If Pam Oliver's surprise return to Fox Sports as a sideline reporter suggested anything, it's that the network regretted its previous decision to replace Oliver with reporter Erin Andrews. Oliver was shockingly demoted to Fox Sports 1, the network's secondary channel, in April 2014 where she continued to work on the sidelines, albeit with a low profile team.
This seemed like an end to her legacy of 20 years, however, a call from Fox Sports president Eric Shanks in January of 2015 reinstated Oliver to her former glory. In an interview with Sports Illustrated in March, she said, "I was shocked, floored, a monumental surprise. The call came out of the blue."
Fox Sports decided to give Oliver two more years on the sidelines, a stark contrast to their previous plans of removing her from the NFL sidelines altogether. Fox's decision to let Oliver go met with scorn from her fans, some of whom went as far as to call it racism. But Oliver was quick to dismiss any racial factors to her demotion.
She did, however, hinted that her age might have been the cause. In a personal essay for Essence magazine, she wrote, "The business is very demographic-oriented. As one executive said to me, Fox Sports will look radically different in the coming years. I assume that means they want to look younger..." Oliver was 53 then while her replacement, Andrews, was 36.
Now 55, Oliver is back to her calling. The veteran sports reporter continues to entertain the audience with her excellent reporting from the sidelines.