports rumbles on. As I said from the outset, the decision to axe Kravitz from the line-up struck me as a “very narrow-minded decision.”
Make no mistake about it: Sky’s PR on this from the start has been appalling, with attempts made at every opportunity to brush the subject underneath the surface. Where is the honesty with their customers?
A simple statement on the Sky F1 website to state that Kravitz is with the team for 13 races, and that the Notebook programme will air during those races, would have quashed any sort of backlash during Australia and Bahrain.
Instead of being proactive, Sky’s whole communication strategy has felt reactive. The only mention of Kravitz on Sky’s F1 channels as far as I am aware has come from David Croft in commentary for Australia and Bahrain practice, whilst on-air team members have sporadically responded to individual tweeters.
Neither are exactly front and centre of their social media or website portfolio. Sky could have avoided much of the negative feedback in recent weeks by being open and transparent with their audience.
It is possible that Sky never intended for the Notebook to return, even with Kravitz doing 13 races, and that fans have forced them to bring the Notebook back. Technically the programme that went by the name Ted’s Notebook is not in Sky’s schedules, but the Notebook presented by Ted Kravitz is in the schedules.
Ignoring the political aspect, I am happy to see the Notebook returning, as the programme covers every team, something that has been missing from Sky’s post-race output so far this season.
Every team has a story, with little nuggets of information up and down the pit lane as to why the race went the way it did.
Spending the race and the aftermath in pit lane meant that Kravitz was able to capture stories that in another era went underneath the radar. From that perspective, I am pleased to see the Notebook return.
The fact that Sky have reneged on their position is a good thing, although I remain bewildered that it has come to this.
Update on April 9th at 07:00 – Following this article, and late last night on their website at 22:55, Sky officially confirmed for the first time that Kravitz, as expected, will be with the team for 13 races, with the Notebook appearing at all those races.