By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
Just as the paper’s editor was informing employees that the Boston Globe has dodged “layoffs,” its national baseball writer was being informed his application for the company’s buyout offer had been rejected.
As reported earlier this week, Globie Gordon Edes is on the verge of jumping to Yahoo! Sports as a national baseball writer. The move is still on track to happen but there has been a snafu in the Edes Master Exit Plan from Beantown. Sources at the Globe and beyond have confirmed to Shots that the newspaper has denied Edes’s buyout application. Edes, according to one of his in-the-business cohorts, is none too happy with the decision which smacks of oneupsmanship by Joe Sullivan and/or the 17-percenters.
Despite appearing to not get its 60 targeted buyouts in the latest round of downsizing on Morrissey Boulevard, the Globie Gurus gave Gordo the the no-go on his appeal for the package, thus potentially making the move to Yahoo! a bit more complicated and smidge less lucrative for Edes.
Although we have not confirmed this practice to hold true at Yahoo!, many major Internet-based companies offer better pay packages to prospective employees than newspapers, but sometimes lack access to a company-sonsore benefits plan and rely upon the “contract worker” to fend for themselves on amenities like healthcare or investing options. Oftentimes, the writer will be covered by his or her significant other’s plan, if feasible. (Edes, we recall from Spring Training 2007, was receiving marriage congratulations in Ft. Myers.)
[It should probably be noted here as we talk about health-related issues that Edes did recently have cause to miss coverage of a recent Sox road game because of what he told other Sox beat writers was "a migraine without the headache." We mention the incident, which Shots is told occurred on the Cleveland/New York swing after Edes had appeared in the press box pre-game and then left early, as a reminder that things such as benefits are often job-determiners when choosing between Job Option A and Job Option B - especially for the middle-aged set. Edes is said to be "fine," and there was nothing to be concerned about with the incident, according to an Edes aide-de-camp.]
In many cases, the worker will be added to the company plan at a later date as expansion swells and group rates become more favorable for the company or group, according to a human resources professional Shots consulted with.
It makes sense to surmise Edes could have used a portion of his Globe buyout to offset costs associated with the move to the Big Y! in the Sky. By not accepting the Edes buyout application, the Globe is essentially saying that it reached its goals and didn’t need the Edes cost-savings to meet its desired reduction from the program.
Efforts to gain clarity from Edes were kindly rejected via email. The Globe keeps personnel matters guarded and Editor Martin Baron’s memo seemed to indicate that buyout participants won’t even be released to employees. In time, a list will develop beyond the known (and heavyweight division) of the Sports Desk buyout, buyers-in which now includes: Jackie MacMullan, Peter May, Ken Fratus (key Globe desk man). (UPDATE: May, it should be noted, appeared as a Special To Yahoo! writer this week, but it appears it is strictly a freelance position and won’t lead to a full-time job with the site. The timing and the fact that it is with Yahoo! are purely coincidental.)
The news of senior assistant sports editor Reid Laymance’s departure was confirmed on Tuesday, as the father of two sons and former The National Sports Daily copy editor will be heading to the St. Louis Post-Disptach in mid-May. It seems unlikely that Laymance was able to take advantage of the buyout as news of his new job broke right around the time the Edes word filtered out this week. If the Globe was angered by Edes’s next job opportunity – as it appears they may have been – they probably wouldn’t appreciate Laymance’s shift to St. Looie either.
No word on the Worcester Telegram and Gazette’s buyout list but then again there just isn’t much word about the T&G in general.
. . . All right, lastly on the Edes saga: here’s an interesting take on the Yahoo! boat for which Edes is likely abandoning the Good Ship Sully. A Yahoo! insider in a different division that Sports surmised this week to Shots that “within six months, Microsoft will own us and we’ll have to see who that’s good for and who it’s bad for.”
It may very well be a boon for the already burgeoning Sports department of captain Dave Morgan but, as our San Fran-based Yahooian cautioned, “it may also be a time when consolidation results in fewer bodies needed.”
Yes, folks, he said it’s not unthinkable to see buyout offers on the horizon for
• Did the Herald really decide not to have anyone in Amherst for the Derek Kellogg presser? All we could find was an AP story on-line at the Herald. And yes, we know the Celts were playing but we also know the Globe was able to use its outstanding Western Mass. scribe, Marty Dobrow. The Herald should really try and find a poor man’s Marty (few, if any, will measure up to The Professor) to cover its rear on UMass coverage.
• Early MVPs of the broadcast NBA Playoffs are Mike Fratello on TNT and Jeff Van Gundy on ABC. While both could ceratinly coach again, neither should with the TV ability each is displaying in the post-season. Fratello was giving big ups to Soulja Boy music on Thursday night, after the artist was show “in the crowd” at the Washington game.
• Who says I don’t have perceptive readers? The following comes from a viewer with some familiarity with television production, but moreso I think he has a keen eye for the annoying:
I’ve noticed NESN returning to an annoying practice not seen since those UPN38 Fridays. The only camera angle where the scorebug [the graphic line at the top with score, inning, outs, pitch speed, et al] is constant from the centerfield camera, for 2-3 seconds before each pitch. They used to do this with their upper left bug on Friday UPN 38 nights, but that was one night a week (and I had assumed it was a different crew with a different director).
Sure enough, the practice is in full effect but since my most recent attempts to contact NESN have gone un-returned, I’m going to just throw this one out there for you all to digest. If it “bugs” you and you discover the reason (maybe HD-related???), let us know and we’ll pass it along.
Oh, and if you can also ask when Heidi Watney will start and why they have to add an audio indication when the score changes? I keep thinking the phone’s ringing and I’m not even close to senile yet. I hope. And think.
• A good old fashioned gossip column Cat Fight is a-brewin’ between The Gals and the Globie. Do stay tuned and ME-0OOOOWWWWWW!
• Brett Favre is sooooo NOT retired. And Letterman must be thinking of fleeing to ESPN with all his Favre, Danica Patrick, Chris Russo, and Keith Olberman canoodling this week.
• I really don’t think this one should go unnoticed as CBS’s Tony Petitti has left The Eye and landed in The Eye of the (Steroids) Needle at 2009-launching MLB Network. [From the press release: "The MLB Network, which will broadcast baseball programming 24 hours a day, is projected to launch into approximately 50 million cable and satellite homes, exceeding any other cable television launch in history by approximately 20 million homes."]
Petitti is a Harvard Law School grad and a founding forefather of the Bowl Championship Series.
His move to a network that will try to build on the successes of NBA TV and especially the NFL Network is a significant development in the re-shaping of the sports information delivery system.
• We don’t have a catchy subhed for this blog and never have, but if we did, it would quite likely read:
. . . BTW, do State Troopers need, ya know, grammar knowledge of any sort? Your kidding me, right?
• Most of us know Jerry Palm for his numbers. Some of us know Jerry for his strange sleep patterns. All of us should know Jerry for his thorough and quite accurate takedown of American Airlines. His earthquake story is very amusing as well. And the end to his Final Four is a bit more of the American Airlines fiasco. Dude has some travel issues ALL of March and a bit of April.
• Sounds like we might be in the final days of the Rob Simpson era (errata) at NESN. It has come to Shots’ attention that the network and the talent were unable to come to an agreement on a contract renewal after a three-year run with the B’s. Like Zip Rzeppa before him, we probably won’t appreciate him until he’ gone.
But we’ll take our chances.
• Thoughts and well wishes to Don Gillis’s family and shame on both Dale Arnold and Michael Holley for not immediately mentioning Candlepins Bowling when announcing the news of Gillis’s passing during Thursday’s “Dale and Holley” show at 850 AM WEEI. Holley stalled for something to say and although he was kind, it was clear he didn’t grow up here with Gillis as a part of the Boston landscape. That’s fine – not everyone is from here. But don’t fake it.
. . . Can’t wait for the Joe Fitzgerlad tribute in the Herald.
. . . Jim Britt never reached the level of Gillis – not for me anyways.
FIRST Candlepins video is brief; SECOND us length and so tenderly familiar. We used to draw with Captain Whoever on Saturdays too. Awfully, but we tried. (UPDATE: A kind reader informs us it was I “the beloved Capt. Bob Cottle (1920-1999), a Brockton boy. There’s at least one clip, not of the drawing show but of an interview by Peter Mehegan with Capt. Bob and Rex Trailer on the 20th anniversary of WCVB.”)
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmediaDOTcom.
Scott’s first book, with Memphis Coach John Calipari, is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2009.