Phil Rosenthal of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE reported Friday that Comcast SportsNet Chicago has fired on-air contributor and producer Jen Patterson.
While not directly intimating that fraternizing with a member of the Chicago Blackhawks was the reason for Patterson’s ouster, it wasn’t a coincidence that Rosenthal noted this in his piece about her:
Pegged in January as “a rising on-air and off-air TV talent in our city” by Charlie Schumacher, CSN Chicago’s senior news director, Patterson seemed on the verge of gaining status as a bold-face name nearly on par with those she covered.
Just last Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Bill Zwecker noted in his column that Patterson and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Nick Boynton “seem to be a nice cozy item … looking very lovey-dovey” at various events.
If you feel bad for Patterson, don’t. From what I heard from folks in Chicago today, she’s got a good reputation and won’t be out of work for long. If at all.
In fact, this is probably the best thing to happen to Patterson because it puts her on the national media map. With her reputation as a competent professional, it’s Comcast’s loss, not hers.
Especially when one considers the already incestuous relationship between the Blackhawks and CSN Chicago.
A Chicago media source told me today that Patterson was fired under the pretense that her relationship with a Blackhawks player gave the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Never mind that Blackhawks actually own 20% of Comcast Sportsnet Chicago, so every last second of CSN Chicago content emanates from an inherent conflict of interest. (Comcast is actually a minority owner of its own cable outlet!)
What’s more, would any respirating, bipedal, multicellular organism classify Patterson’s job as reporting purely objective content to CSN Chicago’s audience? The Blackhawks own a significant chunk of the station for god’s sake, you think they want objective reporting?
If anything the ‘Hawks should be pleased that Patterson has developed such a rapport with a player on the team because as long as CSN Chicago is primarily owned by Chicago sports teams, it will never be considered anything more than a mouthpiece for those organizations.