After nearly 20 years with Fox Sports, Pam Oliver was more than a little shocked when she got wind of the fact that she was about to be sidelined by Dancing With the Stars co-host Erin Andrews.
Following the news, reported by Sports Illustrated in July, that 53-year-old Oliver was to be replaced by Andrews and moved down to the number two Fox team with Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch, the veteran reporter took her time before responding with her feelings on the matter.
Pam Oliver finally broke that silence in an interview published in Essence on Wednesday where she told the publication,
“Even before my bosses told me what was going on, there had been rumblings that my days as a sideline reporter were coming to an end. I knew they hadn’t brought her on just to be a benchwarmer.”
The Wrap reported today that instead of getting involved in a war of words with Oliver, Andrews decided to show respect by not saying anything to humiliate Oliver further.
When Oliver was asked if she thought the move had anything to do with race she said clearly,
“No. I definitely do not.”
When she was asked if it may have something to do with the 17 year age difference between her and Andrews she responded,
“Well, maybe. The business is very demographic-oriented. As one executive said to me, Fox Sports will look radically different in the coming years. I assume that means they want to look younger. It’s not difficult to notice that the new on-air people there are all young, blond and ‘hot.’ That’s not to say that Erin isn’t capable.”
Adding to her comments, Pam Oliver continued to speak about how social media may have had something to do with the sidelining. Oliver said about her replacement,
“She’s also popular on Twitter and social media, so I can see how that would also make her highly sought after. Still, covering the NFL is a big deal. Stations like ABC and NBC entrust their programming to veterans. So when people talk about all networks making a turn to a particular type of girl on the sidelines, it doesn’t hold water.”
Reading between the lines, it’s clear that, even though she is controlled with her words, Pam Oliver is upset, that she has been replaced by a younger woman.
Hopefully, she will realize that in life it often happens that ” one door opens as another door closes,” and a brighter future may yet await her.