Over at Boston.com, Chad Finn is reporting that NESN has removed Jenny Dell from her post as sideline reporter of the Red Sox telecast. Instead, Dell will serve as an anchor for “NESN Sports Today.” While NESN did not directly link the issue, the general consensus Out There is that her public relationship with third baseman Will Middlebrooks led to Dell’s removal from the broadcast.

Writes Finn:

Recently, Dell has been filling in as anchor on “NESN Sports Today,” a perfectly viable role but one that according to another industry source is her penance for . . . well, one thing or the other.

Dell, the popular in-game reporter for the past two years, is dating Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks. The relationship wasn’t exactly a well-kept secret around the team for some time, but the official acknowledgment of it via a Middlebrooks tweet on New Year’s Eve brought fair questions about the ethics of a reporter dating a player.

Detractors will claim Dell is not exactly covering Syria or the White House (because inaccurate, circular logic requires insane examples to back up an even more insane premise), but this is Journalism 101. As I outlined earlier this week — and which was also noted by Finn — the relationship between Dell and Middlebrooks hampers objectivity, and, furthermore, hurts other female sports reporters who are trying to be taken seriously. NESN’s decision is more than fair to Dell.

To review, the following is from Richard Deitsch’s media column over at SI.com:

Appearances of interest conflicts matter, or they should to any editorial entity that cares about disseminating information. Such a relationship — if NESN stays the course — also hurts the efforts of female sports journalists. On this note, here were some answers to my question from women sports journalists in the field:

Boston Globe sports reporter (and former Red Sox beat writer) Amalie Benjamin: “Never. Ever. And more, it hurts the credibility of every female reporter doing it the right way.”

USA Today’s Lindsay Jones: “Never, never, never. Did I mention never?”

SI’s Joan Niesen: “Under no circumstances. None whatsoever. No, no, no.”

Dell would have entered her third season as part of the broadcast team after replacing Heidi Watney at the end of the 2011 MLB season.

*Bruce usually handles news like this. I’ll write at more length about Dell, how it relates to Jerry Remy, and more in tomorrow’s mailbag. To contribute, fire off questions/funny comments to hadfield.ryan@gmail.com or, if you fancy yourself the progressive type, shout at me on twitter @Hadfield__.


12 thoughts on “Report: Jenny Dell Removed From NESN Red Sox Broadcast

  1. Sounds like NESN did the right thing.

    ” the relationship between Dell and Middlebrooks hampers objectivity, and, furthermore, hurts other female sports reporters who are trying to be taken seriously. NESN’s decision is more than fair to Dell.”

    I forget the source but there were quotes from other females around here about the issue. If the quotes you pasted from the SI column don’t convince you, I’m not sure what will. Did someone ever addre


    1. Modified a little for future events:

      “The relationship between Red Sox and Boston Globe hampers objectivity, and,
      furthermore” …


  2. So let me see if I have this right…

    Enable a murderer, pressure the victim to not take out a protective order, and contribute to …keep your job as the face and voice of the Boston Red Sox.

    Date a player and publicly admit to the relationship because you are honest and forthright, get reassigned and lose your spot on the Red Sox broadcast.

    Sounds like well thought out personnel policies to me.


    1. I forget who the lawyer is here but maybe someone with more knowledge can answer this: What about the DA/police in this? You have a guy arrested on domestic violence who had something like 9 previous charges, and they don’t have mandatory jail/detainment, even if the woman says she doesn’t want it?


  3. Before you even get into the journalism aspects, don’t most reporters have a specific no-fraternization clause in their contracts? I recall reading about this when stuff has come up with ESPN on this subject. I assumed it was pretty standard.


  4. Popped into D&C this morning during a commercial on T&R and they were going over whether or not a “one eyed gargoyle” would be the next Red Sox sideline reporter or not.
    Maybe they should just stick to politics…


  5. Okay so we get to see Jenny Dell on a daily basis now that she is anchoring Sports Today and this is a bad thing? I think its a win for any guy that digs women.


  6. A little off topic here,
    I was clicking though Yahoo today and noticed a story with the headline Deion Sanders says Belichick and Brady are greatest of all time. I click on it and it’s a video from his appearance on F&M. Felger and Mazz embarrassed themselves trying to get Deion to admit that Brady has lost a step. Guys he gave you his opinion, you don’t have to like it. But sitting there, representing a Boston radio station, trying to get a NFL hall of famer, who is still very active in the league, to concede a tiny bit so you can go running and screaming back to Boston, “See even Deion Sanders says he’s lost a step”, is just ridiculous.



    1. I used to, weirdly I might add, defend F&M because I was so fed up with the garbage I was getting from EEI on a daily basis. I hated that they were basically just bullies to their callers. It was nothing but yelling and fence riding…

      Fast forward a few years into F&M’s reign of terror and I’m ready for a new drive time show. I haven’t listened to those clowns in well over a month because of their complete and utter disdain for the Celtics. I’m not asking them to like basketball but it’d be great it they wouldn’t openly defecate all over those who do like the game.

      I hope Glen does come back, and he gets paired with someone good so I can try to listen to local sports talk in the afternoons again.


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