Pam Oliver has been Fox’s top NFL sideline reporter for nearly two decades, but the network has informed her that she is being replaced this season. Erin Andrews is going to take Oliver’s sideline job and Oliver will be moved to Fox’s No. 2 team for her 20th year.
Andrews will be joining Joe Buck and Troy Aikman and Oliver’s new team will include Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch — but will no longer be on the sidelines.
Pam Oliver said she has had a chance to digest the news, which was relayed to her back in April.
“To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking,” Oliver told Sports Illustrated. “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.”
After receiving the news, Oliver said she met with other networks, but eventually decided to stick with Fox.
But some are wondering what Fox’s decision-making process looked like. A “veteran NFL reporter” talked with Sports Illustrated on the condition of anonymity.
“She’s not blonde, nor is she in the demographic,” said the reporter. “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.”
Andrews is continuing her duties as the host of Dancing With the Stars, a job she was given after a shocked Brooke Burke-Charvet was let go.
But Oliver seems happy for her friend and thinks she deserves the job. She explained, “I think Erin is solid. They have made a determination and it just happened to be with a position I had held for almost 20 years. For people to pit us against each other is not necessary and not going to get far if the two of us don’t participate.”