Sports personality Charissa Thompson, NBA great Gary Payton and past NFL stars Donovan McNabb and Ephraim Salaam join tennis legend Andy Roddick to provide analysis and commentary for FOX SPORTS LIVE, the flagship news, opinion and highlights program airing nightly on FOX Sports 1, America’s new sports network launching Saturday, Aug. 17. The announcement was made Thursday by FOX Sports Executive Vice President, Studio Production Scott Ackerson, who oversees FOX Sports’ news coverage. FOX SPORTS LIVE debuts the night of Aug. 17 at 11 p.m. ET, with refreshed editions airing at 12 a.m. ET and 1 a.m. ET.
“We are so excited to welcome Gary, Donovan and Ephraim to FOX Sports and we’re thrilled to have Charissa back in the family,” Ackerson said. “The group officially unveiled today, with Andy, represents some of the best in their fields, and we are confident that they’ll provide a fresh, unique perspective to the sports news of the day, creating engaging and entertaining television.”
In addition to the panel, hosted by Thompson, providing analysis and opinion, FOX SPORTS LIVE is anchored by the dynamic Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, who for eight years formed a popular, smart and irreverent anchor team for TSN’s SportsCentre. Onrait and O’Toole joined FOX Sports in May as FOX SPORTS LIVE’s primary anchor team, along with their producer, Tim. Breaking news and updates come throughout the day from Don Bell and Ryan Field, with contributions from correspondents Molly McGrath and Julie Stewart-Binks.
Thompson returns to FOX Sports as the primary host for FOX SPORTS LIVE’s opinion and analysis segments, having spent the past two years at ESPN where she hosted or co-hosted "Numbers Never Lie", "ESPN First Take" and most recently "SportsNation". While with FOX, Thompson appeared on a number of programs, including working as a sideline reporter for NFL on FOX, college football and basketball games on FSN and the Big Ten Network. She also cohosted "The Best Damn Sports Show Period", covered the 2007 MLB All-Star Red Carpet Parade and appeared on "The Baseball Report" on FSN. Her career at FOX Sports began as an assistant in Human Resources.
Born in Seattle, Thompson graduated from the University of California-Santa Barbara before beginning her broadcasting career. She has covered some of the world’s biggest events like the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, 2010 World Cup, 2011 BCS National Championship Game and 2011 NBA and NHL All-Star Games. More recently, she took her talents to reality television, where she appeared on the diving competition show "Splash".
An NBA veteran of nearly two decades, Payton was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft and played his first 13 seasons with the Seattle Sonics. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine straight times, tying Michael Jordan for most consecutive selections. A nine-time All-Star, he was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1996. Payton played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics before joining the Miami Heat in 2005, winning an NBA Championship with the team in 2006. He helped Team USA to Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2000 and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2013.
Payton hosts a weekly radio program in California’s Bay Area and a weekly television program on TSN in Canada. He established the Gary Payton Foundation in 1996 to set an example for underprivileged youth, helping them reach high and pursue their goals. He wrote the autobiographical children’s book “Confidence Counts” and was named to Sporting News’ “Good Guys in Sports” list several times throughout his career. Payton graduated from Oregon State in 1990, finishing as the school’s all-time leading scorer.
McNabb played 13 seasons as an NFL quarterback, primarily with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was taken by the team with the second overall selection in the 1999 draft and went on to lead the organization to eight postseasons, including five NFC East division championships, five NFC Championship Games and the team’s first Super Bowl appearance in 24 years. He was selected to six Pro Bowls, was twice named a finalist for the NFL’s Man of the Year Award and finished second in the MVP voting following the 2000 season.
A graduate of Syracuse with a degree in communications, McNabb joined the NFL Network as a broadcaster prior to the 2012 season. He established the Donovan McNabb Fund in 2000, which works toward diabetes awareness and prevention and also hosts the Donovan McNabb Diabetes Camp for Kids. The Donovan McNabb Fund has supported other charitable organizations like the American Red Cross, the United Negro College Fund and the Associated Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired. In 2009, he and his wife Raquel partnered with Virtua Hospital, where each of their four children was born, to help with the construction of the new NICU, which opened in 2011.
Salaam played in the NFL for over a decade as an offensive lineman and spent time with the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Detroit Lions. He helped lead the Falcons to the NFC Championship in 1998 and an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIII. Salaam was drafted out of San Diego State, where he was a three-year starter at right and left tackle and also played on the school’s basketball team.
On the screen, Salaam appeared in a commercial for Super Bowl XLII with then-Houston Texans teammate Chester Pitts. He was also cast in the horror movie "Dark Christmas" and produced the television shows "Dead Tone" and "Supremacy".