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“FOX NFL Kickoff” Host Charissa Thompson Shares Her Advice for Women in Sports Broadcasting

Clarissa Thompson
Clarissa Thompson
Photos: Courtesy of Lily Ro

Sportscaster Charissa Thompson was never intimidated by a career in sports broadcasting. Instead she is humbled by it.

“For me, it’s just a matter of remembering how frickin’ lucky I am to do this job,” says the host of “FOX NFL Kickoff.”

Thompson remembers learning about football and watching it on TV with her father. Throughout her career, she’s worked alongside her childhood heroes, like ESPN’s Chris Berman and NFL players-turned-sports-analysts Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long, who are her Fox Sports’ colleagues.

“Each place that I’ve been fortunate enough to work, I have ended up becoming close to and calling them family, people that I used to grow up watching,” she says.

Thompson and friend/sports broadcasting colleague Erin Andrews recently launched their own podcast, “Calm Down with Erin and Charissa,” which she says is like a text thread in podcast form. They talk about a wide variety of topics, including their respective broadcasting careers and being entrepreneurs. Thompson also has a full service interior design firm called House & Home.

Hard work

The sports analyst advises other women entering the field to be ready to work hard. Thompson started out in human resources, then worked as a production assistant, producer and reporter. At one point in her career, she had four sports reporting jobs at the same time. That hustle paid off. 

“Sports, I love it,” she says. “I’ll do it all day, every day and I’ll work for 10 people if I can because I love it that much.”

She’s grateful to the many female sports broadcasters who’ve come before her, such as Andrea Kramer and Hannah Storm. Now she’s making her own mark.

“I go rogue a lot. I think that is also OK,” she says. “Even if you know the trailblazers in front of me were more traditional, because they had to be, I’d like to believe that the next generation of female broadcasters looks at maybe someone like myself or other individuals who do things their own way. You don’t have to fit like a stereotype to be accepted.”

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