Pam Oliver’s 20th season on the sidelines for FOX will be her last

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The upcoming season will be Pam Oliver’s 20th as a sideline reporter at FOX.  It also will be her last as a sideline reporter at FOX.

As explained by Richard Deitsch of SI.com, Oliver will leave the sidelines after the 2014 campaign.  For her farewell tour, she’ll bid adieu to the No. 1 Joe Buck/Troy Aikman broadcast team, sliding to the No. 2 outfit.  Erin Andrews will be promoted to the top spot.

Oliver told Deitsch she got the news in April.

“To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking,” Oliver explained. “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, 53, has nevertheless signed a long-term deal to remain with FOX in a variety of roles. Per Deitsch, Oliver will work on long-form features, specials, and major interviews. She’ll also do some work as a producer.

“Clearly it’s an expanded role that meets the needs of all the big events that FOX and FOX Sports 1 covers as well as the NFL on Fox,” FOX Sports president Eric Shanks told Deitsch.  “I can’t think of a more respected person in the entire industry than Pam Oliver, and when you find out that Pam is going to be doing the interview, I don’t think you would say that anyone else would do the interview better. Her being a part of the FOX family now and in the future is really important to us. The move is hugely positive to where FOX Sports is going and building its journalistic chops and credibility 365 days and not just 17 days a year.”

As Deitsch points out, if FOX feels so strongly about Oliver’s journalistic chops, why won’t she still be chopping some in-game journalism wood from the sidelines of NFL games?

The answer could be the simplest and most obvious one.  Some (not all, but some) networks view sideline reporting as a blend of in-game journalism and in-game eye candy, with a loose sliding scale balancing the two. Right or wrong, Oliver understands that.

“I live in the real world and I know that television tends to get younger and where women are concerned,” Oliver told Deitsch. “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.”

The real world also has real laws against age and gender discrimination, and it seems to be only a matter of time before a network gets a turn at defending against a lawsuit raising one or both of those claims.

98 responses to “Pam Oliver’s 20th season on the sidelines for FOX will be her last

  1. The industry mindset is basically that at 53, she can still do sideline reporting — on radio.

  2. I don’t think her phony baloney “hard-hitting” interviews have served her well, either. She never found juice that interested me but rather came across as contrived.

  3. Speaking of eye candy, didn’t Fox also just sign Holly Sonders away from thr Golf Channel for both golf and NFL coverage?

  4. oh wait, they decided to get rid of the rude and moody sideline reporter with the one that’s personable? never cared from Oliver, she always seemed so grumpy and had ZERO chemistry to Aikman and Buck. good riddance.

  5. I’ve thought for the last few years that Pam Oliver was a tired act. And she came across at times unprepared and aloof. She was good with older veteran players… but again, tired act.

  6. Did somebody say Erin Andrews? Maybe it will be worth watching games now; can’t Stand Troy aikman biased commentary and joe buck, well, just being himself

  7. Interesting that FOX Sports is putting Ms. Oliver out to pasture while continuing the prominent employment of one Terry Bradshaw.

    One also has to wonder how much of this decision was based on the concussion Oliver sustained last year while at work.

  8. I always liked her. The new 53 looks more like 33 so I think she should continue on T.V. She will be missed.

  9. Mike, when was the last (or only) time you defended someone against age discrimination? That is big talk, but as someone who is having one hell of a time getting work at 61 y.o. how does that help someone like me? A law is only as good as it can be used, and age discrimination is hard to prove against employers who hire the young.

  10. Who cares…

    Fox’s coverage of NFL is garbage…

    from the pre-game show to coverage of the games themselves; just garbage

    they would be doing the NFL world a favor by dumping Joe Buck and promoting Sam Rosen to the #1 team

  11. None of this affects the vikings who never get the #1 or #2 broadcast team.

    Last season Joe, Troy and Pam did half of the Packers games. Pam stays in the tunnel when it gets cold not on the sidelines. We’ll see how Erin handles the cold.

    It is interesting that the #1 broadcast team goes to the game with the highest expected ratings, not necessarily the game with the two best records.

  12. She has been so lucky to get a shot to make a living on TV, let alone at that level. It’s nice to see her recognize things for what they are, and recognize her amazing fortune.

    Make no mistake, there are literally 10,000 people that could do that job, if not would nearly do it for free, and Oliver has made a great career of her great fortune.

  13. Anybody who watches football on Fox would have to agree they got rid of the wrong person on that announce trio.

  14. Not that she did a horrible job, but I never thought that she did a great job or was effective enough at it. They need to set the bar higher in terms of broadcasting teams in a large number of roles for the coverage of these telecasts, so whatever changes they need to make to do things better is what they should be doing. If Erin Andrews is the best person to take over for Pam then so be it, just do a great job then.

    I guess I’m just super picky, and I’m less interested in what the journalist looks like and more interested in their football acumen and their ability to aggressively think up smart questions, and in order to do that they have to be sharp and understand football and know how to probe for good potential material. I would feel more comfortable knowing what kind of tests or examination that Erin Andrews was put through to take over this job, because that information could remove any doubt that there is a superficial reason for the change. She does deserve credit for helping to set up that very memorable Richard Sherman moment with the “who was talking about you question”, although I was pretty disappointed that she cut off the interview before probing him just a bit more but maybe she was told to stop by some moronic director so I can’t hold that against her too much except for that she should have denied her orders and asked him more questions anyhow if that was the case.

  15. I saw her in person at a couple games over the last few years. There’s a reason they only show her from the waist up. A BIG reason. Just sayin…

  16. Sideline reporting is such a useless part of the coverage. It’s no offense to the women who do it, most of them are professionals and perform the job well. It’s just not a necessary part of the coverage, the interview with coaches is always pointless and uninformative and as are the tidbits given during the game. The only information that sideline reporters give that is useful is injury information.

  17. Pam Oliver has been fantastic. Very sorry to see her go. It’s a disgrace that Fox dumped her because she is 53 and not a bleached blonde white woman. Nothing personally against Erin Andrews but I’ve never found her to be any good as a reporter and its a big dropoff from Oliver to Andrews.

  18. No matter how hard any of these women try, if you have not actually played the game you really no nothing about how the game works and can add little to the conversation except to entertain the unknowing audience itself…..

  19. She looks AMAZING for 53.

    That said:

    A. Erin Andrews is hotter, and

    B. Whenever the play-by-play says, “let’s go to the sidelines, with (whoever)…” I immediately subconsciously think to myself please let this end now and get back to football.

  20. unclebuck: You’re arguing that women can’t report on football because they never played? Does that extend to males as well? So every analyst, reporter etc. that reports on football has to be a former player? That is ridiculous and it would make the coverage awful. I think that sideline reporting is useless, but having to have played the game to understand it is absurd.

  21. This move seems questionable on first glance. On the surface it looks like Fox is pushing Oliver to the side to usher in a younger, prettier face; and Andrews suits the look of your typical Fox female reporter perfectly. Yet, Andrews is a consummate professional, and is very good at her job. She’s also one of the biggest names when it comes to female reporters, so it makes sense that Fox would want her on their “A” team. And it’s not like they fired Pam Oliver–it sounds like she’ll still have a very important part in Fox’s sports reporting. They just moved her to a different role, even though this move did seem to happen against the wishes of Oliver.

    The part that doesn’t make sense to me is just a matter of how their “A” team is constructed. At best, swapping Oliver for Andrews is a lateral move. They are both top flight reporters, so having one over the other isn’t really going to make a difference. However, Oliver was the best part of that A team. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman aren’t very…. good. If you’re going to reform your top crew, why get rid of the best part, and leave the two weaker parts?

  22. Lesley Visser was shoved from the sidelines around the same age (although she did look significantly older than Pa does now), so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Michelle Tafoya will be the next one shoved out since she turns 50 this year.

  23. Yippee?! So what? Brings nothing to the game. None of the other sickened yappers do either.

  24. Could we please retire those abominations Joe Buck and Terry Bradshaw?

    Buck single-handedly ruined Superbowl 42 and made one of the most exciting plays of this decade seem like a monotone routine play. This guy should stick to baseball or maybe something more his personality – like figure skating or clay pigeon shooting

  25. Sexism? on TV? Duh, you think.

    If I took photos up women’s dresses like those TV camera crotch shots of cheerleaders every game, I would go to jail.

  26. Imagine where we would be without sideline reporters.

    No one to tell you the guy carted off in a knee brace has a knee injury.

    No one to tell you the losing team at halftime has to make adjustments.

    No one to ask a coach what happened in the first half even though we all just saw everything.

    No one to show you neat props like special shoes a player is wearing, pink towels, helmet microphones, etc.

  27. Great. Just what the world needs, another tall, white, leggy blonde with hair too long and curly. Jeez, give it a rest, they’re everywhere!

  28. I don’t know, maybe it had more to do with her jerky pre-NY Super Bowl comments. After those I can think of dozens of more respected persons in the industry then Pam Oliver.

  29. All sideline reporters ask stupid questions but Pam Oliver has been getting the shaft since she called out Donovan McNabb for lying about about her.

  30. 20 years on TV is a long freaking run. I mean that is like “Gunsmoke” long. And she still has a job so it’s not like she is out in the cold or something.

    Good luck and best wishes to Pam Oliver!

  31. golforepar says: Jul 14, 2014 11:48 AM

    Check it out She has bigger hands than “Baby hands” Bridgewater!
    ————–
    bobnelsonjr says: Jul 14, 2014 11:53 AM

    None of this affects the vikings who never get the #1 or #2 broadcast team.
    ————–

    Doesn’t matter what the topic is. Trolls will be trolls. Even thepftpoet managed to make a comment without going there…

  32. I liked Pam but she sure is twitchy. Seriously, look at her SB clips… she can’t hold still! Made me wonder if maybe she had a medical problem brewing or something…

  33. Have to get Erin on the sideline for more of those awkward Richard Sherman moments where she looks like a deer in headlights, lol. Sure can’t keep her in the studio much longer because she’s pretty awful at that.

  34. There’s nothing wrong with age discrimination. People seem to understand it pretty well when it comes to pro athletes who can’t physically perform the task their jobs require, but many can’t seem to apply that same idea to other lines of work. Pam Oliver understands and accepts how it affects her, so why even push the issue?

  35. footballviewer says:
    Jul 14, 2014 12:02 PM
    Pam Oliver has been fantastic. Very sorry to see her go. It’s a disgrace that Fox dumped her because she is 53 and not a bleached blonde white woman. Nothing personally against Erin Andrews but I’ve never found her to be any good as a reporter and its a big dropoff from Oliver to Andrews.
    ____________________________________

    I doubt that it had anything to do with her race. She was just too old (not that I approve of that reason either).

  36. Sideline Reporters are treated similar to athletes. Always somebody younger and cheaper. Pam Oliver was not that great but 20 years at the same job does say something

  37. Nothing worse on a sports broadcast than a little reporterette stalking the coaches at the end of each half. They ask dumb questions and the coaches do their best to say nothing. What a waste of time!

  38. And Erin Andrews is suppose to be an upgrade? It would be nice if fans didn’t have to stomach these airhead twits and would have the benefit of commentary by legitimate sports figures who actually knew what they were talking about and weren’t put in front of the camera as tokens! Compared to Erin Andrews,Pam Oliver is a rocket scientist and she should be relieved to no longer be relegated to the role of a cartoon character!

  39. She’s always seemed like a nice, friendly,good-humored gal who was liked by the people she interviewed. Professional and did her job well. Erin Andrews is a step down.

  40. As long as there no plugs for probiotics on the sideline, this change will be ok.

  41. Will Aikman and Buck have to step down also when they get to 53? Oh they are already. Excuse me. Their looks have not been as kind to them.

  42. Too bad Erin plays down her good looks. Watch basketball broadcasts of her standing along the sideline between segments, when you can see her entire body. Wow. Even still, the ace bandage she wears under her blouse isn’t helping.

  43. Some like Pam, Some don’t. Some like Andrews. Some don’t.

    Is the sideline reporter going to have any effect on if you watch a game?

    Its a totally unimportant, over paid and over talked about job.

    If you want the eye candy either provides you can get all you want on the internet (possibly more than Andrews would like) rather than the 15 seconds of a mostly head shot before each half.

  44. nothing lost, nothing gained.

    and dont forget that erin andrews is still around ONLY because of her sexy hotel pics. you think she gets on dancing with the stars/commercials/etc bc of her awesome sideline reporting talent? grow up

  45. Pam still looks good for 53. I thought she was younger. All I know is she is hot. Used to be really hot, now she is just hot. I guess that means no more face time for Pam.

  46. Nothing against Pam Oliver, but sideline announcers as a whole have always seemed like a huge waste of air time to me. They rarely ever have anything insightful to say, and virtually all of the their occasional interesting insights could have just as easily been passed on to someone in the main booth.

  47. Sideline reporter: Coach what will you have to do today to beat this talented team?
    Coach: Score more points

  48. Pam Oliver blazed the trail and she is STILL smoking hot! Andrews is an air head. In the NFC champ game her interview with Sherman was a joke. Obviously she thought he was talking about her instead of Crabtree at first and showed she was offended. The there was the non-kiss with 50 cent @ Daytona. Oliver doesn’t have those kind of impressions because she was always a professional

  49. She should have been canned years ago when she suggested that race was the reason the bears didn’t extend Lovie smith after 2005 and completely ignored the fact that they extended jauron after one good year and it blew up in their face

  50. Talk about good fortune, 20 years and I have yet to get what she brought to the broadcast

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