But each of the past two weekends, a different substitute has appeared: Daily News sports reporter Andy Martino, who in his regular newspaper gig reports on, among other teams, the New York Mets.
So SNY has brought on an experienced, well-sourced reporter (good) to offer analysis of the organization that is now providing him a ticket to more important TV work in the future, while he continues to write about that organization for his newspaper (not so good).
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.
This is where it gets a little sticky. The Mets, of course, are busy with a public-relations offensive of their own, trying to convince fans they’re about to spend money, even as they struggle to overcome their Madoff-related debt problems.