The Boston Globe reported today that Jenny Dell is on her way out at NESN, perhaps as soon as this week, just months after the former Red Sox sideline reporter was demoted to the junior varsity at the New England cable TV sports giant.
The excellent Chad Finn suggests Dell’s departure may have been hastened by overtures from Turner Sports and fledgling national sports network Fox Sports 1, the home of former CSNNE talent Molly McGrath and Boston sports loyalist and future America’s sweetheart Katie Nolan.
Dell, who drew a large following (including 115,000 Twitter followers) succeeding Heidi Watney at Fenway Park in 2012, has been reduced to the role of sometimes-anchor/reporter on NESN Sports Today in recent months (I thought Dining Playbook with Billy and Jenny might involve Dell, who often posts pictures of food on social media — don’t we all — it’s actually Jenny Johnson). The demotion followed public recognition of Dell’s relationship with erstwhile Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks and rumors NESN threatened her with a non-compete when she tried to get out of her contract. Publicly, NESN has been mum on the subject, though Finn notes TV cowboy and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said publicly that Dell was free to walk away from her contract.
Will Dell hit it big somewhere else? Will NESN kick itself over Dell’s departure? The sideline situation has been uneven this season, with Gary Striewski and Elle Duncan both spending time in front of the camera. If you’re at all interested in this writer’s opinion, I found Dell’s sideline work passable but certainly not the stuff of legend. And I’ve been #TeamErdahl from the jump. Either way, best of luck to the UMass alum as she travels somewhere down the crazy river.
— Jenny Dell (@JennyDellNESN) May 29, 2014