The so-called “promotion” of Pam Oliver at Fox: Deserved better

While I was gone, I only had occasional access to email. However, this release from Fox Sports caught my eye. It began:

“Pam Oliver, one of the premier reporters and interviewers in sports television, has been elevated to senior correspondent, FOX Sports, effectively immediately.”

I laughed, as did other media watchers, at the notion that Fox Sports was “elevating” Oliver while replacing her with Erin Andrews on its No. 1 NFL team. Oliver now will work with the No. 2 team.

Oliver deserved better after spending 19 years on Fox’s top NFL crew. She always was solid and was respected for her work.

But she knows it is a business. Fox made a huge investment in signing Andrews. Previous attempts to showcase her haven’t worked. Her role as a studio host for the network’s college football shows were miserable failures.

So it is back to the sidelines for Andrews, where she now will be seen in primetime with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News scolded Fox for the move Sunday:

Yet the kind of experience Oliver brought to the table, her years of outstanding work, meant nothing to Fox Sports suits. When it comes to ageism, sexism, and double standards, the Foxies are now officially triple threats. Shanks probably spent more time counting the wrinkles on Oliver’s forehead than the number of quality reports she delivered over the course of her career. Or maybe it was her hair he was concerned with.

The bet here is Andrews is going to get more face time than any other sideline reporter in the business. The Foxies didn’t make this switch to keep her in cold storage. And if Shanks doesn’t like how Andrews ultimately performs (or looks), he can “borrow” one of the many blond talkers on Fox News Channel’s roster.

Raissman wasn’t alone in that assessment. I don’t completely agree. I think the move mostly was motivated by maximizing the investment in Andrews. They need to justify the big money they gave her.


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