Erin Andrews left ESPN in July and signed with Fox. Since then, she’s been a studio host for college football, an on-field reporter during Fox’s MLB jewels and the NFL Postseason. This weekend, she was included in Fox’s Daytona 500 coverage with an interview with driver Brad Keselowski and an awkward instance where she walked on pit road in an attempt to get an interview with Danica Patrick, but had to shut down hip hop artist Fifty Cent instead.
While the Fifty Cent moment will go down with the Joe Namath/Suzy Kolber attempted kiss on ESPN, we note that thus far, Erin’s tenure with Fox has not been stellar. Her stint as college football studio host was criticized by many observers as was her time as a reporter on the MLB Postseason. And her appearance on Daytona today looked very disjointed.
As Andrews was negotiating a new contract with ESPN last year, there didn’t appear to be a suitor until Fox came along. Erin’s popularity was mostly over her quick hits as a college football and basketball sideline reporter. She was given the hosting role for the first hour of College GameDay on ESPNU, but the Alleged Worldwide Leader kept her mostly on the sidelines. Fox is trying to promote Andrews as one of its stars, but as for now, she doesn’t have the right vehicle.
With Fox Sports 1 and 2 on the horizon, perhaps an occasional interview special would work. Erin will return in the fall as the studio host for college football, however, in three months plus, she failed to establish good chemistry with analysts Eddie George and Joey Harrington. In fact, Fox’s other college football studio host, Patrick O’Neal seemed to be a better fit with them.
And if she ever got a role on Fox’s World Cup coverage, the soccer community might explode even worse than it did when Fox announced that Gus Johnson would call games.
While other women have established themselves as solid studio hosts, Linda Cohn, Hannah Storm, Chris McKendry, Wendi Nix and Suzy Kolber, Erin has yet to reach their level.
And looking at the other ESPN free agent who left last year, NBC was able to find the right vehicles for Michelle Beadle, big events like the Kentucky Derby, Olympics and the NFL season opener, The Crossover (although the ratings are low) and Access Hollywood.
There’s still time for Erin to find her footing on Fox, but as for now, she has yet to find it.
UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: From Dan Bell, Fox Sports: “We have the right role for her. As a host and reporter. Her Keslowski (sic) interview was good. That moment on pit road was not her fault. She was supposed to interview a few more drivers as she walked but they were a little late getting there. Danica as well.“