Fox’s top NFL sideline reporter will be no more.
On Sunday night, veteran African-American sports reporter Pam Oliver confirmed to SI.com that she will be leaving her post on the No. 1 sideline team and moving to the network’s No. 2 team for the upcoming broadcasting season. Erin Andrews will replace her.
Like anyone losing a position lasting two decades long, Oliver struggled with the news at first. “To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking,” she said.
Fox Sports president, Eric Shanks, said Oliver’s switch was part of the many changes they’ve made “to keep our coverage across the board fresh.” But an anonymous NFL veteran reporter offered another opinion. “She’s not blonde, nor is she in the demographic,” said the reporter. Oliver is 53, and Andrews is 36.
Albeit the reasoning, Oliver remains positive about her new place. “Disappointment is not really the word I’d use right now because I’ve had some weeks to process it,” she said. “The No. 2 team is not chopped liver…It’s an up-and-coming crew and a really good group of guys. It’s not even remotely bad…I feel like I have landed in a pot of gold at this stage and how it could have gone. My role has changed. Sideline reporting is being phased out and I’m fortunate enough to get this year. I am lucky. I do know that.”