Game Change: Pam Oliver Breaks Her Silence on Her Career Shake-up

Game Change: Pam Oliver Breaks Her Silence on Her Career Shake-up

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(Essence) – 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. Two years earlier, Fox Sports had hired Erin Andrews, a high-profile side-line reporter from ESPN, and I knew they hadn’t brought her on just to be a benchwarmer. Colleagues, and even coaches and players, would come up to me and say things like, “Boy, you’re handling this well. You’re really a class act.” But I let the rumors roll off my back. Without official confirmation about a change in my position, I decided I was going to do my work like I always had. Still, I was humiliated.

My bosses finally called a meeting in April. One was in New York City, the other was in Los Angeles, and they both flew to Atlanta. It showed a lot of respect that they chose to meet with me in person instead of delivering the news through my agent. They could have done all this without ever looking me in the eye. Still, it wasn’t an easy conversation. It took a while, but eventually it got down to them saying they wanted to “change direction within the company.” They told me they’d like me to work on Fox Sports 1 (the fledgling secondary cable sports channel Fox launched in 2013) to help give FS1 more reporting credibility. They wanted me to work primarily on specials and long-form stories, but I told them I still wanted to do sideline reporting. It was important to me to have a twentieth season—to end on 19 is wack! I wanted 20.

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