Mike McCarthy of USA TODAY reports this week that Erin Andrews‘ contract with ESPN is up in July so she’s now in the process of negotiating a new deal with the network.
(Does She Look Afraid Of Media Spotlight To You?)
Considering the level of celebrity Andrews has achieved in the past year, and her previous, stated interest in entertainment media, her comments to McCarthy about wanting to stay at ESPN were surprising. But given ESPN’s apparent support of her through her stalker ordeal, I suppose her loyalty isn’t altogether unexpected.
Though from polling entertainment execs and ESPN sources this morning, I found that Andrews could easily double or even triple her current, low-to-mid six-figure salary with the sports network. Not to mention maintain and grow the mainstream celebrity that she now seemingly embraces.
With that increased public attention, who knows how far Andrews could go with her career. With her look, talent and current top-of-mind, she could easily be raking in millions as the hottest new name in the showbiz press.
There’s also precedent for a potential Andrews move, with former ESPN personality Kevin Frazier now an Entertainment Tonight weekend host and weekday correspondent. A CBS source told me today that Frazier is making considerably more money on ET than he was in Bristol.
One entertainment media source added to me this week that Andrews could “name her price and go wherever she wants.”
So where exactly might Andrews lands if she goes the entertainment route? There’s some possibilities that come to mind almost immediately.
NBC’s Access Hollywood currently has an anchor opening thanks to the recent departure of Nancy O’Dell. And with warhorse Mary Hart still somehow leading ET, perhaps former ESPNer Frazier could help CBS lure Andrews to the show. Though I’m told the presence of Samantha Harris may preclude any high profile personality from joining the ET on-air staff for now.
What about the possibility of Disney offering her a shot at some face time on GMA while she also attends to her current ESPN gig? Robin Roberts has already made the ESPN-GMA jump, and I can’t imagine Andrews not being a huge hit on the morning show.
Those are just a few of the broadcast opps that may await Andrews if she eschews ESPN. At the very least I would hope her agent would have the good sense to test the waters for some outside offers, if nothing else to get Andrews a well-deserved healthy raise from her notoriously stingy employer.
Some may say that Andrews continuing to seemingly embrace her low-profile role on ESPN is a response to wanting to stay out of the same media spotlight that perhaps spawned her stalker ordeal. But if that were the case, why is she currently appearing on Dancing With The Stars?
I believe that Andrews justifiably feels loyalty to ESPN after the network supported her through her unfortunate off-air situation, but should that loyalty extend to not entertaining offers from other outlets for her services?
If it doesn’t, Andrews will soon find out that her career pastures are considerably greener than being an Arkansas-Auburn broadcast afterthought on yet another random Saturday.