Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPN Boston.

A native of Rhode Island, McDonald spent 18 years at the Providence Journal, where he was best known on the Red Sox beat, but also covered the Bruins, Patriots, Pawtucket Red Sox and Providence Bruins during his time there.

He joined ESPN Boston in February of 2010 as a Red Sox and Bruins reporter, and while his time right now is focused on the Bruins, when the season ends we’ll see more of him on the Red Sox side of things.

He’s been heard on WEEI occasionally, especially during this Bruins playoff run, but he generally seems to keep a pretty low profile on the on-air side of things.


8 thoughts on “2011 Approval Ratings – Joe McDonald

  1. Been reading Joe McDonald for years in the Projo. Was happy he escaped the hell that is/was Belo for ESPNBoston. Along with Sean McAdam they made a great Sox beat for years. Might not be well known to those in Boston and as such might generate some non existent "apathy" votes, but I think he is quite good. Totally approve.


    1. LTD, I'm not writing this simply to be argumentative, but earlier this week you posted: "I doubt you could find 100 people who do not read this website regularly who are at the next Bruins game who would know who he was or recognize his picture. Not a knock on his talent…only on his impact on the Boston sports scene so far" with regards to Mike Giardi.

      I understand that Joe is a writer and so his job is different from Mike's, but your comment could easily describe either one of them, and yet the only reason you're not giving JM an apathy vote is because you are familiar with his work. I've actually read little of Joe's work at or the ProJo – although his stuff wasn't bad, it doesn't stand out as being any better or worse than most beat writers.

      If I were to give McDonald an approve, it would only be because he's professional and doesn't bring attention to himself, the same rationale I used when voting on Giardi.


      1. Jason:Fear not… I am not saying Joey Mac is recognizable. Were we able to vote “apathy” or “no opinion” I am sure that vote, like Mike Giardi would get more no opinions than either approves or disapproves. Because I live in Providence I happen to be familiar with Joe McDonald's work therefore I feel I can give a competent analysis of his work. I also think he is better at his job than Mike Giardi but that is a highly subjective opinion.I have known Bruce a long time. I am giving him a hard time over this because I think the idea of rating the personalities is a great one. I just think to get a true reading on the effect a media person has in the marketplace there should be a third option. He does not agree with me…its his basketball. But I also know Bruce loves debate…if not he would not have created this website (or participated in the old Patriots USENET group where we first met).


  2. Don't know much about him. Likes hockey; has never pissed on my leg that I know of. "Approve!"


  3. Has seemed to have dropped off at espnboston. Seems like James Murphy has taken on the role of a reiss/forsberg of the bruins. Expected a little more from JoeyMac. Didn’t really seize the opportuniy that espnboston can offer.


  4. I enjoy reading both Joe McDonald and James Murphy on the ESPNBoston site. It seems they bring strong, informed reporting without the hyperbole that is too often the norm these days. Whatever you may think about ESPN (and much of what they do on the national level grates on me) – the team they've put together for ESPN Boston is excellent.. Edes, Reiss, Forsberg, and the Murphy/McDonald Irish duo are among the best in local sports reporting in my opinion.. Thumbs up for Mac here.


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