Erin Andrews Taking Over Pam Oliver's Job On Fox's No. 1 NFL Sideline Reporting Team
Erin Andrews has been promoted to Fox’s No. 1 NFL sideline reporting team, replacing the network’s 20-year sideline veteran Pam Oliver.
Erin Andrews Replacing Pam Oliver
Oliver broke the news about the shakeup at Fox to Sports Illustrated on Sunday. She revealed that though Fox initially planned to move her completely away from sideline reporting for what would be her 20th season, she managed to secure a spot on the network's No. 2 sideline team for the coming season alongside Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch. After the 2014 NFL season, Oliver will be done with sideline reporting for good.
Andrews, who came to Fox from ESPN in 2012, has been more or less waiting in the wings to take over Oliver's erstwhile spot on the network's No. 1 team with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Oliver has known about the change for a few months, during which time she's been able to move past her feelings of disappointment.
Oliver Reacts To Fox's Decision
“Disappointment is not really a word I’d use right now because I’ve had some weeks to process it,” said Oliver, who has known about the switch since April. “I think my emotions during the season will be sadness because I had been around that group for a decade."
Oliver added, "But you have to move forward and deal with what is on your plate. I went through a range of emotions, but as I speak with you today, disappointment has passed me and I have reached a point of trying to move forward with some sadness."
Oliver suggested that her job performance was not the reason she was getting supplanted on the sidelines, implying that Andrews taking over for her was likely in the younger TV reporter's contract with Fox. And while Oliver was content to stay on at Fox and fill the new position they have waiting for her, she had insisted that she get to do a twentieth year on the sidelines – even if that's with the No. 2 team.
“To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking,” Oliver said. “I said I wanted to do a 20th year [on the sidelines]. I expressed to them that I was not done and had something to offer. Again, I think it was predetermined coming in. Not at that meeting, but two years ago it was determined that no matter what I did or did not do, a change would be made for this year.”
The NFL reporter has maintained that she holds no hard feelings towards Andrews, 17 years her junior. “I live in the real world and I know that television tends to get younger where women are concerned,” Oliver said. “Just turn on your TV. It’s everywhere. And I’m not saying these younger girls don’t deserve a chance. I know I’ve had my turn.”
Oliver's New Position At Fox
As for the new position Oliver will be filling, she signed a new multi-year contract with an expanded role with Fox Sports. Per the contract, she'll be doing long-form pieces, high-profile interviews and sports specials for the network. She'll also do some producing work.
“Clearly it’s an expanded role that meets the needs of all the big events that Fox and Fox Sports 1 covers as well as the NFL on Fox,” said Fox Sports president Eric Shanks. “I can’t think of a more respected person in the entire industry than Pam Oliver, and when you find out that Pam is going to be doing the interview, I don’t think you would say that anyone else would do the interview better. Her being a part of the Fox family now and in the future is really important to us.”
Andrews has yet to comment on her promotion.