Barnicle to 'BUR?

The rumour du jour in Boston media circles has Mike Barnicle--the former Globe metro columnist who resigned in 1998 during a wide-ranging fabrication and plagiarism scandal--joining WBUR 90.9 FM, the BU-based NPR affiliate. (Here's a synopsis of L'affair Barnicle by former Phoenix media critic Dan Kennedy, who helped drive the story.)

According to WBUR general manager Paul La Camera, Barnicle hasn't actually been hired. But that doesn't mean that La Camera--who worked with Barnicle when he ran WCVB-TV, and Barnicle was a featured contributor to Chronicle--isn't interested in bringing him on board.

"I've been talking on and off with Mike virtually the full time that I've been at 'BUR--two years," La Camera tells the Phoenix. "I have the highest regard for Mike. We worked together for 23 years at WCVB, and I divorced his work with us from his episode at the Globe."

Only one of Barnicle's errors--namely, his decision to recommend George Carlin's Brain Droppings on Chronicle without having read it--involved 'CVB, La Camera adds. And, he continues, "I thought that was hardly the grievous offense that some peple tried to make it out to be. During that time, there were a lot of wild accusations about Mike.... I thought it did get wildly out of control.

"Right now, he's committed to NBC and MSBC," La Camera concludes. "He's been assigned several stories for the Pennsylvania primary; that's what he's doing now. But we will continue to talk. I think Mike is one of the great storytellers of Boston. I had nothing but the best of experiences with Mike for 23 years.... I think he's a voice that's missed in Boston. Whatever occurred at the Globe, that was their business. It was more than ten years ago. And it's about time to move on."

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