Today it was announced that Pam Oliver will be returning to Fox Sports as she signed a new two year deal with the network to be the NFL sideline reporter through the 2016 season, pairing with the team of Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch and producer Pete Macheska and director Artie Kempner.
Last year Fox Sports set off a firestorm by demoting Oliver to the second team, and moving Erin Andrews up to the first team featuring Troy Aikman and Joe Buck. The 20 year media veteran was floored by the decision and media outlets, including The Shadow League, rushed to her defense, and rightfully so. It happened out of the blue and yet it appeared to fall in line with Fox’s subtle, yet obvious, on-air characteristic requirements for female broadcasters.
But Oliver decided to give it another two years, saying she was happy to work with her new team. “I felt I could do my thing, not without fear, but without dread of making a mistake. It was such a different feel, and this is no criticism of the A Group [Aikman, Joe Buck, producer Richie Zyontz and director Rich Russo]. But this is a different kind of group. I would bring seven ideas to the table with Pete, and he is very open and accommodating. I had a whole bunch of opportunities to add things. I felt I had I had more opportunities with Pete than I had with Richie [Zyontz] but I dont want this to sound like I am criticizing Richie. There was just a different energy and also knowing it was my last year, I just felt things were just easy and light.”
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