Less than a month after NESN sideline reporter Jenny Dell was taken off Red Sox games, it appears she is leaving the network altogether. Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, who oversees NESN’s on-air operations, told reporters on Thursday morning that Dell is free to pursue other opportunities.
“I think that we talked about it internally because I think Jenny is a terrific reporter,” Werner said, per Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com. “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.”
While Werner did not make it sound like Dell had been forced to leave, he said that she is free of any contractual obligations even though she has been offered other positions with NESN.
“It wasn’t sort of a black-and-white decision because [she could] divorce her personal life from being a professional,” he said. “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.”
In other words, NESN would have retained Dell if she was willing to be demoted. The decision to pull her off Red Sox games almost certainly had to do with her now-public relationship with third baseman Will Middlebrooks.
Given her popularity, it makes sense that Dell would search for work elsewhere. While she may want to remain close to Middlebrooks, you would have to think Jenny can easily land another solid sideline reporter job.