As the Phoenix was going to press on Wednesday morning, the feud between the Boston Globe and WEEI Radio (AM 850) was reaching a new high — or low.
On Tuesday afternoon, Globe editor Matt Storin decided to cancel City & Region columnist Eileen McNamara’s piece for Wednesday’s paper. The reason: McNamara’s column reportedly criticized Globe management for banning its sportswriters from the raunchy " Dennis & Callahan " show, a ban that primarily affects sports columnist Bob Ryan. (An analysis of the ban was posted last Friday on BostonPhoenix.com; go to “News & Features.”)
McNamara, a Pulitzer Prize winner, popped up on " Dennis & Callahan " on Wednesday morning to defend her column and her right to speak out. Said Callahan: “Her boss at the Globe killed it for one reason only. He didn’t agree with it. That is scary.”
Neither McNamara nor WEEI program director Jason Wolfe — who this week retaliated against the Globe by banning all its staffers from his airwaves, although he obviously made an exception for McNamara — could be reached before deadline. Storin says he killed the column because the Globe’s Bill Griffith has already written about the issue twice, and because ombudsman Jack Thomas may weigh in on it as well. Storin adds that he was troubled by “the appearance of a conflict of interest” in the column, because McNamara’s husband, Peter May, is a Globe sportswriter and is thus covered by the ’EEI ban.
As for McNamara’s appearance on ’EEI on Wednesday morning, Storin calls it “unfortunate,” but adds that, since she doesn’t work for the sports department, she is not covered by the ban. Still, he says, “normal procedure” would require her to seek permission. Asked whether there would be consequences for McNamara, Storin replied: “That’s internal. I would not discuss that possibility.” He paused before adding, “Every action has consequences.”
Read Dan's Web extra from March 23: