Erin Andrews has accomplished plenty in her long sports broadcasting and entertainment career. After breaking into the national spotlight with ESPN, she parlayed that into a lucrative deal with Fox Sports (one she recently re-upped), while also branching out to opportunities like co-hosting Dancing with the Stars, hosting awards shows, and more.
Before Andrews made her mark at ESPN, she had a brief stint with Turner Sports, working as a studio host and reporter for the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Thrashers, and Atlanta Hawks for Turner South and TBS. While she has plenty to be proud of in her career, that’s not an era she looks back on fondly.
Andrews was the guest on this week’s The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast with Andrew Marchand and John Ourand. When discussing those early days, she admits that she felt like she was in completely over her head, especially when it came to baseball.
CLIP: Erin Andrews felt she was a "joke" after her first job with TBS on Atlanta Braves' coverage
POD: https://t.co/QDhSdOgBmg pic.twitter.com/CZkiCPgO5j
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) November 9, 2022
“I started in the industry with Turner Sports, I absolutely was horrific on Turner,” said Andrews. “They signed me. They saw me as a Tampa Bay Lightning rinkside reporter, gave me a big shot. Two-year deal with TBS and Turner Sports. I was horrific.
“When I got the job with Turner, it was for Atlanta Braves coverage. That’s when they were national, with Skip [Caray] and Joe [Simpson]. And they threw me up on that set and I was horrific. I was awful. I remember going home every night, calling my dad from Atlanta, just saying ‘I’m a joke, I shouldn’t have this gig,’ and my dad’s life ‘We’ll work through it. We’ll work through it.'”
As far as what, exactly, went wrong for Andrews with Turner, she said it was a lack of experience with baseball as well as a lot of learning on the job.
“I was awful, I was horrific,” Andrews said. “I didn’t know baseball at all to be hosting a desk. I didn’t have the tools to host at that time. I didn’t have the confidence.
“Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. It was just bad, and I appreciate Turner giving me a chance, it obviously led me down a different path.”
While things ended unceremoniously at Turner for Andrews, she was able to parlay her experience into a role at ESPN very quickly.
“They didn’t renew my contract,” said Andrews. “I remember Charles Barkley telling the bosses at TBS, ‘You guys are gonna regret this. You put her in the wrong role.’
“Then I was kinda looking for a job. ESPN was in town because that’s when ESPN had hockey coverage. I went to a bar where I knew all the broadcasters were gonna be for the Atlanta Thrashers game and I kinda sold myself and I said ‘Hey, I have a feeling Turner’s not gonna ask me back. I cut my teeth in the NHL. I’m a die-hard sports fan. Who do I go to for a job?’ I had a meeting three days later with the head of the NHL at ESPN and Todd Bertuzzi had just smashed that player’s head into the ice and I started going off about it on the call and he’s like ‘When can you start?'”
[The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, via Barrett Sports Media]