Jenny Dell cut loose

You can date a Red Sox player, or you can stand on the sidelines during games, but not both.



    Free tagging: 


    Re: Jenny Dell cut loose

    By on

    That link is dead, but when I found the story it says that Jenny Dell is free to pursue other opportunities. Does that mean she's fired or is she also free to stay at NESN in another capacity as they stated a few weeks ago? A Herald commenter had a good point, why was she transferred and Will Middlebrooks allowed to stay? Potential lawsuit?

    Not that she's some cutting-edge investigative journalist, but

    I imagine Sox ownership still saw a conflict of interest (or at least the appearance of impropriety) in one of its sideline / on-field reporter's romantic involvement with a player. The business decision of saving her vs. Middlebrooks is thuddingly obvious. As I expect her career is focused on getting better on-camera roles, a release from her contract is a happier professional outcome for her than being forced to take some other role in the organization. Regardless, it looks like another cautionary tale on the perils of dating coworkers.

    I'm trying to imagine who would sue whom, for what

    I imagine Dell's contract doesn't give her much leverage regarding her assignments. Most of us are employees at will; your boss usually doesn't need to offer just cause or even a warning before firing or reassigning you. This being baseball, I'd go with the default, "The organization decided to go in another direction." There are worker protections vs. bias against age, race, gender, etc., but I don't see how those could be exploited in a lawsuit here.

    No Lawsuit can come of this

    That would be career suicide. If things don't work out with Will, Jenny has the good looks to land a billionaire investment firm/sports mogul 30 years her senior.

    Speaking of conflict

    That might be true, MC - but there's the inherit conflict of NESN and the Sox being owned by the same company to begin with... So how could there ever be 'fair' 'reporting' by NESN overall where the Sox are concerned. (never mind all the former Sox players who seem to get hired by NESN....

    And now there's further conflict in that John Henry just

    bought the Boston Globe (albeit on his own -- his Sox partners aren't involved). Of course, the issue of journalistic integrity is at best a red herring when the hardest-hitting question that Dell ever asks a Sox player is, "How did it feel to hit the game-winning single just now?"

    As noted elsewhere, the Sox aren't characterizing it that way, but as a potential "distraction", presumably in that she might be interviewing Will and he might distractedly reply, "Didn't we already talk about this in bed last night?"

    What conflict??

    By on

    How exactly is it a conflict that NESN and the Red Sox are owned by the same company? I've read the word "conflict" many times, but nobody says exactly how owning a sports team and a sports network is a conflict. They aren't going to do hard-hitting stories on the Sox? Who cares? This isn't Watergate we're talking about, it's a team that plays a game for money. There's no conflict. Nor is there a conflict that Henry owns the Globe. Again, if it were the mayor or the governor, or the President that owned a major news outlet maybe, but a guy that owns a baseball team? Who gives a shit. Read the Herald, ESPN, or any sports blog out there if you want unbiased Red Sox news.

    Your not caring doesn't mean it doesn't exist

    The point here is a simple one: a media outlet that is owned by a professional sports organization it covers has clear potential for a conflict of interest: "If I say bad things about the Sox, my boss might fire me." Many media outlets have an even higher standard on this issue: they try to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, the mere suggestion that their reporting might be biased by commercial concerns.

    As I've already pointed out twice now, this ethical concern is kind of a bullshit issue when nobody is ever going to confuse Jenny Dell with Carl Bernstein. Nobody's thinking, "I can't wait for Dell to get to the bottom of MLB's latest doping scandal." And in any event, Sox/NESN ownership isn't playing her employment status that way.

    But one doesn't have to be very cynical to believe that NESN's (and now the Globe's) coverage of the Sox might be a bit more hard-hitting and critical if they all didn't get their paychecks from the same people. That is exactly what is meant by a conflict of interest. But let's not confuse your opinion that this is irrelevant with the potential of its existence.


    By on

    Why is NESN required to give unbiased opinions on the Red Sox? It's not a news organization. I get the Globe (though I don't really agree it's a conflict, as it's a baseball team and there's really no requirement for unbiased reporting of a sports team), but NESN is just a sports network that shows games and has a few shows that give highlights. Do you think any network that pays to air games (and makes money off those games) is really going to give hard-hitting critique of said teams? Isn't the fact that they pay to cover those games a conflict?

    Again, this just seems like a silly argument. NBC news is "owned" by the same company that makes movies, should they not do movie reviews because it's a conflict? It's entertainment.

    No one is arguing that NESN should be unbiased

    I'm just noting what I thought was the painfully obvious potential for conflict of interest there.

    But I also think you are falsely conflating reporting with analysis and other editorial content. Plenty of what NESN does is straight-up sports reporting -- their content isn't all game broadcasts or analysis -- and that's where the conflict potential lies. And yes, there are serious news organizations that are able to maintain an ethical firewall between their reporting and the commercial side of the business. If you want to make the point that this dividing line has been eroding at many conglomerates in the age of media consolidation post-Telecom Act of 1996, I would strongly agree. If your point is that NESN and the Red Sox' intimate ties are the perfect example of this, well, d'uh: nobody has been arguing otherwise.

    Opinion pieces like movie reviews are different: these are expected to be a reflection of the individual critic's sensibilities, and the ethical ones will disclose when their parent company produced the movie they are reviewing. (I'd go further: there are obviously two classes of movie reviewers these days: serious, ethical, credentialed professionals, and quote-whoring cheerleaders whose raves are utterly suspect.)

    Except that most movie reviewers

    By on

    these days get to see the films for gratis before they are released for viewing by the public. It's only the good reviews that get into the pre-release ads.

    Seems to me that's an obvious example of potential for biased reporting. You write a bad review, it doesn't get publicized. You write enough bad reviews, you're out of a job.


    By on

    Does NESN need to give you "fair reporting"? It's not a news network, it's the New England Sports Network. Do they give fair bruins coverage? Do they own the bruins?

    Didn't know that...

    By on

    But really, why would any network that makes money off broadcasting a teams' games give harsh critique of said team? Wouldn't that just damage the brand their trying to profit from?

    If NESN was 100% owned by Jeremy Jacobs, and still had the contract to broadcast Red Sox games. Would NESN announcers really be that critical of the team? If so, the Sox just wouldn't renew the contract.

    This so dumb, who cares if

    By on

    This so dumb, who cares if she's dating a player? She's not an actual journalist...

    Here is the banner link :

    By on

    Here is the banner link : Tom Werner says Jenny Dell is free to leave NESN

    Jenny Dell, NESN's popular sideline reporter who was removed from the role after disclosing that she's in a relationship with Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, is free to pursue other opportunities, according to Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.

    “We talk about it internally because I think Jenny is a terrific reporter,” Werner said at JetBlue Park today. “And I think we came to the conclusion and Jenny came to the same conclusion that it would be a distraction for her to be a reporter, and so she’s moving on. I think that it wasn’t sort of a black and white decision because, can she sort of divorce her personal life from being a professional? But we decided in the end it was probably better for her to move on and not be a distraction.”

    Werner said Dell is looking for other opportunities, but added that she's been offered other roles at NESN, either as an anchor or contributing to an evening show. And if she gets an offer from outside NESN, is she free to leave?

    “She is,” Werner said.

    Say it again

    By on

    I said this in the previous Dell-related post here on UHub:

    NESN's sideline reporting is a revolving door. Only about half of them end up sleeping or married to players. The other half, like Naoko Funayama covering the Bruins, do their 4-5 years and then get booted as soon as I'm betting that they cost too much to keep.
    And why not? The role doesn't exactly require any in-depth knowledge of the game, that's just bonus if they have it. NESN's formula is to find a pretty face looking to make it big in on-camera reporting and drop her into the locker room/sidelines. When she gains a following and a name for herself and starts wondering why she's still showing up for pennies, they kick her out and find someone else. It doesn't matter if they sleep with the players (how long did Heidi Watney stay after rumors about her and Varitek abounded?) and it doesn't matter if they're well liked and respected by all the players (Poor Naoko, she didn't deserve to go).

    It still stands. Naoko didn't sleep with anyone but was released just like Dell. Dell started looking at national network opportunities in the past few months and probably didn't want to get trapped into a contract extension for less than she found out she can get on the market. She could have kept her relationship with Middlebrooks quieter, but decided to be public about it a few months ago (I think it coincided with when NESN decided to take up her third year contract extension...who would sabotage themselves like that?).

    I say this is all about money and not about who she's sleeping with. "Journalistic integrity"? At NESN? Ha.