On to the next! Erin Andrews will replace longtime NFL sideline reporter Pam Oliver in the No. 1 team at FOX Sports this fall. Oliver directly confirmed the news to Sports Illustrated on Sunday, July 13, revealing that it was initially painful after nearly 20 years with the network.
"To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking," Oliver, 53, told SI. "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."
Dancing With the Stars co-host Andrews, 36, was lured from ESPN by FOX Sports in 2012. Oliver was told of the changes last April, when the network's executives flew down to Atlanta (where she resides) to deliver the news in person.
Oliver's new duties will include focusing on long-form pieces, producing, and reporting on Showtime specials. She will also still be a sideline reporter, only for the number two team (as opposed to the top team with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman) in the upcoming season.
Oliver said nothing negative about her younger replacement, but remarked: "I live in the real world and I know that television tends to get younger where women are concerned." She added, "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."
Still, Oliver commented that Andrews "is solid."
"It's not necessary to feel something [bad] toward the person who is assuming your formal role," she said. "You just understand that they have changed. The crews could change too. In a few years I think FOX will look radically different. I don't know how, but you have your thoughts and opinions. 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."