Erin Andrews is taking over as Fox’s top sideline reporter for the 2014 season. Andrews will replace Pam Oliver and work with the broadcast duo of Troy Aikman and Joe Buck, while Oliver will join Fox’s No. 2 team of Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch for her 20th season with the network.
Oliver, who said she was very disappointed to hear of the news, told Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch that this upcoming season will be her last as a sideline reporter with Fox. She said Fox Sports executives traveled to Atlanta last April to give her the bad news in person.
“To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking,” Oliver explained. “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.”
One anonymous veteran NFL reporter told Deitsch that he believes the change has to do with looks.
“She’s not blonde, nor is she in the demographic,” the reporter said. “I’m not naïve and I understand it’s a business, but I think that Fox did not treat her as befits a woman who has been the female face of their sports operation for the past 19 years.”
Oliver turned 53 in March. Andrews is 36. It was widely assumed that Andrews would one day be Fox’s top sideline reporter when the network hired her away from ESPN. Andrews will now get to enjoy more of this craziness from Richard Sherman.
And Oliver didn’t exactly enjoy her best season as a reporter last year: