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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SPEED TV Summer Series "Wrecked"

Features O'Hare Towing of Illinois and owners Bill & Marci Gratzianna.
I had the pleasure of meeting Marci at the TRAA's Legislative & Leadership Conference in early March. She is the Women of theTRAA's First Vice-President and one of the creators of the TRAA's second and newest DVD, Dress For Success.

Here's the release found at BusinessWire.com.

SPEED™ Shines Light on One of Nation’s Most Dangerous Jobs – Tow Truck Operator – with New Summer Series ‘Wrecked’
Chicago’s O’Hare Towing & Recovery Responds to More Than 200 Calls a Day

CHARLOTTE , N.C.-- (BUSINESS WIRE)--SPEED, the definitive network for motor sports and automotive lifestyle programming, will focus its cameras on one of the most dangerous professions in the nation, when the summer-scheduled Wrecked

“It’s probably safe to say that just about anyone who’s ever driven a car has come in contact with a tow truck driver at least once or twice, and most likely not under happy circumstances,” said SPEED VP of Programming Robert Ecker.

“Whether they are called upon to fix a flat tire, tow an illegally parked vehicle or clean up the remnants of a major wreck, the people who work in this inherently dangerous industry touch the lives of all of us in some way large or small, yet they remain otherwise virtually unnoticed."

"With this series, we intend to showcase the inner workings of one of the largest and busiest such companies in one of the largest and busiest metropolitan areas in the country. The fact that the shop is owned and operated as a multi-generational family business and populated by a large and colorful group of employees certainly doesn’t hurt either. "

“This is a world similar in many respects to that of a major urban firehouse,” Ecker continued. “Until the phone rings and that emergency call comes in, there’s simply no way of knowing what any given day will bring and when it does come, lives can literally hang in the balance."

According to the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame in Tennessee, nearly 100 tow truck drivers lose their lives on the job every year, and O’Hare responds to more than 200 calls a day in a city that reports nearly a quarter of a million traffic accidents a year.

“This is a very dangerous job,” said O’Hare’s Bill Gratzianna, who runs the family owned business in the Chicago suburb of Northlake. “We lose a lot of towing operators on a regular basis … every response is delicate and can be volatile.”

Wrecked, scheduled for 10 one-hour episodes premiering in HD in July, will tell the stories behind the daily life of this major operation, accompanying drivers on high-risk calls as well as recording the daily stresses in the shop and in the family.

“We are out there with people when they are at their most vulnerable,” said Bill’s wife Marci Gratzianna, who also works in the business. “They are broken down … they are scared.”

Wrecked joins new 2008 SPEED originals Livin’ The Low Life with Vida Guerra, Super Cars Exposed, Drag Race High and the daily game show Pass Time, as SPEED continues its most ambitious prime time program development effort in network history.

“This is a unique reality programming initiative for SPEED and it will be a wild ride for viewers,” said SPEED Senior VP of Programming Steve Craddock. “The colorful characters at O’Hare Towing face more adversity and danger every day than most people experience in a lifetime.”

In addition, exclusive Wrecked short-form content will be made available all season through www.SPEEDtv.com, VOD cable, iTunes video podcasts, mobile phones, cable broadband sites and viral distribution.

On the mobile front, long-form episodes will be available on Sprint wireless handsets via Sprint TV. SPEED clips and original short-form content will be made available to Sprint, Cingular, MobiTV and others.

Wrecked full-length episodes, advanced screenings and free clips also will be available for electronic download via iTunes, Amazon, Best Buy and other electronic download distributors.

SPEED is the nation's first and foremost cable television network dedicated to motor sports and the passion for everything automotive. From racing to restoration, motorcycles to movies, SPEED delivers quality programming from the track to the garage. Now available in more than 78 million homes in North America , SPEED is among the fastest-growing sports cable networks in the country and, the home to NASCAR on SPEED and an industry leader in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services.

For more information, please visit www.SPEEDtv.com, the online motor sports authority.
shadows O’Hare Towing & Recovery as it services one of the busiest transportation hubs in the United States .

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