By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
UPDATED WITH JACKIE MACMULLAN CONFIRMATION AND EXPLANATION, WED. 5 p.m.
Long-time Boston Globe writer and columnist Jackie MacMullan is going to be taking the latest buyout offer from the paper, Shots has confirmed. MacMullan’s departure would be the highest profile defection at the paper and would severely limit the voice and diversity of opinion on Joe Sullivan’s sports pages. Only two general sports columnists will remain in Bob Ryan and Dan Shaughnessy.
An email to MacMullan’s Globe email address was not immediately returned to Shots.
UPDATED: MacMullan did respond on Wednesday afternoon with the following:
“It’s just time for me. My kids are growing up too fast, and I don’t want to miss anything. I’ll still do some freelance work but I’m not planning on taking another full-time job right now. It would be counter-productive to why I’m doing this in the first place.”
It’s also been confirmed that assistant sports editor and 30-year veteran of the paper, Ken Fratus, will be taking the buyout as well and is expected to land at ESPN in some capacity with a host of former Globies in Bristol. MacMullan too, we are told, could have something in the works with the Worldwide Leader but more on a freelance basis (as she has done in the past). She will also likely be able to continue as an “Around the Horn” contributor, as others have done upon leaving the print world. MacMullan’s decision seems to be primarily based on wanting to spend more time with her family. (This is not, as someone suggested, an April Fool’s Day joke.)
There are expected to be other sports staffers (mostly behind the scenes) who are also taking the offer. We are told, however, that Ryan is NOT one of them and it’s believed Dan Shaughnessy is also staying on board the SS
Several Globies, in recent weeks, have expressed to us a fear of what happens when these buyouts get taken and the positions are left vacant with no chance of replacements. “We’re going to be so thin and so stretched,” said one staffer. “Especially with the Sox, Celtics, Pats Draft and maybe the Bruins too.”
(To which we wanted to reply, but didn’t, “Now you know what the Herald feels like. ALMOST!”)
. . . MacMullan, a Westwood native and UNH alum, began at the Globe more than 25 years ago as a 23-year-old, left for a stint in the late 1990s with Sports Illustrated, and has been a columnist since her return in 2000.