Rumored Replacements For Heidi Watney at NESN

If NESN had any sense of PR, they’d be playing up the hunt for Heidi Watney’s replacement like one of their Red Sox-related reality shows.

I get constant questions about it, and looking at Chad Finn’s Twitter stream, he’s getting asked about it all the time as well. He also devoted some of his Friday media column to the subject, with info on the first three candidates below.

Here are three candidates that have been rumored (though it appears now that Sullivan is no longer in the running):

Hawksworth, the sister of Dodgers pitcher Blake Hawksworth (which will get her some inside MLB info right there) has a history in Boston, having spent three years at FOX 25. Chad Finn thinks she is the favorite for the job.  Of the candidates here, she’d be my pick as well.

I’m actually not sure Royle is even an official candidate. (Apparently she is, Finn says she interviewed today.) If we’re talking actual baseball reporting experience and history, she’s clearly the best for the job. However, that’s likely not all that NESN is looking for in this hire. She’s been doing weekend shows on WEEI, raising her profile in the local market. She’s from here, grew up following the local teams and she wants to come home.

Ken Fang reported this morning that Sullivan is no longer a candidate.

On November 19th, The Big Lead said that Sullivan was the top candidate to replace Watney. Her website gives her job history, which includes work with CBS Sports Network, Versus, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Big Ten Network and ESPN.

Fang believes that Courtney Fallon should be a candidate, though I haven’t heard her mentioned anywhere:

 

  • FantasticMrChadFox

    Are they even considering internal talent at all? Why do they continue to produce cookie cutter reporters? Could this role be evolved into something like Gammons had on BBTN for the last few years.

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    Beyond the national spotlight thanks to the Sox, is there any allure to working at NESN, beyond it being a clear stepping stone to greener pastures? It always seems like they're scrambling to find people and production is near public access. This year, it does seem like NESN is trying to really improve on the Bruins side with the graphics, social media and overall presentation.

    Is there a place where Nielsen or someone else releases data on the NESN/CSNNE numbers around here? Seems like it only gets leaked out when a media member with access to their numbers posts it.

    And, on Jen Royle, I posted my question on Bruce's previous post: http://bit.ly/sh4zd3

  • guest

    Hawksworth is the obvious choice if not just because of her hilarious Youtube clip of a Seahawks chat question she got. Cmon, NESN do the right thing and pick the better person Hawksworth over blah Royle.

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  • Christopher

    Royle clearly is the best choice for this job — Isnt it about time we had somebody with actual baseball knowledge of the game. I dont care about sex appeal. My vote is for Royle. Also I live in Baltimore and your wrong Jason Varitek. They didnt talk about how bad she was on the air. They talked about how good she would look naked and stuff and there are no rumors about her w players here. You dont even know what ur talking abouot

  • Brian

    Can I please throw another name into the hat? Marissa Bailey who works for NBC in Buffalo. She is great at her job and has a terrific personality. Check her out at http://www.marissabailey.com

  • Jay

    it has to be someone hot like Hawsworth or Sullivan. Gotta look like someone on the spanish channels. They all look like models and do their jobs well.