Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead is reporting that Charissa Thompson, the host of ESPN’s SportsNation is leaving for Fox Sports.
After two years at ESPN, Thompson is returning to Fox, where she worked earlier in her career, at one point co-hosting “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.” When reached by phone this morning, Fox PR rep Dan Bell had no comment. ESPN also had no comment. It’s unclear what Thompson would do at Fox – the Regis Philbin show has been auditioning talent for months but nothing is firm – but the easy guess is she’d host a show like Jay Glazer is getting.
ESPN is still ESPN, but when they do stupid things and have talent poached, they take a bit of a “chink” in their Tebow-bicep-strength armor. Every little bit helps, and increased competition for ESPN hopefully means improved products all around.
And with NBC and Fox trying to compete with ESPN, the easy move is to pluck its high profile talent. This backs ESPN into a corner: Does it try and match the rumored offers – I’ve heard anywhere from $600k a year to $800k for Andrews, Beadle and Nichols – to retain talent, or let them walk and find the next rising star? I think it’s clear from these four departures that ESPN has made a decision.
We’ll see how it works out.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with SportsNation, which was moved to LA because Thompson is based there.
Awkward. Never uproot your life and move somewhere for a single person, no matter how much you enjoy his or her