By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – We’re knee deep in college hoops, but want to pass along this brief, email Q&A with former NESN reporter, Tina Cervasio, who took a job this week with the MSG Network.

Cervasio was not allowed to discuss terms of her contract, as per MSG rules (Hello, Mr. Dolan!), but she did indicate she will have more chances at NBC where she appeared over the winter. The entire email interview (monitored and approved by MSG officials) is below:

SHOTS: Will you be able to still work in some NBC work? In what capacity?

CERVASIO: MSG is my full-time job! I’m very excited to get started and give my full attention to the teams, stories, athletes and games that shape the New York sports scene. However, I will be doing some outside work for NBC Sports when they need an anchor for their Sports Update Desk during national programming.
As long as it doesn’t conflict with my MSG assignments and schedule.

SHOTS: What will be your best memory of your time at NESN?

CERVASIO: People might automatically assume the World Series, but I’m very proud and nostalgic with some of the interviews I did with the players away from the ballpark. Those were great memories. Some people never got to see these interviews because they were only aired once on the Pre-Game show, maybe repeated on “The Ultimate Red Sox Show”, but the viewership isn’t the same as the actual Red Sox Game Broadcast. At a hotel pool in Anaheim, I talked to Mike Lowell about his parents escape from the Castro Regime and his cancer battle, we talked about his relationship with Manny, and his “Yo Soy Muy Sexy” T-shirts his Marlins teammates made for him. Alex Cora sat down with me in Arizona. He was emotional when talking about his late father’s influence on his life and how his mother raised him, his brother Joey and his sisters. He told some hilarious stories about Joey and Ozzie Guillen … Alex will be a ML manager some day. There were other great moments I’ll treasure, Curt (Schilling) did an interview with me before Christmas about living the military life, and he rattled off moments in American history that got me inspired to brush up on my studies! Some were just private conversations with David Ortiz, shooting the breeze with Papelbon in the dugout … or chatting with Manny in the hotel gyms. My last Red Sox assignment sent me to Hahira, Georgia. I saw a side of J.D. Drew I don’t think people knew he had. He was funny, relaxed, and he even set up interviews for me! His dedication and love for his family and home town almost inspired me too much … (On benefits of being in New York market:) I’m obviously back home, with my family again!

SHOTS: What will you miss most about Boston?

CERVASIO: I’ll miss my friends at NESN and in the Boston Media. Sounds soooo corny, but you spend more time with these people than your family. These people were more than colleagues; I made some great friends for life. Boston is a beautiful city, I loved shopping (of course) on Newbury Street, and meeting friends out for dinner. I also had a funny experience the other night at a “going away get-together” at Dillons. A bunch of girls came over to say “HI” and “Good-bye”. They were all dedicated Sox fans, in local colleges, and really knew a lot about me. We took pictures … it was a riot. So I’ll miss some of the great fans that I had the opportunity to meet or email with.

SHOTS: What are your emotions as you start off in the New York market? It’s obviously a bit more of a grind than the Boston market – correct me if I’m wrong – are you nervous? Excited?

CERVASIO: I’m thrilled because this is home. But I’m not “starting off”, this is a RETURN to the New York market for me. I worked at WCBS-TV, WFAN Radio, covered the Giants and Jets for CN8, etc. As demanding and competitive as the New York market is, nothing will be more of a grind than covering an entire baseball season. I’ll be covering all sports, traveling less, but believe me, I’m always nervous, because I want to be the best reporter I can be. And when you fall short, it kills you. There are so many more bodies in the New York media, so it’ll be a challenge to get unique stories, and interviews, report different angles … that will be intense. Because this is the number one market, it’s media saturation … you have to figure out a way to make your stories and your shows (“MSG, NY”) stand out.

I had a great time at NESN and have nothing but wonderful memories. I am excited now to come back to New York and take on this next chapter of my broadcast career.