Six months into the year 2007, lets take a look at the movers and shakers in the Boston sports media thus far this year, with the Boston Sports Media Power Rankings:
1) Bob Ryan – Boston Globe
The guy is still at the top of his game column-wise, still has passion for sports, does a great job representing Boston on the national level and is set to start hosting the new NESN show Globe 10.0. Oh yeah, he’s also blogging. Some might say that Ryan isn’t what he used be. If that’s true, there’s still no one better in Boston. Who would you put in this town out there right now ahead of Ryan?
2) Glenn Ordway – WEEI
Speaking of in this town out there right now, we’ve got Ordway. This guy can take the most mundane topic and pound it for four hours on The Big Show and make the phone lines light up with people waiting to get on the air and give their opinion on something they didn’t give a passing thought about prior to today. During football season he does a live remote with FSN’s New England Sports Tonight as well the Twin River New England Tailgate. He also headlines the Whiney Awards, which have become a Boston happening. No blogging for Ordway just yet.
3) Mike Reiss – Boston Globe
What a rise here…If you need Patriots information, your first stop, hands down, is Reiss’ Pieces. The blog is one of the best (if not the best) in the country at what it does -which is just to find out the facts and relay them to the readership. There’s nothing fancy there, no eloquent prose, just information – which is exactly what his readers want. Reiss has expanded his coverage to include not only the beat, but also the Globe Sunday NFL notes, various features on Boston.com including a Patriots mailbag, chats and analysis, as well as TV appearances.
4) Rob Bradford – Boston Herald
Bradford was brought over to the Herald from the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune just weeks into the 2007 baseball season, having already taken a leap forward in prominence after having started the Bradford on Baseball blog in Spring Training. Bradford had already become a Big Show regular, and with his new role (and blog Bradford Files) at the Herald, he really became a power player in the Boston media. His blog entries are unfailingly informative and interesting, especially the midday ones which usually tell an offbeat story, or provide links to other tidbits. Bradford’s popularity is evident by the fact that the Eagle-Tribune played hardball with his old blog domain BradfordonBaseball.com, refusing to part with it when Bradford left for the Herald. In fact, to this day, if you go to BradfordonBaseball.com, you are taken to the Eagle-Tribune’s replacement blog from sports editor Bill Burt.
5) Curt Schilling – Red Sox/38Pitches
When Curt writes the fans and the media come running. When Curt talks on WEEI, all media sits up and listens. While Schilling isn’t the only athlete to be writing a blog, (not even the only Red Sox – Kevin Youkilis is also blogging.) his 38 Pitches is certainly the most well known. He is addressing the media on his own terms, which certainly makes him a media power broker in Boston.
6) Dan Shaughnessy – Boston Globe
Try as we might to deem him irrelevant, somehow we always end up talking about Dan Shaughnessy, don’t we? His columns might be formulaic at this point, but they still stir outrage. He is in demand on the national circuit, making regular appearances on the Jim Rome show and other TV and radio shows. His books are generally lauded by critics and especially his colleagues. Unlike Ron Borges, Shaughnessy’s not going anywhere.
7) Tony Massarotti – Boston Herald
Massarotti is building a shtick as a bitter, grumpy old young man. His baseball writing remains spot on for most of the time, but in his new role as a columnist, he’s been branching out to other sports where his take is generally in the negative. We made a list one week of the headlines of his Patriots columns during a 12-4 season, and found that something like 80% of them were negative. As his stature has grown in town, he can be more selective about his media appearances, and with young children at home, he has cut back on Big Show appearances in favor of more family time. Can’t blame him at all. Massarotti has been supplementing his income with some work on NBCSports.com.
8) Sean McAdam – Providence Journal
McAdam takes heat in a Big Show skit for taking every media appearance offered him, even on a 12-year-old’s podcast. There is a reason however, that McAdam is offered all those appearances in the first place – he’s knowledgeable and well respected. His work at the Providence Journal is always an interesting read, as are his columns at ESPN.com.
9) John Tomase/Albert Breer – Boston Herald/Metrowest Daily News
These two aren’t really joined at the hip – it just seems that way. This tag-team duo is giving Mike Reiss a run for his money on the Patriots beat. They’re getting their share of scoops these days and breaking the news on The Extra Point Patriots blog. Their football articles in the print editions of the Herald and Daily News are informative as well. In contrast to Reiss they try to add a little humor to the information at times, and it mostly comes off well. What will be interesting is if Breer is ever taken from being used by the Herald by his parent company and instead becomes a rival to Tomase. Another possibility could be Breer moving on somewhere else (Globe?) – as he’s got a higher ceiling than the Metrowest Daily News can provide.
10) Gerry Callahan – WEEI/Boston Herald
A few days of Jon Meterparel in the big chair next to John Dennis have us pining for the return of the smarmy whining of Gerry Callahan to the Dennis and Callahan show in the morning. Callahan’s absence from the WEEI morning show was due to voice issues, but it might’ve done him a favor in his negotiations for a new deal with the sports radio leader as his contract his up at the end of the summer. Provided his voice can come back, he figures to be in terrific stead. His columns remain solid, though not quite what they used to be. By the end of the year he might off the list altogether. (Only because he moved out of the sports side of things and decided to focus strictly on politics.)