In Chicago, local sports reporter-producer Jen Patterson has left Comcast SportsNet. Patterson joined Comcast in January, serving as a segment producer and reporter covering Chicago’s professional sports teams.
Comcast offered a curt announcement last week, saying simply, “Jen Patterson is no longer an employee of Comcast SportsNet Chicago and we wish her well on her future endeavors.”
What makes the move especially notable is that it came on the heels of a Chicago Sun-Times report that Patterson is dating Chicago Blackhawks player Nick Boynton.
As Mexican reporter Ines Saiz returns to covering the NFL after an incident of alleged harassment and quarterback Brett Favre faces league scrutiny over allegedly sending inappropriate texts to a Jets sideline reporter, Patterson’s exit illustrates the increased attention being paid to how athletes and reporters interact. Citing the old adage “You can’t cover the circus if you sleep with the elephants,” Chicago media critic Robert Feder advised, “Journalists everywhere–especially those in the volatile sports media world–would be wise to heed the lesson.”