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Concussion keeping Heidi Watney off NESN
Also, Channel 25 hit with $500G lawsuit
By Jessica Heslam / MediaBiz  |   Thursday, April 22, 2010  |  |  Media & Marketing

NESN Red Sox [team stats] reporter Heidi Watney has finally revealed why she’s been missing from baseball broadcasts for the past two weeks - a concussion has forced her to the sidelines.

The West Coast native says she can sympathize with Boston Bruins [team stats] forward Marc Savard, who hasn’t played since suffering a concussion last month.

“Me and Marc Savard - we’ve both been out with concussions lately,” Watney told “Karlson & McKenzie” the other day during her regular appearance on WZLX-FM (100.7).

Watney said she’s under doctor’s orders to rest and not work.

While many would be more than happy to comply, Watney said she “hates it.”

“It’s really frustrating,” she told the radio duo. “I can understand what he’s going through, because I want to be at work. I hate missing games. I hate having to watch it on my TV and not be there.”

Watney said the concussion has left her feeling “foggy” and with a headache, but she’s on the mend. She said she hopes to get the OK to return to work soon because she’s going “stir crazy” in her apartment.

When asked if it was a “Three Stooges” or athletic accident, Watney said “probably more” Three Stooges.

She didn’t, however, say exactly how she got the concussion.

NESN spokesman Gary Roy said Watney is out on medical leave but wouldn’t disclose any more details, citing company policy.

“We hope that she will be cleared to return to work soon, but cannot set a date on when this will happen,” Roy said.

* * *

A postman who lost his job after being featured in a “Fox Undercover” investigation has slapped WFXT-TV (Ch. 25) with a $500,000 defamation suit.

Aldo Lamberti, a Wakefield father, was among three postal workers included in a Fox 25 piece that alleged the trio were smoking pot and trespassing on school property, according Lamberti’s lawsuit, filed in Middlesex Superior Court.

According to the lawsuit, the WFXT employee, which it does not name, “makes the claim of illegal drug use devoid of any fact,” while adding “unsubstantiated commentary” over TV footage shot “without the permission” of Lamberti or the two other postal workers.

In the lawsuit, attorney Julian Lebeck said the Fox 25 employee “furthered their negligence” when they showed the edited footage to Lamberti’s employer as part of the story.

The employee “willfully misrepresented the facts and/or fictionalized the events” to boost ratings, according to the lawsuit.

After the story aired, the complaint said, Lamberti lost his job and was “ostracized” in his community. The lawsuit says the story was made with “wanton disregard.”

When asked about the lawsuit yesterday, a Fox 25 spokesperson said, “We are aware of the lawsuit.”

Lamberti did not return a message left at his home yesterday. Lebeck did not return a call seeking comment.

* * *

It was a big day for sports in the Hub Monday, but the Boston Marathon had the Red Sox beat when it came to TV viewers. The race averaged 150,200 total viewers on WBZ-TV (Ch. 4) compared to the Sox game on NESN, which averaged 83,300 viewers. Marathon viewing was at its highest when the first of the runners crossed the finish line, with 238,100 people tuning in.

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