The news is in: Erin Andrews will reportedly replace Pam Oliver as Fox Sports’ No. 1 NFL sideline reporter this coming season, according to Sports Illustrated. Pam Oliver will move to the No. 2 NFL sideline reporter role for this coming NFL season, and then take a role doing long-form pieces, major interviews, and producing, mostly for Showtime’s “60 Minutes Sports.”
It was a shock to Oliver when Fox Sports executives traveled to Atlanta, where Oliver is based, to tell her in person that she would not only be replaced as the No. 1 NFL sideline reporter but that she would also be taken off the NFL sidelines completely in 2014.
“To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking,” Oliver said to SI.com. “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.”
Fox Sports President Eric Shanks told SI.com, “I think in the last five years we have made a lot of changes with the NFL crews,” Shanks said. “We have made changes to keep our coverage across the board fresh, including the addition of Burkhardt and Lynch -– which has been one of the more exciting pairings we have put together. This is kind of the next move in that evolution.”
Oliver has a different take on it, however. “I live in the real world and I know that television tends to get younger and where women are concerned,” said Oliver, who is 53. “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.”
For this coming NFL season, Oliver will be on the sidelines reporting as part of the No. 2 Fox team of Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch. Erin Andrews will join the No. 1 Fox team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, just a little less than two years after she left ESPN to join Fox Sports. Recently, she has been the co-host to the latest season of Dancing with the Stars.
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