Charissa Thompson is the host of FOX NFL KICKOFF, the Sunday morning NFL pregame show leading into FOX NFL SUNDAY.
Enjoying the prime of an improbable career that began as an assistant in the FOX Sports human resources department in 2006, Thompson has been one of the faces of FS1 since the network launched in August 2013.
AN UNLIKELY BEGINNING
A Seattle native who attended the University of California-Santa Barbara, Thompson moved to Los Angeles following graduation to accept a position in the human resources department at FOX Sports. After completing her daily duties in HR during the standard work day, she made her way into the network’s highlights department for a crash course in cutting and organizing game clips and logging video tape. Discovering an interest in TV production, she applied for and received a production assistant position at FOX Sports Net Rocky Mountain in 2007. While in Denver, she was given her first on-air opportunity as a fill-in host for the channel’s Saturday evening Colorado Rockies all-access show. Showing an almost instant comfort level in front of the camera, Thompson was approached by FOX executives about a role on the network’s nationally syndicated program “Best Damn Sports Show Period” that was filmed in Los Angeles. For the next two years, she served as a regular host on the show, while also making spot appearances as a sideline reporter for both FOX NFL and Big Ten Network.
ESPN, A RETURN TO FOX AND CROSSING OVER INTO ENTERTAINMENT
Thompson moved on from FOX Sports in 2010 and pulled double duty as a host for both Versus and Yahoo Sports. She anchored Versus’s NHL studio coverage and recorded web videos for the highly trafficked Yahoo platform, leading the site’s presence at high-profile events, including the 2010 Winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Super Bowl XLV and the BCS National Championship. Success in both arenas led to her joining ESPN in August 2011, where she was named one of the hosts for the network’s newly conceived afternoon show, “Numbers Never Lie.” In July 2012, she transitioned to the popular “SportsNation,” enjoying a successful run that lasted until she left the network to return to Los Angeles for the launch of FS1 in May 2013. A sports fan at heart, Thompson has also shown the impressive versatility to cross over into the entertainment realm of television. After a series of part-time opportunities, she was named a permanent co-host for the evening Hollywood news magazine, “Extra,” in June 2014. In that capacity, she taped episodes at Universal Studios while also staffing awards shows and other celebrity gatherings on a regular basis.
ALL ABOUT CHARISSA
Thompson was born in Seattle and attended Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Wash., lettering three times in basketball, twice in track and once in volleyball. She graduated from the University of California–Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts degree in law and society. Her brother, Tyson, played baseball at Washington State. During high school and college, she held a number of part-time jobs, including work as a nanny, a sales associate at Nordstrom, a waitress at The Cheesecake Factory restaurant, a barista at Starbucks and operator of her own coffee stand in Los Angeles. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, running, interior decorating, boating and water sports. Thompson lists Michael Jordan and Ken Griffey Jr. among her favorite athletes, “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gangs of New York” as her favorite movies, and Lionel Richie and Lenny Kravitz among her favorite musicians.