Sometimes, it's time to move on.
For Erin Andrews, that was the case. After eight years in the fishbowl that is ESPN, the Lewiston, Maine-born Andrews finished up her contract at the Worldwide Leader last weekend, and was immediately brought on at FOX Sports, which jubilantly announced her hiring in a gushing press release.
The network announced the move as "the popular Erin Andrews, one of sports television’s brightest stars, rejoins the FOX Sports family." The previous connection to FOX was a short one - Andrews had gotten her start in the business as a sports reporter at FOX Sports Florida in 2000 after graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunications.
It wasn't always strictly about sports for Andrews at ESPN, as she also finished third in the 10th season of Dancing with the Stars, served as a correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America, and endured a well-publicized stalking incident. Her over 1.3 million Twitter followers attest to her popularity.
Her new role at FOX will also cross between sports and entertainment. Andrews’ position includes hosting a new prime time college football pregame show for the network.
Andrews gives FOX Sports a superstar to launch their first season of over-the-air college football coverage. The new 30-minute college football pregame show, will originate live each week from the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles.
FOX's first season of college football kicks-off on Saturday, Sept. 1 (7:30 PM ET) as Hawaii visits USC, live from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The Executive Producer, Co-President & COO, FOX Sports Media Group, Eric Shanks., had this to say about the hiring of Andrews:
“Opportunities to add someone of Erin Andrews’ caliber don’t come along often and we’re thrilled to welcome her back to the FOX Sports family,” said Shanks. “Erin is one of the hardest-working, most-respected individuals in sports television and we expect her to have an immediate impact. In addition to having her anchor our new college football show and studio coverage, we expect her to be a big contributor to our MLB and NFL coverage as well as other major events.”
Andrews will make her FOX debut next Tuesday night during the network's coverage of the 83rd MLB All Star game in Kansas City. Andrews will report from the All Star dugouts during the game, talking to players about their journey to All Star status.
While details about her role on FOX's NFL coverage have not yet been released, but given her high profile, it seems to reason that she will be not be used as an in-game sideline reporter, but perhaps as a feature reporter for the FOX NFL Sunday pregame show.
The move from ESPN to FOX might be seen as something of a step down, but Andrews appears ready to perhaps scale things back a little bit. She told Michael Hiestand of USA Today in an interview that ran on Monday, "I need a life. I need to start thinking about starting a family at some point."
In other ways though, Andrews may have many more opportunities in the entertainment side of things with FOX, which is something she's interested in pursuing. She told Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated this week that she's always wanted to do something in entertainment, "But I wanted to take care of my sports contract before I worried about anything else," she said. "There are some things we are talking about right now and possibly looking at."
ESPN can be a draining place to work for a broadcaster. Andrews joins Michelle Beadle as a high-profile personality to have recently left Bristol behind for opportunities beyond the world of sports, and perhaps to escape the magnifying glass that comes with being at ESPN.
For the 34-year-old Andrews, life is good right now, as she embarks on the next stage of her career.