Nick Wright (sports personality)
|Alma mater||Syracuse University|
|Occupation||Sports television personality|
Sports radio talk show host
|First Things First|
|Home town||Kansas City, Missouri|
Nick Wright (born October 3, 1984) is an American sports television personality and sports radio talk show host. Alongside Jenna Wolfe, Wright serves as a co-host on Fox Sports 1's First Things First; former American football player Cris Carter formerly co-hosted with Wright and Wolfe.
Wright was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He attended Syracuse University, graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism in 2007. Shortly after graduating, he was a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Sports broadcasting career
After graduating from Syracuse, Wright began his sports broadcasting career as production assistant and weekend host for the KCSP 610 AM radio station, based in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. He then began hosting What's Wright with Nick Wright?, his own weekly program on the station. The Pitch, a local Kansas City newspaper, called Wright "610 Sports' most polarizing and likely most popular host," and also named him the best sports personality in 2010. Following his time in Kansas City, Wright co-hosted In the Loop with Nick and Lopez on KILT 610 AM, a Houston-based radio station.
Wright parlayed his experience in sports radio into a broadcast television career as he began working with Fox Sports in 2016. His early work at Fox involved regularly contributing to FS1's daily studio shows. He often appeared as a guest host of The Herd. In late December 2016, Wright and former wide receiver Cris Carter co-hosted an episode of The Herd, while its regular host Colin Cowherd was out for vacation. Then-Fox Sports executive Jamie Horowitz used Carter and Wright's co-hosting venture to test their chemistry together, in order to assess the potential of them co-hosting a daily morning sports talk show on FS1. At the time, the early morning block (6:00-9:30 AM EST) was "a black hole for FS1", according to Sporting News, as the network used that slot to game replays and reruns of other shows.
Carter and Wright proved to be a successful pairing, as they were then paired up to host FS1's morning talk show First Things First, which premiered on September 5, 2017. Carter and Wright were joined by reporter Jenna Wolfe, who fills the show's moderator and anchor role. First Things First also functions as a lead-in program for Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. In 2018, it was announced Wright would begin hosting What's Wright, a weekday radio show on Sirius XM's Mad Dog Radio.
Nick Wright's sports commentary has received both praise and criticism from media outlets. Complex's Aaron Mansfield wrote, "First Things First is actually [an] enjoyable, reasonable sports talk, and Wright is a big reason for that," and opined that "[Wright] knows how to build a convincing argument behind statistics." Mansfield added: "The Syracuse grad has differentiated himself in sports media because of his persuasive nature, his defend-LeBron-to-the-death mentality, and his willingness to confront prevalent social issues such as race in America."
Wright's willingness to discuss social and political issues within a broader sports-related context has also been noted and praised by media outlets. Wright's opinions on the U.S. national anthem protests sparked by Colin Kaepernick's activism was positively received by German Lopez of Vox, which wrote "Nick Wright has given what is perhaps the best distillation of the topic I have seen on television."
Wright's positive analysis of LeBron James' basketball play has also been noted by media outlets. Mansfield commented, "Granted, yes, sometimes [Wright's] LeBron takes are a stretch." Kyle Koster of The Big Lead wrote, "Part of [Wright's] shtick is not pretending he checks fandom at the door (see: his LeBron James love affair). That's what helps him connect with viewers who, by and large, are sports fans themselves, grappling with the same biases."
- Levin, Matt (September 17, 2007). "Q & A with SU grad and 'Millionaire' contestant Nick Wright". The Daily Orange. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- "Nick Wright | Fox Sports Press Pass". Fox Sports PressPass. Fox Sports. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- "Nick Wright Determined to Make His Mark on Fox Sports 1". sportsradiopd.com (Interview). Interviewed by Jason Barrett. Barrett Sports Media. May 10, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Palosaari, Ben (May 4, 2012). "Nick Wright tweets that he's leaving 610 Sports". The Pitch. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Mansfield, Aaron (March 4, 2018). "25 Rising Stars ESPN Needs to Hire". Complex. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Kleps, Kevin (June 9, 2017). "FS1's Nick Wright says LeBron debate with Skip Bayless is 'genuine'". Crain's Cleveland Business. Crain Communications. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- McCarthy, Michael (December 22, 2016). "Cris Carter, Nick Wright can stake claim to FS1 morning show with successful tryout". Sporting News. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Withiam, Hannah (September 5, 2017). "This is Fox Sports' big answer to ESPN's new 'SportsCenter'". New York Post. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Draper, Kevin (August 30, 2017). "Something New Amid the Turbulence at FS1". The New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Koster, Kyle (August 30, 2018). "Here's Nick Wright's Sleep Schedule". The Big Lead. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Lopez, German (September 28, 2017). "This video is the best 5 minutes you will see on the NFL protests. Seriously, watch it". Vox. Vox Media. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Koster, Kyle (March 27, 2018). "Embrace Debate: Are These Shows Worthless?". The Big Lead. Retrieved February 6, 2019.