By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
The newest member of Joe Sullivan’s team on the Boston Globe sports desk is still struggling to contain his excitement and giddiness over landing the Celtics beat.
“After some years of bad timing on my part,” said the newest Globie, Marc Spear, “my timing for this job couldn’t have been better. Is there a better beat in the NBA right now? I don’t think so. I don’t come from much. This is a dream come true for me and it’s like truly the biggest thing that has happened to me – very humbling. It still hasn’t sunk in.”
Spears, 35, comes to Boston from the Denver Post where he has been on the Nuggets and NBA beat since 1999. At the Globe, he replaces Shira Springer who we’re told will slide over to a better-suited features/enterprise role for the sports desk.
Before working at the Post, Spears, a native of San Jose’s east side, had worked in Louisville at the Courier-Journal, in LA for the Daily News and in Tulsa at the World. He’s covered all levels of college and pro sports and was a pretty talented hoops player growing up in California for Andrew Hill High School. But the 6-foot-7 power forward saw his career end with a knee injury in college (he earned his degree from San Jose State after two years at Foothill College and a year at the University of D.C.).
“The Globe is the major, major leagues,” said Spears in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “They treat their employees special there and that’s really heart-warming. I’m in awe of how they do things there, I’m not used to that high level of professionalism.”
As the city’s first new African-American sportswriter since the departure of the Globe’s Jerome Solomon, Spears is hardly concerned about past (and perhaps present) perceptions of the city’s intolerance of people of color.
“I’ve lived all over the country,” said Spears, who is single. “There’s good people and bad people in this world. I don’t worry about that kind of stuff. I talked to Jerome a bit and the thing I got from him is that he still has a strong relationship with Joe [Sullivan] and that has to mean something.”
Spears hasn’t spent all that much time in Boston he said, aside from some business trips and his interview process, but he’s anxious to sell his Denver home and start up at the Globe, likely in the middle of next month. “It’s an extreme honor and I’ve always been fascinated by the Celtics history,” he said.
Soon, he’ll be chronicling it daily.
. . . A bit more on Spears from Wednesday’s Shots entry. Interesting to note that Spears has already contributed to his new employer. Spears, by the way, said he is comfortable with blogging, too, having done it for the Post.
. . . Spears’ said his parents and some relatives live in New Orleans and were forced to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina, but are back in the Crescent City now. (His mom is from New Orleans, his dad from St. Louis.) Spears also has a sister in Brooklyn who he said he is looking forward to being geographically closer to.
. . . Spears has a background in both TV and radio that will surely help his transition to Boston which he said, “Seems like it could be the best sports in the country right now. Second to none.”
• No update on the Dennis and Callahan lockout at WEEI 850 AM to report. We’re still under the belief the duo will get re-signed and be back for the first full week of September. Just a gut feeling, not much more.
Asked on Thursday night if there was any developments, a D&C confidant said simply, “Zero.”
• Patriots media relations staff disseminated an email this week informing some local media folks that they are in violation of the new NFL on-line video policies.
“There have been numerous violations of the NFL’s online video policies by various New England media outlets. (We are) resending the league’s written online video policy to all outlets as a reminder. Please take the time to read these policies. Failure to comply could result in revocation of credentials. Please review these policies with your online managers so that they are not violated in the future. . .”
According to the league office there had not been (as of Wednesday) any examples of media outlets being punished in New England or in any of the league’s cities, but “repeated violations that are not corrected can lead to revocation of video camera and audio equipment access to NFL facilities,” said an AFC spokesperson.
The policy, for your viewing pleasure:
• The pending Sept. 3 termination of a content-sharing agreement between the Boston Herald and Gatehouse Media will have far-reaching ramifications for Hank Hryniewicz’s sports department. Hryniewicz confirmed the end of the partnership which commenced in 2006 when the CNC group was sold off by Pat Purcell.
The Herald Sports Editor confirmed in an email response to Shots that the content sharing agreement with Gatehouse Media’s titles, which has been in place since 2006, is just days from terminating.
“I’m told the decision to end the agreement is a mutual decision by both parties,” said Hryniewicz, who stands to lose the print and electronic services of such up-and-comers and standouts as Albert Breer (Patriots), Douglas Flynn (Bruins) and Mike Biglin (Soccer, Revs). “I think both CNC [Gatehouse] and the Herald benefited from the deal while it lasted, at least speaking from a sports standpoint. The school boy coverage was magnified by both organizations as a result of the sharing. I also think we benefited from having writers like (them).”
Breer could arguably be the most costly loss for the Herald and the most important gain for the Gatehouse side. While the Herald has been throwing numbers at the Pats beat (Mark Murphy and Jeff Horrigan have each seen reps during Pats’ camp), Breer has been the Herald’s most prolific pigskin blogger.
“Having Bert Breer on board and in the mix with our Pats coverage was a nice plus for us. He’s a hard worker and has developed into a solid, reliable and respected member of our Pats coverage team.
“The Herald sports department will miss those aspects of the sharing deal,” said the Yellow Box editor who consistently puts forth a very worthy section for the Globe to fret about. “Obviously (Gatehouse’s) benefit of having some of the best beat writers on the Herald staff contributing to their pro coverage on a daily basis was a huge plus in their papers, not to mention a huge cost-saving option.”
It will be a study in Old Media-turning-into-New Media as the Herald (mainly) and the Gatehouse Group find new and evolving ways of covering the locals.
“It’s too bad that it’s coming to an end,” said Hryniewicz. “I’ve enjoyed working with those guys over the past few years. But we’ll carry on and continue our blogs and coverage with the staff we have in place here at the Herald.”
• True believers are believed to be rocking on once again at the soon-to-be-launched/now in Beta endeavor from ex-CN8 sports host Ed Berliner.
• Howard Bryant comes out with a bang for the new bosses at ESPN.
• Emerson College graduate, Lowell Galindo has been named as ESPNU’s new signature anchor, replacing Mike Hall the Dream Jobber who slid over to the Big Ten Network. Prior to joining ESPNU, Galindo worked as a sports reporter and producer in Washington, D.C., Sarasota, Fla. and Joplin, Mo. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Galindo was graduated from Emerson College in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism.
• The annual Boston Sports Review magazine’s “Power Broker 50″ was announced on Thursday and the BSR Saturday radio show (890 ESPN) will include one-half of the No. 1 duo of John Henry and Tom Werner, with Werner giving an exclusive one-on-one interview to 890′s Mike Salk. In addition, new Celtics president Rich Gotham (who debuts on the list at No. 10), Mike Dee (last year’s No. 1) and other special guests are scheduled to appear. To listen online, log on to www.bostonsportsreview.com and check for the yellow-covered issue on newsstands now.
• Shots will change things up a bit next week with a day’s worth of postings on Thursday from Bristol, Connecticut and the middle day of the 2007 ESPN Media 3-day Workshop. We will be on hand for the Executive Lunch with ESPN President George Bodenheimer, as well as a State of Sportswriting and Commentary discussion with Executive VP John Walsh and panelists LZ Granderson, Jemelle Hill and Buster Olney. There’s also an opportunity to attend a SPORTSCENTER overview and, get this, a Dinner Tailgate / ESPN Consumer Products Demo.
In essence, we’re storming the Bristol campus, hoping not to get kicked out and chronicling the day’s events (beginning around 2:00 p.m.) with several posts about our adventure.
So please join us for the fun and blogging before you celebrate the Summer’s last hurrah.
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmedDOTcom
You can listen to Scott every Saturday morning from 9 to 11 a.m. as he co-hosts the Boston Sports Review Show on ESPN Radio 890 AM with ESPN’s All-Sports Reporter, Mike Salk.