Erin Andrews is replacing Pam Oliver as Fox's top NFL sideline reporter for the upcoming season, Sports Illustrated reported Monday
. The 19-season veteran correspondent will move to Fox's No. 2 broadcast team before being phased out of NFL coverage entirely in 2015.
According to SI.com, the 53-year-old Oliver was first informed of the network's decision back in April. She was initially told she would be off the NFL broadcasts completely, but after negotiations with her agent and Fox officials, it was decided that she'll finish off her 20th NFL season with the No. 2 sideline team.
Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll
"To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking," Oliver told 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."
But Oliver won't be totally gone from Fox Sports. She reportedly signed a multiyear contract last week to work on long-form pieces, produce specials, and helm big interviews for the network, according to SI.com.
"I think in the last five years we have made a lot of changes with the NFL crews," Fox Sports president Eric Shanks said of the Andrews-Oliver switch. "We have made changes to keep our coverage across the board fresh, including the addition of [Kevin] Burkhardt and [John] Lynch — which has been one of the more exciting pairings we have put together. This is kind of the next move in that evolution."
No comment yet from Andrews, the 36-year-old face of Fox who found some mainstream recognition as a co-host on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" this year.
Some insiders say Oliver's ousting had to do with Andrews being a better fit for Fox.
"[Oliver's] not blonde, nor is she in the demographic," one veteran NFL reporter told SI.com. "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."
Urgent: Assess Your Heart Attack Risk in Minutes. Click Here.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.