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Candidates' media kin honor 'firewall'
[December 03, 2009]

Candidates' media kin honor 'firewall'

Dec 03, 2009 (Boston Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- U.S. Senate hopeful Alan Khazei's favorite Boston newscast should come as no surprise. It's the one helmed by Channel 7 anchor Kim Khazei -- the City Year co-founder's cousin.

The pair, whose fathers are brothers, celebrated Thanksgiving together. Her three kids call him "Uncle Alan" and Alan Khazei says he and Kim are more like siblings than cousins.

"She's wonderful. I adore her. We're extremely close. She's more like my sister than my cousin," Alan Khazei tells MediaBiz.

The Brookline Democrat isn't the only candidate running for U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's old seat whose family includes a well-known member of the Boston media. Republican state Sen. Scott Brown is married to longtime WCVB-TV (Ch. 5) reporter Gail Huff.

While the Turkey Day chitchat at the Khazei gathering included his Senate run, Alan Khazei says there's a "firewall" between his WHDH-TV news anchor cousin and his campaign. He says his cuz can't interview him or be involved with his campaign.

"She's excited. Her cousin's running. If she could be involved, she'd be involved, but she can't because she's on Channel 7," he said.

"She's the best interviewer in town," he added. "I'd love to be interviewed by her. It's a sacrifice for me that I can't." While Alan Khazei gushed about his family ties, Brown turned down an interview request, and instead released this statement: "Scott Brown is very proud of his wife, but they have two separate careers -- one in media and one in politics -- and they work hard to keep their two careers separate." Kim Khazei, who declined comment, anchors Channel 7's news with Frances Rivera at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. She also delivers the 10 p.m. news on sister station WLVI-TV (Ch. 56). Channel 7 general manager Chris Wayland said she hasn't been campaigning for her kin.

"When he first entered the race, we clearly told our viewers that Alan Khazei is Kim's cousin," Wayland said. "When we are covering a story involving the U.S. Senate race, either Kim or Frances reads it." Channel 5's Huff hasn't reported on the U.S. Senate race or any political news stories since her husband announced his bid in September. She also isn't campaigning for or with her other half, the station said.

"The biggest challenge during this campaign is not attending any events together, even when they are non-political," Huff said in a statement. "It has created many lonely nights! But we recognize and respect the station's policies." "Occasionally, while out on assignment, people come up to me and ask about Scott and the campaign. When I explain that I do not discuss it for professional reasons, they always understand," added Huff, who was off the air yesterday after spraining her ankle while covering a fatal car crash.

Although Kim Khazei isn't out holding signs for her politically ambitious cousin, she has given him some sound advice.

"The main advice she said to me is, 'Alan, just be yourself. Just let your natural good nature, your idealism, your sense of humor and your thoughtfulness come through. You be yourself -- you'll win the election,' " Alan Khazei said.

------ Channel 7 and reporter Grant Greenberg have parted ways. Greenberg tells us Sunday was his last day at the station.

"It was a great three years," Greenberg said. "Now I'm excited to pursue some new opportunities back in New York, where I'm from." The station declined comment.

------ The online-only U.S. Senate race debate -- hosted by the Herald and Suffolk University -- fetched nearly 30,000 page views Monday. The showdown continues to draw more viewers online and is available on until Tuesday's primary. To see more of the Boston Herald or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2009, Boston Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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