Hat tips to Michael David Smith at the AOL FANHOUSE for finding this USA TODAY piece by its sports media columnist, Michael Heistrand, in which NBC’s Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Andrea Kremer and producer Fred Gaudelli take shots at ESPN for cutting back the roles of sideline reporters Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya on Monday Night Football next year.
It’s worth noting that both Kremer and Gaudelli worked for ESPN before heading to NBC, but they take the Four-Letter to task — Kremer saying that the network’s demotion of Kolber and Tafoya sets back women, with Gaudelli adding that it’s more proof of ESPN being better with studio programs than live sporting events.
Kremer on what she, Kolber, Tafoya, and Fox’s Pam Oliver have achieved: “We established ourselves as reporters, professionals. Now, you’ve completely minimized that. These women don’t have to prove themselves anymore.”
Gaudelli: “If you ranked MNF’s five announcers on ability, Kolber and Tafoya would be in the top three. … But ESPN has a big bet on [Tony] Kornheiser.”
Kolber and Tafoya’s exact roles on MNF next year still haven’t been completely defined or laid out at all, and it’s likely we won’t really see what the demotion actually means until the 2008 NFL season starts. But if the show’s producers really wanted to cut down on clutter, maybe they should follow ombudswoman Le Anne Schreiber’s advice (and that of so many viewers): get rid of the booth guests.