Fox Sports' Pam Oliver opens up to Essence.com about demotion

Fox Sports' Pam Oliver opens up to Essence.com about demotion
New York Daily News' photo of Pam Oliver, looking forward to an uncertain future with Fox Sports

Notes from my Facebook page, Sunday September 7, 2014:

"I just wanted to FYI you that I happened to watch the game that Pam Oliver was doing (Saints-Falcons) and it seemed to me that her role was greatly reduced within the broadcast."

Former MLB.com writer and good friend

Notes from Pam Oliver's new interview at  Essence.com:

"It’s not difficult to notice that the new on-air people there are all young, blond and “hot”

Fox Sports sideline reporter Pam Oliver, breaking her silence to Essence Magazine 

Fox Sports' Pam Oliver is finally talking about her sudden ouster from the A-list sideline of football after two decades.

Oliver, who spent nearly 20 years on Fox Sports' A-team trading quips with Troy Aikman and Joe Buck, is 53, a gorgeous African-American who broke barriers for all women covering sports when was hired to peruse the sideline for interesting in-game stories. She became one of the most respected sideline reporters in the business.

In July, Fox Sports announced 'a change' for the upcoming NFL season. Younger, blond, (and Caucasian) Erin Andrews, host of 'Dancing With the Stars,' and late of ESPN College GameDay, sparking cries of ageism, racism, and pandering to the perceived preferences of the male-dominated audience.

In a first-person interview in the October issue of  Essence, which could be titled "How Pam Got Her Groove Back," Oliver comes clean, saying, among other things:

  • Despite all denials by Fox executives, it WAS a demotion
  • She was hurt
  • She respects Erin Andrews
  • She got her 20th year on the sidelines at a heavy price
  • She found her inner strength, resilience and resolve
  • She's looking forward to her future at FoxSports (FS)1

Oliver is a class act, saying no racism is involved. I still find that suspect, given virtually every woman hired at Fox Sports and Fox News are essentially the same person..Caucasian. Mostly blonde.  The variety, as one person pointed out in my last article, is eye color. Brown or Blue. Some hazel.

Where does that leave Oliver now?

Even though she's on the sidelines, she's not going to be doing much. There's no excuse for that. She's proven herself, for God's sake.  Give her some respect and dignity...let her do what her fans have become accustomed to....in-depth analysis, sideline interviews, and the analysis that has represented the best of Fox Sports for 19 seasons. Why humiliate her? What's the point? It just makes Fox look bad.

Another few suggestions for Fox executives:

  • In order to 'ease' her transition...let's feature one of those long-form interviews during the interminable Fox Sports Sunday broadcasts each week. 
  • It won't be so difficult to imagine her doing those interviews after this season. Fans will follow Oliver to FS1, as you want them to do.
  • CBS Sports Network is coming out with an all-female sports talk show. Now is the time for FS1 to do the same. Let's have Oliver moderate such a show. To have Oliver surrounded by the 'hot blondes' would be a nice contrast.

What do you think?

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