Last winter, when ESPN was looking for a host to replace Chris Berman on Sunday NFL Countdown, Fox Sports’ Charissa Thompson was floated repeatedly as a candidate. Then this summer, when ESPN sought a co-host for Mike Greenberg’s upcoming morning show, Thompson’s name came up again.
Now both of those positions are filled, with Samantha Ponder taking Countdown and Michelle Beadle reportedly joining Greenberg, leaving Thompson to discuss whether she was serious about decamping for Bristol.
On Tuesday, Thompson appeared on The Dan Patrick Show, where Patrick asked her how close she came to taking a gig on Greenberg’s show. Here was the exchange:
Thompson: How close was I? (Laughs). Well I’m still waiting for my stuff to be shipped back from Bristol. No, I’m kidding, I’m kidding, I’m kidding. No, there were a few conversations—
Patrick: Were you offered the job?
Thompson: Not officially, no. I was never offered the job.
Patrick: Unofficially, you were offered the job.
Thompson: Unofficially, there were a few conversations about, ‘Hey, is this something you would be interested in?’ given that my contract with Fox, I was still under contract with Fox, so I couldn’t actually be officially offered anything. But in this world, it is business, there can always be certain conversations. My employer over at Fox knew those conversations were happening. … In the end things worked out exactly how they should. I get to stay living in California, I get to work on the NFL, which is my favorite platform to work on, and let’s be honest, I work one day a week now.
After leaving her part-time job on the syndicated entertainment show Extra, Thompson announced in August she would be staying at Fox, where she hosts Fox NFL Kickoff.
Amid her conversation with Patrick about her own contentment at Fox, Thompson slipped in a little previously unrevealed ESPN gossip, sharing that with Beadle headed to work with Greenberg, “I think that Cari [Champion] moves over and does SportsNation.” We had not previously heard anything about the future of SportsNation, though it figured that ESPN would need to replace Beadle there. Champion currently hosts the Coast to Coast edition of SportsCenter, which faces an uncertain future given ESPN’s plans for a new weekday lineup next year.