TNT drops hearts monitors for drivers' wives

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After briefly floating the idea, TNT killed a plan to hook up the wives of Nascar drivers to heart monitors to gague reactions as their husbands zoom around the track.

TNT general manager Steve Koonin said the network was pursuing the idea to enhance its Nascar coverage, keeping in with the network's new marketing theme of "TNT: We Know Drama." Koonin said that the telemetry would accompany the standard reaction shots of drivers' wives as they approached the end of the race. "When we have sports we will be making it dramatic," Koonin said at a meeting with reporters Tuesday morning to discuss the upfront advertising market.

He denied the obvious implication: that the network wanted to capture wives' reactions as their husbands, say, slammed into a wall at 180 m.p.h. or crashed into another car and caught fire. "I take offense to that," Koonin said, claiming the thought never even occurred to him or members of his staff.

After being challenged by reporters, TNT executives started quickly backtracking and by 1:30 p.m. started calling reporters to tell them they scrapped the idea and that Nascar had never even been approached. "The idea was part of internal brainstorming session and was indeed not presented to Nascar," said a Turner Broadcasting System spokesman. "It will not happen."

The NASCAR package was originally slated to go to TNT's sister network TBS Superstation. - John Higgins

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