Erin Andrews leaving ESPN. She did great work for us & we made an aggressive offer to keep her. We wish her the best on her next chapter.— Mike Soltys (@espnmikes) June 29, 2012
Erin Andrews leaving ESPN. She did great work for us & we made an aggressive offer to keep her. We wish her the best on her next chapter— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) June 29, 2012
Exclusive: SbB has learned @ErinAndrews recently tested for a hosting role on "X Factor" - and will land at FOX regardless.— SPORTSbyBROOKS (@SPORTSbyBROOKS) June 29, 2012
The two identical tweets from ESPN PR shortly after the SI article seems to confirm that Andrews is leaving ESPN with confirmation of her destination unknown. Clearly, Richard Deitsch's SI report implies Fox will be her landing place.
The Big Lead was skeptical about the late breaking news of Fox's interest thinking it was to get some late leverage in discussions.
So did Andrews' camp plant this in an effort to get EA leverage she doesnt have? Why leak it so late? Anyone buy this?sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/r…— Jason McIntyre (@TheBigLead) June 29, 2012
Clearly it looks as if ESPN called the bluff as they've now bowed out of the Erin Andrews sweepstakes. It is an uncharacteristicly swift reaction from ESPN, who may have taken the planting of the SI Andrews story as being the last straw. If you recall, CBS and Fox had a week of negotiations find their way to the press in regards to Gus Johnson which also led to Johnson defecting to Fox.
In cases like Andrews and Johnson, you have to think the leaking of the negotiations is most likely an attempt to get their current employer to come up to match another offer on the table.
ESPN didn't want to play ball and didn't like the usage of SI as a negotiating ploy. They've officially walked away as both ESPN employees met in the Bristol emergency bunker, turned their dual "let's break big news with a synced verbatim tweet" and hit the button.
Still yet to be hashed out questions (assuming EA is indeed headed to Fox) include - will Andrews still primarily work with college sports and join the Gus Johnson and Charles Davis crew? Also, will she have an expanded role with Fox outside of sports? Another big question is who will replace Erin Andrews at ESPN? This is a big story in the media world and its implications are only beginning. Perhaps Fox will be launching their own pre game show?
,@ErinAndrews would not leave ESPN to be a sideline reporter somewhere else. My guess: she'll host a pre-game show.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) June 30, 2012
Some more insight from Jim Miller:
By the way, ESPN's offer to @ErinAndrews was for more money, but not for more duties. Basically same assignments.— James Andrew Miller (@ESPNBook) June 29, 2012
Bottom line: ESPN was not going to get into a bidding war; @ErinAndrews no doubt has offer in back pocket, probably from Fox.— James Andrew Miller (@ESPNBook) June 29, 2012
ESPN did make a big increase offer to @ErinAndrews but she turned it down. Once it was rejected, Bristol said thanks we are moving on. 1/2— James Andrew Miller (@ESPNBook) June 29, 2012
ESPN has no idea where @ErinAndrews is going, but her last official day is tomorrow. Negotiations failed before word of potential Fox offer.— James Andrew Miller (@ESPNBook) June 29, 2012