09.18.13

Can Andy Martino Serve Two Masters?

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 7:47 pm by

A few years back, former Mets GM Omar Minaya attempted to smear then-Daily News beat writer Adam Rubin with the accusation the latter was angling for a job with the team. It was an explosive charge, and had there been a scintilla of truth to the tale, Rubin’s reputation might’ve never recovered. Funny thing is, if Adam Rubin really was hoping for a job with the Mets, maybe he should’ve been more patient? Bane-Of-The-Wilpons’ existence Howard Megdal took to Capital New York to point out there’s something slightly screwy about Kevin Burkhardt-sub Andy Martino toiling for Mets-owned SNY while continuing to cover the team for the Daily News.

When I reached out to Martino about this, he referred me to Teri Thompson, the Daily News’ managing editor for sports. Thompson emailed this response on Monday afternoon, responding to several questions with this statement: “Any outside work by our reporters is reviewed by Daily News editors and either approved or not approved.”

When I asked some follow-up questions, Thompson emailed this reply: “I think our statement speaks for itself.”

It is standard for newspaper baseball writers to appear on radio and television shows. But generally, the writers are guests or experts and they are usually not compensated for their appearances. I have no idea what Martino’s arrangement is in this regard: Neither he nor his editor would respond to a question about whether it’s a paid gig.

It’s also a complicated matter because it’s a well-established practice for sports organizations to also run media franchises created to report on their own teams. But when a well-respected writer like Alan Hahn took a gig doing similar work at MSG for the New York Knicks, for example, he left Newsday. He wasn’t doing both jobs at once.

Martino took to the SNY airwaves to promote his own work at the Daily News, then in turn wrote a piece pumping up the potential for a marriage between the Mets and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, about to hit free agency.

While most of the other writers on the Mets, from Ken Rosenthal to Brian Costa, Adam Rubin to Mike Vaccaro, are taking a wait-and-see approach to the team’s declarations that they’re about to spend money, Martino continues to report that the Mets are focused on big free-agent additions, while avoiding any explanation of how ownership can spend this year, but couldn’t last year.

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