espnW -- Former Oakland Raiders exec Amy Trask good hire for CBS


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It shouldn't matter beyond the headline. CBS hired former Oakland Raiders chief executive officer Amy Trask to be an analyst on its newly created, "That Other Pregame Show," set to air Sunday mornings on the CBS Sports Network.

That should be that. But it is not.

CBS' decision to hire Trask is significant because no other women have analyst roles on television. There are reporters, yes, but not analysts, a position usually reserved for someone who either played the game or worked for a team.

Trask did that. She was Al Davis' most trusted adviser for nearly three decades. She ran the day-to-day operations of the Raiders and managed one of the most volatile personalities in the business. Until she resigned earlier this year, Trask was the highest-ranking female of an NFL franchise not related to the team's owner. Trask was an outsider who became an insider.

And now, after 27 years of avoiding the media, Trask has joined the media, an irony not lost on her.

"This is a tremendous paradigm shift for me," Trask said in an email.

It is also a tremendous opportunity. Trask said she had no plans when she resigned from the Raiders, and television was certainly not on her radar. She said she intends to "share with the show's audience a slightly different perspective than has been previously offered."

"I was not a general manager and did not negotiate contracts, manage the cap, make roster decisions, etc.," Trask said. "I was involved in areas of the business that may not often be presented to viewers and that may offer viewers a different perspective on football issues."

Not a female's perspective, per se, but a business perspective.

Trask is smart, respected, thoughtful and well-connected. She was often Davis' voice at NFL owners meetings. She has been inside meetings where few women are present. And she succeeded.

One of the beautiful things about Trask is that she doesn't call attention to the fact that she is a female in a male-dominated business. She doesn't want her gender to be an issue, so she does not make it an issue. Trask prefers not to talk about it, to let her work and her actions speak for themselves.

Now, Trask will transition to a new, challenging role no other female has had. And she will succeed because she's knowledgeable and will be well-prepared. Her gender will not be an issue. CBS made a bold hire, but certainly not a risky one.

-Ashley Fox


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