Jenny Dell Resurfaces as CBS NFL Sideline Reporter

Former NESN Red Sox sideline reporter Jenny Dell will be appearing on NFL sidelines this fall, as CBS announced its broadcast pairings for the 2014 season.

Part of the release noted that Tracy Wolfson would be joining the network’s top announcing team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms as reporter. Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts have been promoted to the 2nd team, and Trent Green will join Greg Gumbel, after the retirement of Dan Dierdorf.

The release also noted that  THE NFL ON CBS will utilize additional sideline reporters during the season including  Jenny Dell and Evan Washburn.

It’s a nice way for Dell to land on her feet following her departure from NESN which was made complicated and messy after she and Red Sox player Will Middlebrooks announced that they were dating.

  • DryHeave

    that sounds about right….sorry, but the first time an NFL sideline “reporter” reports something worth hearing…will be the FIRST TIME

    • goseebananafish

      that makes her a natural

  • bsmfan

    Oddsmakers seemed to peg VH1 or EmptyV as the favorites for where she’d go but I guess all the noise created by the NESN/FOX stuff caused CBS to pay attention.

  • Andy Dursin

    Hard to believe, she wasn’t very good on the Sox sideline and seemed like a deer in the headlights. I always thought Heidi Watney was much more talented and smarter to say nothing on the visual appeal.

  • JonB

    Wow – there had to be dozens of people more qualified for this gig than Jenny Dell. Easily the worst local sideline reporter in recent memory IMO, and it’s not even close. She wasn’t even capable of doing live segments during plodding Sox games, and the topics she did “report” on rarely strayed from hot dog reviews and interviews with pizza throwing fans. Curious as to what CBS execs saw in her–besides the obvious–that they felt made her qualified to step into such a prominent role. NFL sideline reporting is a whole different ball game than doing hackneyed human interest stories from the stands or shilling Fenway bricks between innings.

    Being a good NFL sideline reported actually takes skill to quickly analyze situations, ask the right questions, then succinctly articulate relevant info up to the broadcast booth. Now I’m not a fan of the overwhelming majority of sideline reporters, but those worth their salt—such as Michele Tafoya, Suzy Kolber, et al.–actually know their stuff and are capable of bringing added insight and value to the broadcast when called upon. I don’t remember Jenny Dell bringing anything of note to the table as a NESN sideline reporter, other than some T&A.

    Also, don’t think Jenny exactly earned the respect of many of her female colleagues in the sports media world by getting romantically involved with a player she was covering: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/news/20140119/fowler-davis-musburger-nfl-network/index.html#all (see quotes in item 4). Would be interested to hear what the established female sideline reporters in the biz think about this hire.

    • bsmfan

      Yeah, the quotes, of people who went on the record, are scathing. I can’t even imagine the ones who didn’t want to get quoted or weren’t asked that are legitimately trying to do a good job.

      I was surprised someone like CBS made the hire. Maybe FOX gave up interest after the initial run. They’re usually not known to do the “hot hire” as much as FOX is. Just different styles for different networks.

    • andy

      As I go through life (over 60 years now) there are two words I make an effort to avoid. The first is always, the second is never. It’s easy to say you will never do something. As such, I will take those quotes with the skepticism they deserve.

  • Bob

    Wow. Dell is so overrated. She is neither that appealing nor that talented, but obviously knows the right people!… And maybe now she can start dating an NFL player too.

  • daver

    Oh god no. Not even close to the worst ever. Have you forgotten Whatshername, the former Miss Rhode Island? Michelle something? She was TERRIBLE. Lacked even basic on-air skills. Jenny Dell looks like Edward R. Murrow next to her.

  • bsmfan

    Heidi would have been gone by now, regardless of what happened.

    It’s been continually reported that NESN heavily underpays talent, which seems to be 0 problem for a RSN, and it’s their right to do so.

    If that’s the case, she would have been gone regardless. By the time she left, she was all over the national radar, given what happened in 2011 and before. Once the “pretty face” gets a big enough name, and winds up on “national radar”, it’s only a matter of time before one of the big national networks hires them away.

    Nothing new here for NESN, though. You can literally set O/U for “time before national network calls” with females there, but the same can be said about other RSNs.

  • OpinionNotFact

    You guys certainly seem to put a lot of stock in sideline reporters.
    Not once has one made me change the channel, who cares? You can get any information he/she/they might provide on the internet and if you’re watching from home I assume that’s pretty easily accessible.

    • bsmfan

      Isn’t one like drinks at a restaurant?

      You go in for the meals but get sold on the drinks, but when you tell everyone about the restaurant, it’s for the food, not the booze.

      “We sell the menu to get you in but make sure you buy booze.”

      Maybe this is a horrible analogy but a friend in the industry recently referenced this and it made me think of it.

      Nobody (red-blooded men) keeps the channel on because of the sideline reporter but we sure don’t change the channel when they’re front and center.

      And, they’re the primary demo the Nielsen #’s count.

  • bsmfan

    Off topic but all you need to know about “sportswriters” in America:

    From June 9th at, I guess, what accounts for the Oscars of SportsWriters (NSSA = National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association), here is the head ESPN PR guy:

    @bhofheimer_espn Very nice words from @SI_PeterKing at #NSSA2014 event about @ReillyRick: “I formulate sentences. He writes prose that is just genius.”

    • smack_libs_around

      Sports media hacks backslapping other sports media hacks. It’s how they feign respect…”Oh, Bob the writer thinks I’m great, so I must be.”

  • Homer Greenz

    I am liking the Dale and Holley show. Dale has a confidence to him that I don’t recall from the past. They’re comfortable with and work well together. I especially thought the addition of Steve Buckley made for a good trio this week. I enjoy the “troll voice” that Dale does when he’s making fun of the texters that make fun of him.

    I’m am not enjoying the Mikey – Villani dynamic. Villani is not smooth or competent enough to competently argue the sabermetrics angle. They just end up bickering for minutes on end. Jon Ryder was a big part of that show. When he and Mikey argued, it was funny. Mutt is doing a good job with the pre and post game shows, but once in a while, during the Red Sox Review part of the night, he’ll slip into HotSportsTakezMutt mode.

    MFT or whatever the hell it’s called, it’s not bad. Lou has stopped screaming – maybe he really disliked Mutt? Benz carries the show along and is not grating or annoying. Fauria is fine.

    I’d still like to hear more from the Tom E. Currans, Alex Speiers and Matt Chathams of the world.

    Over on CBS – The Sky Is Falling – Sports Radio, the only show that I can tolerate in small amounts is Toucher and Rich. Pretty much everyone else has embraced the mode of “everything sucks and must be destroyed”.