Apr 22 2008
By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
Multiple sources have confirmed to Scott’s Shots that Boston Globe writer, Gordon Edes, has agreed “in principle” to a job with Yahoo! Sports as a national baseball writer. Edes, according to sources, is committed to going to Yahoo!, but was still hoping to be part of the buyout offer at the Globe that recently lured Jackie MacMullan off the masthead.
The specifics of how Edes will leave – either through the buyout or simply by switching teams – are still being ironed out, according to sources.
Multiple Monday night phone and email messages from Shots to Edes were not returned as of posting time (near 1 a.m. Tuesday). (The differentiation could be important because if Edes leaves through the buyout, there may be legal limitations on whether a new body could be inserted into his place.)
Either way, the Edes departure will be yet another crippling blow for Joe Sullivan’s thinning sports desk and will continue to give the Boston Herald a leg up in Sox coverage with the talented, experienced three-headed monster of Rob Bradford, Michael Silverman and Jeff Horrigan now going up against the 17 Percenter’s still-developing Amalie Benjamin and long-timer Nick Cafardo. Up-and-comer Julian Benbow has been “pitching in” on Sox coverage, especially on the Web, so we’d expect to see Benbow get more reps if Edes follows through on his Globe G’Bye.
The move to Yahoo! has some historical basis for Edes as he was once on the same staff at the Los Angeles Times where Yahoo!’s Executive Sports Editor, Dave Morgan, came from two years ago. The move may also sound familiar to some as Edes has, in recent years, been courted and thought to be going to one on-line entity (Fox Sports) or another (CBS Sportsline).
There is, however, reason to believe that Edes’ decision will stick this time, considering the awful state of America’s newspapers and the lucrative salaries that many websites like Yahoo! have been handing out.
. . . The hiring is a bit peculiar for Morgan and Yahoo! in that they had tried, in the early going, to establish themselves as a news-breaking and trend-discovering website. The Tim Brown hire was a solid one, but since then there have been some curious moves and not a whole lot of news-breaking, especially on the Major League Baseball side.
We’re not entirely sure that the flowery, literary and verbose Edes fits the bill as someone who will break news and give Yahoo! a deeper identity in baseball coverage, but clearly the site is looking to enhance its Boston-New York connection. Other candidates for the job were also Northeast-based newspaper writers, Shots is told.
Edes does bring some instant name recognition and he can also probably parlay his local TV connections to further expose Boston sports fans to the “Yahoo! Sports” brand. Tom Curran has done a similar thing for nbcsports.com.
. . . If the newly-started BSM approval ratings mean anything (and we sense they do), Edes will be missed by about eight out of every nine people who care about such things.
. . . Edes, a 1972 graduate of Lunenburg High School, left a mark on the market for sure and became a constant TV and radio presence in recent years, but his most lasting contribution may have been getting former Red Sox bully Carl Everett to utter the words “curly-haired boyfriend” regarding Dan Shaughnessy. The nickname stuck for Shaughnessy and Edes had his in-the-shadows, Boston moment.
• Shots is also being told that NESN has settled on a replacement for departed sideline reporter Tina Cervasio and the pick is Heidi Watney.
Watney, as first reported by Shots on April 1, auditioned off-air for the job when the Red Sox played exhibition games in Los Angeles.
Two separate email (and one phone) messages left at 8 p.m. ET Friday for a NESN spokesman and a high-ranking NESN producer were not returned at the time of this post (near 1 a.m. Tuesday).
. . . Watney also had a prior incident at a Fresno High school involving use of in appropriate language in a talk to students for which she was suspended from the station. Details are not readily available through any of our research tools, but the matter was confirmed by a Fresno source familiar with Watney’s run in that market.
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.
. . . Some of participatory reporting.
. . . More of her.
. . . Watney, a former traffic reporter, is a cousin to golfer Nick Watney.
• Some interesting College Hoops Futures odds from our guy Dan Wolken in Memphis.
• What a disaster on Monday when regular Sox color man Jerry Remy came up with a Marathon Day Flu and was replaced on NESN by Not-Ready-For-the-Booth, Ken Macha. Macha has struggled in his time in-studio for NESN and the Monday morning game with Don Orsillo was excruciatingly painful to watch and listen to. A one man booth would have been better. Or they could’ve put Wally on color.
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.