Jacobson exits; Carr shoots back; Daniel becomes a flack

Busy day, this:

--Legendary anchorwoman Natalie Jacobson is leaving her desk at WCVB for something called a "entrepreneurial multimedia venture." The press release follows.

--Howie Carr wants a Suffolk Superior Court judge to clear him to go work at WTKK. The press release follows the Natalie Jacobsen press release.

--Globe transportation reporter Mac Daniel is leaving the paper to be communications director for the Mass. Turnpike Authority. As Aaron Read points out, this is a little awkward.

Thoughts, readers?



Boston ? Legendary anchor Natalie Jacobson announced her plans to transition off the anchor desk after 35 years at WCVB-TV/DT Channel 5.
Jacobson and WCVB President and General Manager Bill Fine made the announcement in a station-wide meeting earlier today.

Long considered Boston's most beloved and familiar anchor, Jacobson said, "I have enjoyed a phenomenal career at WCVB.  I'm privileged to have worked with a talented and caring team of journalists and to have shared many moments of life with the people of Boston and New England.  After 35 years, it's time to move on.  Life promises many opportunities, leaving me eager to begin my newest season."  Jacobson is working on a new multimedia business she hopes to launch later in the year.  She added, "My goal is to help guide my generation to our "next big thing."

A pioneer in local broadcasting, Jacobson joined WCVB as a reporter in 1972, weeks before the station went on-air.  In 1976 WCVB named the stellar young reporter the first woman anchor of an evening newscast in Boston.
Together with her former co-anchor Chet Curtis, she was at the helm when The New York Times cited WCVB as what is regarded as one of the best television stations in America.  In her storied tenure at Channel 5, Jacobson, known as "Nat" to viewers, has anchored nearly every live major event in New England including the Queen's visit to Boston in 1976, the Tall Ships Parade, Liberty's birthday in New York Harbor, the visits of Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, 4th of July concerts on the Hatch Shell/Esplanade, the dedication of the JFK Library, the Patriots appearances in various Super Bowls and the year of the Red Sox in 2004.

She has been on the front lines, reporting the stories that define the last three decades.  Jacobson's covered the Vietnam protests, Boston's busing crisis, the great Chelsea fire, the Blizzard of '78, the presidential campaigns of local sons Mike Dukakis and John Kerry, the impeachment proceedings against then President Bill Clinton and 9/11.

In addition to co-anchoring New England's leading evening newscast, Jacobson's reporting and anchoring skills have been instrumental in the many prestigious awards WCVB has been recognized with, including numerous national Gabriel Awards as America's  "Television Station of the Year."
Natalie has also contributed to many regional and national Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow (RTNDA), National Headliner and Peabody awards.
Jacobson's renowned one-on-one interviews with political candidates have often made news and have helped WCVB and its parent company, Hearst-Argyle Television, win the inaugural four consecutive USC Annenberg Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Political Journalism.

In May of this year, the New England chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented Jacobson with the Governor's Award in recognition of nearly 40 years of television excellence.  Also in 2007, she was honored with the Centennial Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in journalism by Suffolk University.  In 2005, Jacobson was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the RTNDA.

Jacobson is a dedicated volunteer, helping numerous charitable and philanthropic organizations including the Genesis Fund, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Salvation Army, Franciscan Hospital for Children, American Heart Association and many local cancer fighting efforts.  She said, "My position at Channel 5 has offered me the gift of helping others as I otherwise could not.  I get back much more than I give."

 "There will never be another broadcast journalist in Boston like Natalie Jacobson," said Bill Fine.  "As Boston's premier anchor, Nat set the gold
standard.   Many of Nat's competitors over the years have found common
ground when speaking about her ? they all totally respect her as a professional and as a genuine role model for broadcast journalists.  Anyone who knows Nat will tell you this next step is far from retirement, but instead the beginning of an exciting new career and chapter in her amazing success story."

 Jacobson said, "I'm excited about moving on.  I have the same level of energy and passion as always and am eager to explore new possibilities.  I find it invigorating not to know exactly what is ahead.  Exploring is half the fun."

Fine added, "She's truly an icon.  With all due respect to the excellent journalists in this region, I don't believe it's possible that any past, present or future reporter or anchor in Boston can achieve the legendary status of Natalie Jacobson."

Known for her deep love of Boston, Jacobson plans to remain in the city and continue to be actively involved in the community.  She also said, "The lasting joy of these many years is the unique relationship I continue to share with our viewers.  They open their homes and hearts to me and I embrace the privilege."

Jacobson will officially sign-off July 18 on the 6pm newscast.  Viewers are invited to post their thoughts and messages to Jacobson on the "Natalie" page on



Declaratory Judgment Filed in Court Today

Boston, MA- Award-winning talk show host Howie Carr is never at loss for an opinion.  In this case, he has a strong opinion about his contract with Entercom Boston, LLC, owner of WRKO radio where Carr’s top-rated show is heard every weekday from 3:00-7:00 p.m.  Carr and his lawyer claim that a provision in Carr’s contract preventing him from working elsewhere in the marketplace is not enforceable under Massachusetts law.

“Entercom is willing to negotiate my contract-- as long as the bottom line means keeping me as a virtual indentured servant,” said Carr.  “My lawyer suggested I not talk about this.  What does he think, that I might say something controversial?”

Carr’s multi-year contract with the station expires in September.  Entercom had the option to extend Carr’s employment agreement for one additional year, through September 19, 2008.  However, they had to exercise that renewal option by merely providing Carr with written notice on or before March 19, 2007.  Two days before the renewal option was due to expire, on March 17, 2007, Entercom asked Carr to sign a one week extension of the option.  Carr not only signed that, but granted Entercom two additional extensions.  Despite being given three opportunities, Entercom did not meet its renewal obligation. 

By the time serious negotiations with Entercom began, Carr had already explored other options. Indeed he has received an offer from Greater Boston Media to host the morning show on WTTK 96.9 FM Talk and expects to be able to begin there on October 1, 2007.

“I’ve wanted to be on FM for a long time and being on in the mornings is the greatest challenge in radio,” said Carr.  “I plan to bring fast paced, ‘felon-free’ entertainment to morning drive.  This was just a better opportunity all around for me at this time.”

“The clauses in Howie’s contract which attempt to prevent him from working elsewhere in the marketplace--virtually indefinitely-- are clearly a violation of Massachusetts law,” said Bret A. Cohen of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., Carr’s attorney.  “There is a statute regarding covenants not to compete for employees in the broadcasting industry that says such covenants are ‘void and unenforceable’.  Therefore, we have filed a declaratory judgment in Suffolk Superior court today, seeking to allow Howie to essentially become a free agent and accept the Greater Boston Media offer.”

Carr hosts an afternoon radio show on Boston’s WRKO, which is a four-hour national program that discusses headlines and politics. His show is syndicated on seven other radio stations in six states. Carr also writes an award-winning column for the Boston Herald. He has won various honors including the National Magazine Award, for essays and criticism and has been nominated for an Emmy Award.  He is also the author of a book, ‘The Brothers Bulger,’ which spent 11 weeks on the New York Times non-fiction best seller list in 2006-07.  He was a Boston City Hall Reporter for the Herald, and later worked as the paper’s State House Bureau Chief. He worked as a political reporter for Channel 7, and as a reporter/columnist for Channels 2 and 56, all in Boston.

Carr added, “I look forward to my current listeners, and many new ones, joining me at a different place on the dial where we can discuss indentured servitude and other topical issues of the day!”

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