Pam Oliver, a mainstay on big NFL broadcasts for almost two decades, will be demoted this year and removed from her longtime role as sideline reporter next year.
SI.com's Richard Deitsch had the news that Oliver will be replaced by another familiar face on Fox's No. 1 NFL team: Erin Andrews. Andrews has been a huge star in the TV media field for a decade now, but it will still be strange to see Oliver getting phased out.
Oliver told Deitsch that Fox Sports officials came to Atlanta, where she lives, in April to tell her that she wouldn't be on sideline reporting duty at all in 2014. The story said Oliver asked that she be able to do a 20th season, and Fox Sports agreed. She'll be on Fox's No. 2 team of Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch this season.
"I think it was predetermined coming in," Oliver told SI.com. "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.”
Fox Sports' spin to SI.com is that Oliver will be in a more expanded role, doing long-form pieces, major interviews and producing, mostly for Showtime's "60 Minutes Sports." It's pretty easy to see through that. The sad fact is, as Oliver pointed out, even lasting 19 years in her role as a female sideline reporter is rare.
“But I live in the real world and I know that television tends to get younger and where women are concerned,” Oliver, who is 53, told SI.com. “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.”
This a pretty major change for NFL broadcasts. Oliver did good work for a long time in a job that can be much more difficult than it looks. It will take a while to get used to not seeing Oliver on the sideline.
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