NTWAB Spring 2015 Newsletter

Originally posted April 19, 2015

We have many positive developments to report, as you will see below. There also is some negative news that I will not attempt to bury.

Unfortunately, we had no choice but to pay the Internal Revenue Service $2,742.87 for failure to file necessary paperwork in 2009 and 2010. Although previous leadership of the NTWAB believes we did file those years, there is no record of that. Our accountant strongly recommended that we pay the penalty, which we have done, to bring an end to those proceedings.

Everyone involved regrets that this occurred. I assure you that Loren Hebel-Osborne, our current treasurer, is on top of our tax return at the beginning of each year and that we are in compliance since the years in question.

As the Kentucky Derby fast approaches, it is extremely disappointing that Churchill Downs failed to revive the Red Smith awards after Mike Kane and I were assured during a conference call last fall that they were doing so. I now have assurances from John Asher that the awards will be brought back in 2016. We discussed the possibility of having the Turf Publicists of America administer the contest with the financial backing of Churchill Downs, which would present the awards. The TPA joins us in wanting to see that excellence in coverage is honored and has offered to help in any way possible.

We are encouraged to hear – but will believe it when we see it — that a media guide will be published this year to assist in our coverage of the Derby and Oaks. I will always argue – and we made this point since the media guide was dropped — that there is nothing like having well-organized information beside your laptop when on deadline.

Please allow time to attend our annual Derby meeting, to be held this year on Wednesday, April 29, at noon in the interview area of the media center. Given heavy schedules, feel free to enjoy lunch while we proceed. Among other topics, we would like to discuss the possibility of adding a Courage Award to our annual dinner. We also will discuss the possibility of donating $1,000 to a local industry-related charity as part of our giving when we hold our Breeders’ Cup dinner in Lexington.

For those who cannot attend the meeting, your thoughts on both subjects are encouraged and welcomed. Please contact me.

Yours in racing,

Tom Pedulla 646-337-6955 cell; tpedulla23@gmail.com

In other developments:

UK INTERNSHIP: Thanks to the diligence of Richard Rosenblatt, who saw this through from beginning to end, we established an internship that will be available to a deserving University of Kentucky student next fall. The internship will provide the student with access to members in print and broadcast and allow for hands-on experience. Thank you to the many members who already offered to assist. We will be reaching out once the top candidate is selected.

FEEDBACK NEEDED: Jim Mulvihill, the new president of the Turf Publicists of America, wants to make certain his members are assisting our members as much as possible. Those who have suggestions on how things can be done better are asked to send them to me at tpedulla23@gmail.com. I will present what we have as part of a TPA conference call. Please be as specific as possible.

WEST WENT WEST: Thanks to Gary West for representing the NTWAB and meeting with students at the University of Arizona’s Racetrack Industry program. We received a note of appreciation from Doug Reed, who heads the program, to thank us for sending Gary and to salute Gary for doing a “great job.” We hope to send a different speaker each February, so please keep this in mind. The call for volunteers will be made in September, with Reed and his associates making the selection.

DUES: We have far more important issues to focus on. If you have not paid, please send a check for $50, payable to the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, as soon as possible to Loren Hebel-Osborne at P.O. Box 219, 11400 Covered Bridge Road, Prospect, Ky. 40059.

NEW MEMBER APPLICATIONS: As of now, we have interest from Keeler Johnson, Ed Golden, Jon Lindo, Jason Frakes, and Melissa Hoppert. If you are aware of anyone else wishing to join our organization at this time, please ask them to send an email application and letters of recommendation from two members in good standing to Jessie Oswald at jboswald68@gmail.com.