Jenny Dell’s departure from NESN has seemed a foregone conclusion since the popular reporter was removed from her duties on the network’s Red Sox broadcasts in January following the tweeted confirmation of one of the worst-kept secrets in the city: she was dating Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, and had been for sometime.
The day of departure for the well-liked Dell, who replaced Heidi Watney in the sideline role before the 2012 season, has come.
Today is Dell’s final day at the network.
A network spokesman confirmed that she was leaving with this statement a little past noon:
NESN and Jenny Dell have mutually agreed that this is the right time for her explore other opportunities full time. Today is her last day at the network. A search is underway for her replacement on NESN Sports Today.
The Globe reported in its Names column Thursday that this was expected to be her final week at the network.
Dell, who has filled a less-prominent reporter/anchor role on NESN Sports Today since being pulled off the Red Sox coverage, has drawn interest over the past several months from other media outlets such as Fox Sports 1 and Turner Sports/Bleacher Report.
In February, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said that Dell, who was still under contract, was free to leave whenever she wanted.
But sources with knowledge of the situation have said a part of the reason NESN demoted her was not because of the relationship with Middlebrooks, which presented a potential conflict of interest, but because there was frustration among management that she was considering an attempt to get out of her contract.
Dell has not responded to recent requests for comment.