|Born||May 4, 1982|
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Education||University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A. 2004)|
|Occupation||Television host and sportscaster|
|Home town||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Television||NHL on Versus, Big Ten Network, Extra, Fox NFL, Fox Sports 1 (sideline reporter)|
Numbers Never Lie on ESPN (host)
Sportsnation on ESPN (co-host) NFL Gameday Prime Host (NFL Network)
Charissa Jean Thompson (born May 4, 1982) is an American television host and sportscaster working for Fox Sports. Previously, Thompson worked for ESPN, Versus, as well as for GSN and the Big Ten Network. She was the co-host of SportsNation along with Marcellus Wiley until her departure from ESPN for Fox Sports in June 2013. She became the host of Fox Sports Live on the new Fox Sports 1 network when it debuted on August 17, 2013 (the first day of Fox Sports 1). She also was one of the American hosts of Ultimate Beastmaster. From 2014 to 2017, Thompson was a co-host on the syndicated entertainment news show Extra.
Early life and education
Thompson was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. The youngest of three children, she knew she wanted to be a broadcaster from an early age. She attended Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Washington. Thompson moved to California to attend community college and gain California residency. She later transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara where she graduated with a B.A. in Law and Society in 2004. While Sports Illustrated wrote "she left Washington State (WSU) to attend community college in California before transferring to UC Santa Barbara," Thompson has clarified she did not attend WSU. Prior to her sports broadcasting career, Thompson received an email from Sports Illustrated, offering her to appear in body paint in a Swimsuit Issue.
Sports broadcasting career
Big Ten Network and Fox Sports Net (2007–2010)
Early in her career, Thompson appeared on various college sports shows on Big Ten Network and Fox Sports Net (FSN). Thompson additionally served as a sideline reporter for college football and college basketball games on the two networks. She would continue these roles as she progressed in her sports media and journalism career, as she became a National Football League (NFL) sideline reporter for NFL on Fox.
For FSN, she appeared on baseball programs, including The 2007 MLB All-Star Game Red Carpet Parade and The Baseball Report both on Fox Sports Net (FSN). She also appeared on FSN's BCS Breakdown and The BCS Show. Thompson co-hosted FSN's The Best Damn Sports Show Period alongside Chris Rose and John Salley until 2009, due to the show's cancellation. She also hosted FSN's rodeo show Toughest Cowboy.
In the fall of 2008, Thompson completed her first run as an NFL sideline reporter. During the season, Thompson dyed her hair black to "rid [herself] of the Barbie thing," as she is notably blond. Her change of hair color drew attention from some sports blogs; Deadspin ran an article titled: "Charissa Thompson Continues Down Suicidal Path to Frumpyville". Thompson shortly switched her hair color back to blond. In 2016, she recalled the event in an interview with HBO. Beyond the scope of this incident, Thompson's sex appeal has been touched upon by various media outlets since.
Thompson also appeared outside of the Big Ten Network and FSN early in her career. She was on the cover of the April 2009 issue of Access DirecTV (satellite TV provider DirecTV's monthly TV Guide-like magazine) and interviewed Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels for the feature story. Also in 2009, co-hosted Big Saturday Night on Game Show Network (GSN), and appeared on Shaq Vs. as a sideline reporter. In the fall of 2009, she served as a reporter for NHL on Versus.
Continued career growth and ESPN years (2010–2013)
In 2010, Thompson appeared on the NFL Network's "NFL Now Updates". She covered the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, reporting for Yahoo Sports. She was also recently added as a co-host for the Speed Network's "Fast Track To Fame" alongside now retired NASCAR driver-owner turned FOX Sports analyst Michael Waltrip. In June and July 2010, Thompson covered the FIFA World Cup in South Africa for Yahoo! Sports. In January 2011, she covered the BCS National Championship game for Yahoo! Sports. In February 2011, she covered the Super Bowl in Dallas, Texas, for Yahoo! Sports. Also in February, Charissa covered the NBA All-Star Game for Yahoo! Sports. In January 2011, Charissa covered the NHL All-Star Game for Versus. In February 2011, Versus dropped Thompson and Lindsay Soto from their ice-level reporting staff after the NBC-Comcast merger; they were replaced by Pierre McGuire and Brian Engblom, forming the Inside the Glass team.
In June 2011, Thompson joined ESPN. With Michael Smith, she co-hosted the show Numbers Never Lie, which debuted September 12, 2011. Charissa has also filled in as a host on SportsNation and ESPN First Take. In July 2012, she replaced Michelle Beadle as host of SportsNation after Beadle left for NBC. She left ESPN in June 2013 to return to Fox Sports.
In 2013, Thompson joined actor Joey Lawrence as a co-host of the ABC's reality TV series Splash, where star contestants dive from Olympic-style platforms and are scored on their performance by Olympic divers, David Boudia and Steve Foley as well as the voting TV audience.
Rejoining Fox Sports for FS1 launch (2013–present)
Thompson rejoined Fox Sports in 2013 for the launch of Fox Sports 1 (FS1); she began on FS1 as a host on Fox Sports Live. She also became a presenter for Fox NFL Kickoff. In 2018, she replaced Katie Nolan as the host of NFL Films Presents on FS1.
Other broadcasting appearances
Thompson has also served various roles outside of sports broadcasting. In 2014, she joined Mario Lopez and Tracy Edmonds as a co-host on the syndicated television show Extra. She also appeared as the host of the "Barstool Spelling Bee" in May 2015. In 2016, it was announced that Thompson would be a host on the Netflix reality show Ultimate Beastmaster. Thompson also joined Top Rank's broadcasting team for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas boxing Pay-per-View event.
Thompson has stated that she is a Christian. She resides in Malibu, California. In January 2020, she was engaged to sports agent Kyle Thousand. She had a previous marriage when she was 25. She also previously dated ESPN analyst and former Chicago Bulls player Jay Williams. Thompson spoke about her Wikipedia article in 2019, clarifying that she was not a trapeze artist as the article previously mentioned.
In January 2018, nude photos of Thompson were leaked online after her iCloud account was hacked. Thompson shortly thereafter sought legal action. That June, she spoke about the incidient to The Athletic, stating "When it comes to your physical being and intimate photos between you and your boyfriend and things that you sent to someone when you were in a long-distance relationship and in love, it is your private property. So it felt — the obvious — like such an invasion."
- "Charissa Thompson". Fox Sports. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- Spaen, Brian (June 21, 2013). "Charissa Thompson Heads Back to FOX After Last Day at ESPN". fansided.com. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
- "Young Alum Profile: Charissa Thompson '04". UCSBAlum.com. August 2010. Archived from the original on August 15, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
- Halverson, Matthew (April 24, 2015). "Charissa Thompson Doesn't Care What You Think of Her". Seattle Met. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Deitsch, Richard (September 15, 2014). "Charissa Thompson on her career path, women working in sports media". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
- Jeff Pearlman (April 14, 2015). "Charissa Thompson". JeffPearlman.com. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
- Gonzales, Liz (July 8, 2019). "Wine Walk With Charissa Thompson". Barstool Sports. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- "Charissa Thompson says no to SI swimsuit issue". NBC Sports. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Cary, Tim (October 15, 2009). "Pick Six: Talking Big Ten Football With Charissa Thompson". Chicago Now. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- "Friday Night Tailgate returns to Champaign". Illinois Fighting Illini. September 4, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Quinn, Sam R. (June 4, 2012). "Charissa Thompson: Everything You Need to Know About Michelle Beadle's Successor". Bleacher Report. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- "On the Horizon: Charissa Thompson". TVWeek. July 20, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Strauss, Chris (October 23, 2013). "Charissa Thompson: 'Not everything is a clown show' on 'FOX Sports Live'". USA Today. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Terrace, Vincent (2010). The Year in Television, 2009: A Catalog of New and Continuing Series, Miniseries, Specials and TV Movies. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 169–170. ISBN 978-0-7864-5844-8.
- Lyons, Dan (August 22, 2016). "Video: Charissa Thompson Details Sexist Reaction To Dyeing Her Hair In 2008 On "Real Sports"". The Spun. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Daulerio, A. J. (October 21, 2008). "Charissa Thompson Continues Down Suicidal Path to Frumpyville". Deadspin. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Fox Sports reporter Charissa Thompson talks about a makeover backlash (HBO). HBO. YouTube. August 19, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Jankens, Evan (April 18, 2016). "Charissa Thompson Enjoys The Weekend In A Tiny Bikini [PHOTOS]". CBS Detroit. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Friederich, Brandon (October 7, 2016). "'Fox NFL Kickoff' Host Charissa Thompson Just Dropped Some Insanely Sexy Bikini Shots on Instagram". Maxim. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Mondalek, Alexandra (October 13, 2017). "'Feminine' and blond but never 'shrill': Why female sportscasters look sexy on the field". Yahoo!. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Big Saturday Night Premier Opening. YouTube. July 3, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- "Hockey fans celebrate New Year's Eve on VERSUS". National Hockey League. December 28, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Koo, Ben (June 28, 2011). "Industry Moves- Charissa Thompson To ESPN and Pierre McGuire Leaving TSN". AwfulAnnouncing.com. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- McIntyre, Jason (May 2, 2013). "Charissa Thompson Has Left ESPN for Fox Sports". USA Today. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
- "Joey Lawrence and Charissa Thompson to host ABC's 'Splash' celebrity diving competition". Reality TV World. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- Putterman, Alex (May 3, 2018). "Charissa Thompson to take over for Katie Nolan as host of NFL Films Presents on FS1". The Comeback. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Prudon, Laura (May 9, 2016). "Netflix Orders Global Competition Series 'Ultimate Beastmaster' from Sylvester Stallone, Dave Broome". Variety. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- "Stephen A. Smith, Brian Kenny, Charissa Thompson & Tim Bradley Jr. to Call Pacquiao-Vargas Telecast". Top Rank. September 26, 2016. Archived from the original on September 27, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- Hendricks, Jaclyn (January 2, 2020). "Fox Sports' Charissa Thompson engaged to agent Kyle Thousand". New York Post. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- McIntyre, Jason (February 6, 2013). "Charissa Thompson is Dating ESPN College Basketball Analyst Jay Williams". The Big Lead. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Axson, Scooby (June 6, 2018). "Charissa Thompson Speaks Out About Leaked Photos". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Tognotti, Chris (January 21, 2018). "Fox Sports' Charissa Thompson hacked, nude photos released online". The Daily Dot. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- Deitsch, Richard (June 6, 2018). "Sports Media Podcast: For first time, Fox Sports Charissa Thompson discusses theft of private photos". The Athletic. Retrieved March 8, 2020.