“There’s something about marrying Erin Andrews with Fox Sports that’s got all the markings of a reality series heading for an unhappy ending,” writes Tom Hoffarth. “The beauty of it is everyone will want to watch it.”
What was the reaction to what SI’s Richard Deitsch called “the harshest critique of Erin Andrews I’ve ever read”? Here’s what Los Angeles Daily News columnist Tom Hoffarth tells Romenesko readers:
The reviews have interestingly been pretty split — and my Twitter followers have grown exponentially, which to me proves the point. Any time you mention Erin Andrews in a sentence, it’s internet gold. I purposely posted pictures and items on her in the past to see how those so-called hits would increase, and it never fails.
This is a column I’d been formulating for a time, as the buzz built with her about to either leave or re-up with ESPN. I figured she had run out of things to do at ESPN and was getting advice to spread her wings. Fox, to me, is like making a deal with the devil. You reap what you sow.
As for reaction: I posted some of it on the blog today, and it seems the older, more experienced people in the business are the ones that most agreed with my take, while the younger, SportsGrid.com writers who can’t see past Andrews’ personna are totally behind her. She’s like some kind of Goddess to them who can do no wrong.
One of the reasons why I went ahead and did this now is that some of the experienced women in sports media, many who I talked to when doing a Title IX piece a couple of weeks ago, are somewhat dismayed at the fact young college communications majors weren’t asking them about play by play or analysts jobs, but more how to get into the field as a sideline reporter. I’m not making that up. They want the glamour role. To me, it’s like a 180 on how Woodward and Bernstein inspired career goals of newspaper journalists in the 1970s — I was one of them.
The Andrews Effect is real, whether college kids want to believe it or not, and it trickles down to every part of the business.
The reaction I thought was most disappointing was from fellow media writers who thought I was too harsh. “Harsh” seems to be the operative word for them. It implies they believe in the premise, but I went too far. Would they go that far? Maybe not, fearing Andrews wouldn’t talk to them again, or she’d be upset with them. You can’t have that fear when you’re trying to point out the obvious to some people. I’m sure she’s a nice person. Seems sweet. But the naive act is wearing very thin on me as well, and I can’t believe others in the media don’t see through it anymore.