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Charissa Thompson Tells Jalen Rose How FOX Helped Her During Photo Scandal

“On this week’s Renaissance Man podcast with Jalen Rose, Thompson said her sense of humor helps her deal with the people that still post comments on her social media and how her bosses at FOX helped her feel better during a difficult time by including her in an event that she wasn’t even working.”

Ricky Keeler

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Whatever career you decide to go into, but especially in sports media, it is important to be authentic to who you are even when a bad situation happens to you. That was the case for FOX Sports analyst Charissa Thompson. Back in January 2018, private photos of Thompson were stolen off of her iCloud account and leaked to the public. 

On this week’s Renaissance Man podcast with Jalen Rose, Thompson said her sense of humor helps her deal with the people that still post comments on her social media and how her bosses at FOX helped her feel better during a difficult time by including her in an event that she wasn’t even working.

“My employer, this is where FOX is so incredible. When all that happened to me, my bosses put me on a plane to the NFC Championship Game to Philadelphia to be with all the guys because they were like hey, this bad thing happened to you, but we want you to be with your family. I flew there and I wasn’t even working and they were so wonderful to me. My employer wrapped their arms around me and they were like we got you. It’s about remaining authentic even when a crappy thing happens.” 

For Thompson, the goal for her in her career was to always do something that put her closer to her dream job. Since she was in Seattle and ESPN is on the other side of the country, she looked to get into FOX Sports in Los Angeles when she got out of college. Thompson took the unconventional route to get her foot in the door and then had to be sneaky to grow her career.

“I took the only job that was available in that building, which was Human Resources. In that job, I would sneak up to the highlights department at night and would log tapes. The path for me was do anything, do any job, don’t be above it. Be willing to go to a small market.”

Thompson and Rose used to work together at ESPN from 2011-2013. She even said that she wanted to name her first child Jalen because of how much of a fan she was of him growing up. 

In fact, Thompson thanks Rose for some advice that she gave her when she got to ESPN about always looking ahead to the future while still taking time to appreciate where you are in the present moment.

“I remember I got there and I was so excited and you said to me, appreciate your position, but plan your promotion. It has always stuck with me. Everyone is like just be happy where you are and I am, but I am always thinking about what’s next, trying to maximize the opportunity and potential in this window.”

Thompson, who also hosts the Calm Down podcast with Erin Andrews, says the podcast has come at a good time in her and Erin’s life because “It’s an opportunity to be real” and a “great forum for us to just talk.” 

Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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