By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watc

Shots has learned that NESN held an audition for its Red Sox Reporter position over the weekend and that the “contestant” was received well by those who have the power to hire. While no imminent decision is expected, Shots has confirmed that former Miss San Diego (Calif., 2000-03), Heidi Watney, is the odds-on favorite to replace Tina Cervasio as the regional sport network’s sideline reporter. Watney had her tryout in Los Angeles while the crew was there over the weekend. It was done entirely off-air.

Watney was recently let go by the Fox-affiliate KMPH in Fresno (latter third of both columns) and Shots could not dicsover any contact information for the Miss California Beauty Pageant’s answer to the Buffalo Bills. It’s reasonably certain that this is her MySpace page.

The Bee had no further information on the Watney firing and the columnist who wrote the story is out of the office until April 2 according to an automated email response. It does appear Watney had a prior incident at a Fresno High school involving use of in appropriate language for which she was suspended from the station. Details are not readily available through any of our research tools.

She was also part of a small run-in with actor Bill Murray where the reporter seems to have caught Murray on a bad day. No harm, no foul and Murray looks much worse than Watney in the matter.

. . . Should Watney wind up in Boston, she would be the second straight, blonde beauty queen hire in the market, following in the heels of WHDH-TV’s Winter signing of Julie Donaldson. Add in NESN’s golden girl, Kathryn Tappen, and the very strong suggestion is that Boston sports viewers want their sports delivered in a long, tall and blonde format. Or at least thats what the Suits think we want.

. . . Some of Watney’s work. She appears to be big on participatory reporting.

. . . All we want to know is who were the women finishing ahead of Watney at all these pageants? California has to be the toughest state to win in and finishing anywhere in the Top 10 is certainly saying something.

. . . More of her.

. . . There’s reason to believe Heidi, a former traffic reporter, is related to golfer Nick Watney.

Ugliness at WBZ TV, where heads are rolling.

• Rumblings from Morrissey Boulevard where at least one long-time sports editor is believed to be taking the latest Globe buyout offer. We’re told to expect more sports shifts in the coming days.

• Another fresh new face to the Boston TV market will be (non-blonde) Erin Hawksworth who is leaving Dallas/Ft. Worth for FOX25. The Hawksworth move was also reported at Boston News Coverage.

There’s a chance, according to TV people in the Dallas market, that Hawksworth will chip in on the sports side with Butchy and the Butchettes at Boston’s American Idol channel.

. . . As with Watney, we have reason to believe there is a relation to a pro athlete, this time Blake Hawksworth, St. Louis’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2006 and most recently with AAA Memphis. (It all comes back to Memphis, doesn’t it folks?)

• As Cousin Bill texted, ‘(Bob) Ryan just gets Cal.’ Amen, Billy.

Our only regret is that Basketball Bob got stuck doing a gamer for Monday instead of another column from Houston and the Elite Eight. AP’s gamer would have been fine and Ryan could have serenaded Derrick Rose for our Monday morning treat. Now we have to wait ’til Bob gets to San Antonio.

Other Boston/Memphis Final Four storylines we’d suggest for Sully: San Antonio Anderson, the Lynn Kid; Derek Kellogg, the Springfield/UMass kid; Ty Weeks, the UMass Final Four player and now-Memphis assistant; A Who-would-win? between the 1996 (vacated) UMass team and the 2008 Memphis team (I take the current version in a tight one); Cal’s Kansas connection. . .

Well, that’s a good starting point for you Sully. And be sure to include some polls and chats with the whole thing over at the website. It’s your favorite time of the year, you should have some fun with it. Unless, of course, the China smog needs further space and monitoring from snap-shooter and wordsmith Shira Springer.

• Our Final Four coverage at quietly-fading-into-the-sunset CSTV.com is ongoing now through next Tuesday. Check it out when you can. Lots of Calipari and lots of shenanigans from in and around San Antonio beginning soon.

David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmediaDOTcom.

His work – and weekly college hoops report card – for CSTV.com can be found at Hang Time and live-blogging at Posting Up throughout all of March Madness, beginning with the Conference USA Tournament on March 12 and continuing through the NCAA Tournament in Little Rock, Houston and finally San Antonio for the Final Four. We welcome all our Shots regulars to join with us and experience the Madness from a whole different perspective.

Scott’s first book, with Memphis Coach John Calipari, is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2009.