Jade McCarthy Is Leaving NESN

Chad Finn at the Boston Globe reports tonight that NESN Daily host Jade McCarthy has given her two week notice and will leave the network at the end of the month. According to Finn’s story, McCarthy’s husband has found a job in Philadelphia and they will move soon. Finn writes that McCarthy is seven months pregnant and NESN has been searching for a replacement for her maternity leave, but now that becomes a search for a new permanent host.

McCarthy had come to NESN in January 2010 after working at WCAU in Philadelphia. She originally anchored “SportsDesk” and then co-hosted the revamped show, “NESN Daily” with Uri Berenguer, but the chemistry did not work and he was let go shortly after the debut. McCarthy has been anchoring solo ever since.

NESN has issued the following statement from McCarthy:

“My husband was recently offered a new professional opportunity in the Philadelphia area. At the same time, we are expecting our first child this fall. It was a difficult decision, but we have decided it is best for our family to move back to Philadelphia. I want to thank all the people who gave me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work in my home town of Boston during such an exciting time. I will miss working with all the great people at NESN.”

NESN says it will begin searching for her replacement immediately.

In the interim, it’s expected that weekend NESN Daily anchor Randy Scott will be the host of the show.

McCarthy is the second departure from NESN that was announced today. On the Toucher & Rich Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Bruins studio host Kathryn Tappen made it official that she’s going to the NHL Network in the fall.


Red Sox On Demand An Early Hit For Comcast

The early returns are in, and it appears that Red Sox On Demand is already a big hit among Comcast subscribers.


Views Top 100,000 Mark Over All Star Break With Justin Masterson Profile, Latest Red Sox Report And New Citgo Sign, Charity and Cape Cod Baseball Features Drawing Fans

BOSTON, MA – (July 16, 2009) – With Fenway Park quiet for Major League Baseball’s 2009 All Star break, Red Sox On Demand passed a significant milestone this week, with more than 100,000 programs already watched one month after the new service launched exclusively on Comcast. The incredible popularity of Red Sox On Demand makes it the number one category of locally produced On Demand programming in New England.

A joint partnership between the Boston Red Sox and Comcast that first premiered on June 17, Red Sox On Demand is the home for the team’s extensive video library, with programming that includes season recaps, player profiles, minor league coverage and features depicting life behind the scenes of Boston’s storied team available for viewing at fans’ convenience.

This week, Red Sox On Demand programming includes profiles of pitcher Justin Masterson and Red Sox legend Dom DiMaggio, a special on the history of the iconic Citgo sign overlooking Fenway Park and features of Mike Lowell playing monopoly with Red Sox Foundation supporters and David Ortiz golfing during his signature fundraiser in the Dominican Republic. Red Sox On Demand also gives fans a closer look at the Cape Cod League, the Salem Red Sox and the Greenville Drive.

“Clearly, Red Sox fans have embraced Red Sox On Demand as an essential way to keep up with their team,” said Sam Kennedy, Red Sox Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. “As we update the programming every week, we are providing Red Sox fans with views of their team that have never been seen before. We knew this would be popular – after all, these are the fans who have filled Fenway Park for 514 consecutive games and counting – but the runaway popularity of Red Sox On Demand on Comcast is truly an incredible thing to watch unfold.”

“The fans who voted their favorite players into this week’s All Star game in St. Louis have also voted with their remotes to make Red Sox On Demand our most popular locally produced On Demand feature,” said Steve Hackley, Senior Vice President for Comcast’s Greater Boston Region. “Whether you want to catch up on the latest Red Sox news at your convenience with the Red Sox Report or check in on the farm teams with our ‘Down on the Farm’ programming, this is a fun time to be a fan. No matter what the game schedule says, the Sox are literally always on.”

Like the vast majority of the more than 10,000 On Demand programs available every month, Comcast’s digital cable customers can watch all Red Sox On Demand programs for no additional charge. Fans can watch this programming anytime – day or night – and can pause, fast forward or rewind their selections. Red Sox On Demand can be easily accessed from the On Demand menu by selecting “Get Local” and then “Red Sox On Demand.”

For more information about Red Sox On Demand on Comcast, go to www.redsox.com/comcast or call 1-800-COMCAST.

Discussion: Boston TV Sports Anchors

The television sports anchor is a dying breed, with more and more news programs phasing out the sports report and squeezing it down to the bare minimum.

It’s hard to believe, but it really wasn’t that long ago when we looked to these guys as a pretty big part of our sports coverage. For many of us, especially if you lived away from the city, it was the only way to see highlights of that night’s game, and to see and hear from the athletes that we were fans of. We’d stay up for the 11:00 pm news just for the sports report.

Cable TV and now the Internet have rendered these reports pretty much obsolete, as we can watch all the games, and have instant access to highlights and interviews in real time.  

We’ll take this opportunity to take a look back at some of the TV sports anchors that we’ve had here in Boston, and I’d like you to weigh in with your memories and opinions of the many who graced the sports desk on the various TV news programs over the years.

Some names to toss around, and I’d certainly welcome more:

  • Don Gillis
  • Bob Lobel
  • Mike Lynch
  • John Dennis
  • Bob Gamere
  • Len Berman
  • Roy Reiss
  • Zip Rzeppa
  • Bob Starr
  • Bill O’Connell
  • Gary Gillis
  • Jim Kelly
  • Gene Lavanchy
  • Mike Dowling
  • Dick Stockton
  • Butch Stearns
  • Mike Giardi
  • Barbara Borin
  • Frank Mallicoat
  • Chris Collins
  • And of course, Joe Haggerty

Again, this is not a complete list, so feel free to bring up any other names that come to mind, and what you remember about them. Perhaps give me your top three all time, so that I can make a list to vote on in the near future.

Butch Stearns led off Sports

Butch Stearns led off Sports Sunday by wondering if Antoine Walker taking up golf was a good thing. He then went into the Red Sox, saying that while your head looks at the schedule and says they still have a chance, we know they don’t. After the Sox video from the day, Stearns again talked about the Yankees being vulnerable. Update on the strike talks, footage from Tony Clark saying the issues aren’t affecting performance on the field. Levan Reid filed a report from Williamsport, one tidbit was that both Trot Nixon and Manny Ramirez had promised to hit home runs for the team the other night and they both did.

News of the BC Eagles naming their starting running back led into a bit on the Patriots running game and offensive woes. Charlie Weis chewing out the team at halftime was discussed, Belichick and David Patten spoke on the topic. Stearns then looked at the Cy Young race, which is a three way between Lowe, Martinez and Barry Zito. Pedro’s overall stat package give him the edge. Pedro shown talking about trying to push Lowe and make him better. Another factor Stearns says is upcoming schedule, Zito has to face the Angels and Mariners, Pedro has two upcoming against the Yankees, while Lowe (Pedro called him D-Lowe) gets to face more patsies down the stretch.

Mark the Bird Fidrych was interviewed by Rob Nikoleski at a Fenway charity event. Yaz invited him to come and speak to the kids, Fidrych remembered Yaz beating him with a late inning home run and extracting revenge on Yaz later at a golf tournament. He talked about the Little League world series, and how it made him feel. People always come up to him, ask him how he’s doing, he can they help him. He’s remembered.

Stearns’ Last Blast was on the topic of Jamal Anderson. Stearns says the Pats should go for it, the running game has been awful. But he commended the Patriots for sticking to their guns regarding price. The show concluded with a highlight package from the Little League World Series.

Another abbreviated version of NECN’s Sports Late night, hosted by Chris Collins. Charlie Pierce was the in-studio guest. The first topic was the possible baseball strike. Collins doesn’t think there will be, and Pierce thinks that there will be one, but it will be a short one. The owners wants a strike so that the players will get bad PR and then lock out the players and rebuild the whole system. Pierce also talked about the awful throw by Cliff Floyd to third today in the ninth allowing the go-ahead run to get to third. Pierce said how he was wrong about the Angels, he didn’t think this team had the legs. Onto the Pats, Pierce is very impressed with the Patriots defense, which alone he think will win them nine games. The secondary is tremendous. Jamal Anderson would be a great addition.

WBZ’s Sports Final was hosted by Steve Burton. Can hardly wait to hear Borges hatin’ on the Patriots for this week. The first segment was the Little League World Series. They had a live interview at 11:30 PM with the team. wonder if anyone will take them to task for keeping a group of 12 year olds up this late…Shaughnessy, Ryan and Edes were the first panel. Shaughnessy says the air is going out of this team, but this was a great game up til that eighth inning. Ryan talked about talking to A-Rod last week, and that A-Rod noted that Lowe might be showing the effects of the increased work load this year. Edes talked about Little going against his mold by keeping Lowe in the game into the ninth inning. It didn’t work. Everything the opposite dugout did work perfectly. Edes doesn’t think this is “El Foldo” though. Burton asked if we forget about the Yankees, Shaughnessy giggled, Ryan said emphatically yes. A look at the upcoming schedules for the competitors followed. Ryan talked about the team playing uner .500 for three months. Edes mentioned the lack of a winning streak, but there is a lot of time left. He thinks they can still win the wild card. Ryan and Shaughnessy have thrown in the towel. Ryan says the team can not count on Derek Lowe. Pedro is the only guy you can count on that this team has.

Strike talk, Burton says things do not look encouraging. Damon says once there is a stoppage, hopefully the sides can come together quickly and that this looks a lot like ’94 right now. Ryan left, and was replaced by Sean McAdam. Clarification on the time…no games Friday. Strike starts midnight Thursday. McAdam says it’s one chance in a “gazillion” that this thing gets done before midnight Thursday. A look at the proposed threshold for the luxury tax followed, owners want to set it at 107 Million for the next three years, players want 125, 135 and 145 next three years. Shaughnessy talked about the players never losing and that they will walk the plank for their cause. Edes says these negotiations are different, players have made concessions, McAdam says it’s the bottom of the seventh and that the owners are winning, but the owners want to go for the six run homer. He doesn’t think there are enough of these “burn the village” owners to end the season.

Daubach’s name was brought up. He and ones like him hope to be admitted to the union. (No mention of Merloni.) Edes thinks they get the deal done before Friday. McAdam contradicted his “chance in a gazlillion” statement from earlier to say the he thinks a last-minute compromise will be reached Thursday night.

Tony C’s daughter Jessica Wheaton was in studio next. She said if anyone was going to write the story, she was glad it was Buckley, he did a great job. Burton asked: “Tell us about your relationship with your father.” (Does he think we didn’t read the article?) She said she didn’t have one…first time she saw him he was in a casket. Found out about him when he had his stroke. Thinks his number should be retired. He could’ve made the Hall of fame had his career continued, and it would honor the family. Her mother didn’t her want to approach the family, but she did, and it was the best thing she ever did. His tragedy is another reason that his number should be retired. Her father did know about her, but was afraid of the papers. She hears more and more now from people who say Tony C. talked about her. Now, people on the street are coming up to her. Nothing but positive reaction. “If your dad was alive today, what would you say to him?” She says it’s too bad they couldn’t be together, on the spot question…couldn’t really answer that. Burton asked if she ever saw him play, she said she did, and sort of followed his career. Burton ended the interview with “What an amazing family.”

The football panel was up next and the usual suspects were trotted out. Borges, Carfardo and Felger. Cafardo led off talking about Tony C. being his boyhood hero, and that he’s disappointed that he wasn’t a father to her. Borges said she handled herself very well, but there’s no way to get around it, he didn’t do the right thing by her. Burton says we don’t know, he might’ve supported her. Onto the Patriots. Cafardo is concerned with the play of the O-line, but says the strength of this team is the defense first, then special teams and then whatever the offense can give them. Felger says you should be in the press box when Brady struggles, Borges and Cafardo are giving each other high-fives and whooping it up, and then he comes out in the second half, does well, and there’s silence. Borges says that is a flat-out lie, he didn’t think Felger would be the type to make stuff up like that. Running game struggles are a result of the O-line. Woody hasn’t played at center all pre-season, Felger thinks he’ll open at center. Borges says he won’t, that unless the smartest coach in football is an idiot, which he doesn’t think he is, that Woody won’t be at center. Secondary talk…Knight looks to be out, Leanord Myers is impressive, Otis Smith survives again, Borges says that is a testament to Smith. Borges talked to Spurrier today, after they scored 41 on Tampa Bay, asked about running up the score, Spurrier says they don’t run it up, they’re just playing ball. They’re going to just play ball against the Pats too. This might affect how much the starters play Thursday, as Belichick isn’t going to want to have the score run up on him as well. The group was surprisingly well-behaved tonight. Borges was especially sanguine.

WHDH’s Sports Xtra with Gene Lavanchy also talked Little League to start off, and also had an interview with a coach and two players. This did not appear to be a live shot. Lavenchy threw some tough questions at the youngsters. (Name the defining moment when you knew you could go far) Tony Massrotti and Jackie Macmullan were in to talk Sox, and question Grady’s decisions today, and to lament the loss of David Eckstein. I’ll have to review this show when it is put on the WHDH website.

Fox25 started out Sports Sunday

Fox25 started out Sports Sunday with a look at AL contender’s records on May 31 and then since then. Sox had best record back then, and by far the worst record since then. Host Butch Stearns comforted us after the depressing Sox highlights from the day with highlights of Clemens losing today. Football was up next and the first thing mentioned was the traffic problems at the game last night. “Reid Between the lines” was about the players needing to get adjusted to the “fast grass” at Gillette stadium, and the struggles last night of the first team offense.

An Interview with Yaz, done by Ron Nikoleski was in the next segment, Yaz said the first few years in Boston was tough, usually under 10,000 fans a night, more emphasis on the individual than the team. 1967 changed it all, they thought that was just the start of a run, but the losses on Lonborg, Tony C. and Jose Santiago really hurt. The loss of Ted Williams is tremendous, they were close. On the labor front, Yaz says neither side should be out just to win, they need to get together and get it done. Yaz would like to see Fenway park stay. It’s historical, fans so close to the field, different from every other ballpark, it’s alive, great, great ballpark to play in. Remembered how the Wall used to be, rivets sticking out, ball could bounce anywhere, wishes it was still that way.

Lenny Megliola was in studio for the next segment. Why have the Red Sox been so bad? Lenny says the middle bullpen, Howry is not the answer, this is the “curse of el guapo”. Lenny puts blame on Manny for something missing with the team. He’s not producing. Butch agreed and brought up Nomar’s slide and emotional jump up as noteworthy. Lenny says the team is too laid back, he’s never seen Nomar do that, more of that sort of thing is needed. On to football, Lenny says the honeymoon is almost over for Tom Brady. Lenny wants to be ahead of the curve in promoting Huard, but he does think a new contract for Brady will get down before the season. As for the baseball labor front, Lenny is optimistic, he thinks an agreement will get done. His prediction is no strike.

“Sunday’s best” remembered Elvis’ movie roles in which he played an athlete. Roles as a boxer, race driver, and cliff diver were shown. “Last Blast” was a thumbs down from Butch for Terrell Davis as a Hall of Famer. Didn’t play long enough and was injured too often.

Chris Collins hosted NECN’s Sports LateNight. Highlights from the days events were followed by a look at the Patriots last night, and Patriot reactions on playing at Gillette Stadium for the first time. Mark Ockerbloom caught up with Patrick Pass. and Mike Giardi had a piece with Rohan Davey. There were no guests on this 1/2 hour edition.

Channel 7’s Sports Xtra with Gene Lavanchy had the news of former Sox GM Dick O’Connell passing away. Tim Fox was in to analyze the Patriots from last night. He isn’t too worried about Brady. When asked about Brady/Bledsoe, Fox thinks that as long as Belichick and that system is there, that Brady is the right QB. Fox says in the last two preseason games look for the Patriots to try to get the ball into the end zone more. Going for it on 4th down instead of kicking the field goal, getting the extra reps in. Michael Smith and Michael Holley were both in to talk baseball and football. Nomar’s pitch selection and his career pattern of low strikeout numbers were talked about. Holley called him an “unconventional great hitter”. Strike talk. Brilliant PR move on Monday by not setting the strike date, now with the talks breaking down midweek, it makes the owners look bad. An interview with Lawyer Milloy wrapped up the show.

WBZ’s “Sports Final” was hosted by Bob Lobel. The tact was to get the Red Sox out of the way first. Trying to figure out what is the problem. Steve Buckley and Sean McAdam were the first panel in to discuss this topic. The numbers do not compute, says McAdam, some “x factor” is working against them. Lobel said once they got rid of Everett wasn’t that supposed to solve all the ills? Buckley wants to blame Duquette for the problems and wants to know if he’s still going to be showing up at the games if they fall completely out of the race. Lobel brought up Grady Little — too laid back? McAdam says the firey manager doesn’t work these days. Dick O’Connell’s place in Red Sox history was discussed. Buckley waxed poetic in calling O’Connell as the greatest executive in team history. He was responsible for putting together the ’67 team which turned around baseball in Boston. Will McDonough appeared in a tape interview, and called him to most underrated GM in the last 50 years. McDonough talked about O’Connell the man, and that he had a huge role in planning the Pacific strategies during WWII. Jean Yawkey hated Dick O’Connell, because as Lobel said, he know who she was and where she came from. As soon as Tom died, Jean made the moves to oust O’Connell.

A look at the new stadium overlaid with vintage Gillette ads was up next. Dan Roche got reaction to the new stadium. The first football panel was Ron Borges, Steve DeOssie and Scott Zolak. Borges says defensively the Pats are ok, but on offense they don’t score touchdowns. Against Carolina next week they should score 50 points against that team. DeOssie said you don’t worry about the offense right now, this past game was all about the Stadium. Lobel asked what if Bledsoe threw those interceptions, and Borges jumped in right away…”get him out of there, he’s throwing off his back foot…” Zolak said Brady hasn’t hit a guy in stride since hitting Patten in the Indy game last year. He doesn’t have enough RPM’s on his ball to hit the long sideline routes. Borges has it all figured out about how Defensive coordinators are going to play Brady, take away the underneath routes and dumpoffs, he talked about the Rams having him all figured out in the Super Bowl. Zolak wants to see more of Huard. Thinks he should get more time with the first team. Borges said if you base things strictly on performance from the first two preseason games, then Huard should be the starting QB, but you wouldn’t say that, of course. DeOssie asked if Borges was saying that last year when Brady outplayed Bledsoe, Borges said no, you don’t say those things. DeOssie is a Belichick fan…he’s all about winning. Doesn’t care about egos. Borges says just one…his own. DeOssie said that Belichick is smarter than Borges, tougher than Borges and better at his job than Borges, and that Borges is just upset because he was wrong last year. Borges tried to say something about writing a column last year saying he should be coach of the year, but it was a week defense. Zolak says Pittsburgh is going to be 12-4 easy, and the Patriots have to get back to the Big game for this season to be successful.

A copy of Nick Cafardo’s new book “The Impossible team” was first on the next segment with Cafardo and Michael Felger. Felger hopes there’s a whole chapter in the book on all the things Cafardo and Borges got wrong last year. Drafting a WR over Seymour, can’t win without Terry Glenn, can’t win with Brady…just a few things. Cafardo says there is no way that Brady comes out of the starting lineup this year. He’s Belichick’s guy, Belichick will be loyal to him. Felger agrees with DeOssie who said if Brady is throwing interceptions in the end zone and not getting the job done, Belichick will take him out. Felger wonders what Brady thinks about being the lowest paid QB in the league. Cafardo thinks that notion is ridiculous, Brady doesn’t need the money, he’s got plenty of endorsements. Felger says they run the risk of Brady getting ticked off. Cafardo says the Krafts are going to pay him.

The next segment was the same participants, Lobel led off saying this could be a better team and not do as well. Felger agreed, they had alot of things go right, coaching, momentum, mojo, etc. Cafardo wanted to know what mojo was. Felger put forward that this team has more talent than last year. The baseball aspect was brought up, with the impending strike more and more attention is going to be paid to the Patriots. Felger says the Red Sox are the anti-Patriots. Big payroll, superstars, too comfortable etc.

The baseball guys were brought back to talk labor situation and possible strike. McAdam says he has previously been the prince of darkness with regards to this situation, but he now thinks this thing can be salvaged. The sides know something must be done, it’s just a matter of numbers now, no great philosophical divide. Buckley agrees. He again evoked Glavine’s comments from Monday that the players recognize the damage that was done “to the game of baseball” back in ’94. Owners have too much to lose right now, hardliners who want to get back all they’ve lost in labor from the last 30 years will not prevail, the union cannot be broken, they can’t blow up the game and start over. McAdam talked about football taking over, that they always get their labor situation resolved, they’re always there on Sunday, fans can make the emotional investment. Buckley thinks there divisions within the players association, McAdam disagrees, there are more divisions among the owners. The players will always present a united front. As for the Red Sox, they need a streak. Lobel asked if they need a clubhouse fight…McAdam said that is overrated. Buckley is encouraged by Wakefield. He thinks with Wakefield, Lowe and Pedro they can rip off a streak. Team hasn’t won three in a row in over a month. Interleague play sent them into a funk that they haven’t recovered from since.