NESN reporter Jenny Dell is popular in Boston, but her relationship with a Red Sox player may have prompted the station to reassign her.
Dell has reportedly been dating Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks for nearly a year, and the two began to make public appearances together after the Red Sox won the World Series in October.
Update: Friday, Feb. 21 at 5:45 p.m. ET
It appears that NESN and Jenny Dell will be going their separate ways. Red Sox chairman Tom Werner spoke on the matter, via WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia:
'I think that we talked about it internally because I think Jenny is a terrific reporter. I think we came to the conclusion, and Jenny came to the same conclusion, that it would be a distraction for her to be a reporter. So, she’s moving on.'
'It wasn’t sort of a black-and-white decision because [she could] divorce her personal life from being a professional. But we decided that in the end it would be better to move on and not have it be a distraction. She’s looking for other opportunities. Nothing’s been set but I think she’s looking for other opportunities. We’ve offered her other positions at NESN, whether she wanted to be an anchor or on an evening show or do other stuff.
--End of Update--
Middlebrooks and Dell each sent out a tweet displaying their affection for one another while celebrating the New Year:
Now we have learned that she will no longer be the sideline reporter during Red Sox games. The Boston Globe's Chad Finn tweeted out a statement from NESN:
(1/2) Statement from NESN spokesman Gary Roy: NESN has an active search for a Red Sox sideline reporter ...— Chad Finn (@GlobeChadFinn) January 30, 2014
(2/2) Jenny Dell, a multi-talented on-air personality, is anchoring NESN Sports Today and handling other assignments for NESN.— Chad Finn (@GlobeChadFinn) January 30, 2014
It appears that she will remain with the station after being reassigned.
There's no proof that Dell was reassigned because of her relationship with Middlebrooks, but regardless, one could argue that serving that particular role presents a conflict of interest.