It's incredibly rare to see a network fire an announcer midseason for a mistake made in the broadcast booth, especially after 30 years associated with the network, but ESPN has taken that drastic step with racing announcer Marty Reid.
According to the AP, ESPN has confirmed that Reid is no longer working for Bristol. ESPN will have lead NASCAR announcer Allen Bestwick call Nationwide races and will name a new lead IndyCar announcer at a later date. Reid had called five different racing series for ESPN – NASCAR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Truck Series as well as IndyCar and NHRA. Perhaps the biggest development in all this will be ESPN searching for a new voice for the Indianapolis 500, which Reid has called since 2006.
This all stems from a mistake Reid made last weekend at the Nationwide race in Kentucky. He mistakenly called the race over at the white flag and had to sheepishly be told by his broadcast partner that the race was indeed not over. While that may have been the straw that broke Reid's career, it was far from his first high profile blooper.
It's hard to criticize ESPN for making a change and ultimately replacing Reid, but one can't help but think the timing is harsh. It would be one thing to move another direction after the season and let Reid finish out his duties this year before quietly parting ways. But firing Reid now seems extreme and such a rare step, again, especially for someone with such a long history with the sport.
As far as consequences for announcing gaffes go, you can now put miscalling the end of a NASCAR race at the top of the list.