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Andrews react: Twitter followers new barometer of popularity; Fox offered more opportunities

I was amused to see this line in the release announcing Fox Sports’ hiring of Erin Andrews:

Andrews, one of the most-followed sports television personalities on Twitter with over 1.3 million followers, returns to FOX Sports after spending eight years at ESPN.

It’s the first time I can recall seeing Twitter followers as a barometer of popularity. I have to say it’s not as if Andrews is firing up great content on her feed. Here are a couple of samples from the last couple of weeks.

ErinAndrews Yes, I’m the person that walks two terminals away at 6 am to get a sausage biscuit at the airport..don’t judge me #guiltypleasure

ErinAndrews Watching So You Think You Can Dance from last night..I always bawl my face off during this show..amazing talent & real emotions..

Oh, she did have insights from Bill Clinton on the new college playoff system.

ErinAndrews Btw The President Bill Clinton told me tonight, it will be no time before college football has an eight tm and 12 tm playoff

Still, if they’re using Twitter as a barometer of popularity, Adam Schefter has to be feeling good today. He has 1.65 million followers.

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Just like Michelle Beadle’s move to NBC Sports, Fox was able to offer Andrews more opportunities than staying at ESPN. In addition to hosting Fox’s new prime-time college football show, she also will be used on the network’s coverage of the NFL and MLB. Plus, and this is a big plus, there will be entertainment opportunities as well down the line.

From Richard Deitsch at SI.com:

“This was a difficult move but it was the right move because it’s allowing me  to do so many things that I probably would not have been able to do had I stayed  at ESPN,” Andrews told SI.com on Sunday night. “It’s a different way to expand  my role. I’m not tired yet. I don’t want to hang it up. I just need to get  better and these were different opportunities that I would not be able to find  anywhere but at Fox Sports.”

Andrews would not say what her specific role is on the NFL (Fox has sideline  openings) but that announcement is expected to come this week. “The NFL was a  huge thing; it’s always been a dream,” Andrews said. “I always wanted to work in  the NFL and they are offering me a role in it.”

However, speaking of life changes, here’s an interesting item from Andrews in Michael Hiestand’s column:

Like, say, motherhood. Andrews, 34, says she cut back on travel to games in her last ESPN deal. While she won’t elaborate on all her Fox duties — saying Fox will announce them this week — she says she realizes “I need a life. I need to start thinking about starting a family at some point.”

Is there a Mr. Andrews on the horizon? That should get the gossipers fired up.

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The hire makes sense for Fox. Andrews is an established name and young men like to watch college football.

Although I thought there was a bit of overkill in the first line of the release:

College football on FOX just became must-watch TV this fall as the popular Erin Andrews, one of sports television’s brightest stars, rejoins the FOX Sports family.

While her hiring will create a buzz, I’m sure not sure if Andrews qualifies as a “must-watch.” Unless, as I said, you’re a young man.

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As for ESPN, it has lost Beadle and Andrews, two of its biggest female personalities. However, I doubt they are going into a panic in Bristol. Remember this quote from John Skipper in USA Today in May:

The ESPN president said:

“Getting excited about people leaving is very overrated — whether it be executives or on-air. Mostly it gives somebody else a chance to shine. I can’t think of a single instance where losing a talent has been significantly debilitating to a specific program. I don’t think we’ve ever canceled a program because we couldn’t find somebody to do it.”

In other words, ESPN simply will reload.

 

 

 

 

 

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