Tears followed Erin Andrews’ decision to sign a multiyear deal with FOX Sports, which on Sunday officially announced the studio host and sideline reporter will join its family of networks.
“It was very hard," said Andrews, who spent the past eight years at ESPN. "No matter where you work, if you spend that much time around people, you get to know them. There has been a lot of crying as I let people know."
Andrews, 34, will host a new 30-minute program that precedes FOX Sports’ first regular-season, over-the-air college football package, according to a news release. Coverage begins Sept. 1 as USC hosts Hawaii. She also will be "making significant contributions" to the network’s coverage of the NFL, MLB and other sports properties, according to the release.
Terms of the deal, outside of the fact it runs for multiple years, were not released.
“It came down to having an expanded role,” Andrews said. "I attended the University of Florida and college football has been a religion for me. I worked hard the last eight to 10 years covering the sport. To be part of FOX’s college football coverage and to make it a destination is exciting. And to be included in NFL coverage is something I always dreamed of."
Having a role in FOX’s baseball coverage especially interested Andrews.
“My grandfather died before the Red Sox won (their first World Series in 86 years in 2004),” Andrews said. “I wasn’t able to cover that World Series, but my dad and I were there for the ring ceremony. I got a hat that day and put it on top of my grandfather’s grave. That’s part of the reason I’m so passionate about being able to be a part of FOX’s Major League Baseball coverage, which broadcasts the biggest games and the postseason.”
Andrews said she will remain a resident of New York and commute to Los Angeles, where FOX will broadcast the studio show.
The hiring of Andrews coincides with the FOX Sports’ push into college football. This coming season is the first under a new 12-year deal with the Pac-12. FOX will broadcast the Pac-12 title game on Nov. 30. The network also will televise the Big Ten title game along with the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
“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 Eric Shanks, executive producer, co-president and COO of FOX Sports Media Group, in a statement. “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 NFL coverage and other major events.”
Andrews’ contract with ESPN expired on Saturday. She hosted the first hour of ESPN’s College GameDay on ESPNU and served as a reporter for the full three-hour program the past two seasons. She also was a sideline reporter during college football, basketball and MLB games during her time at ESPN, which began in 2004 after a two-year run at Turner Sports.
Andrews got her start in the business at FOX Sports Florida in 2000. She also appeared on the 10th season of “Dancing with the Stars” and made it to the finals en route to a third-place finish.