Michael Smith, in an expanded role with the network, and new hire Charissa Thompson will co-host ESPN2’s Numbers Never Lie, the weekday show which will debut Monday, Sept. 12, at 3:30 p.m. ET. Smith and Thompson will first appear together as substitute co-hosts of SportsNation on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 11-12, at 4 p.m. on ESPNU.
Numbers Never Lie will feature lively roundtable debate pitting the wisdom of former professional athletes against the pragmatism of statisticians. “Old school” fans will enjoy the unique expertise that comes from those who have played the game, while fantasy fanatics will appreciate the quantitative look at the biggest stories in the sports world.
Smith joined ESPN in 2004 – having already appeared regularly as a panelist on ESPN’s Around the Horn beginning in 2003 – originally as an NFL senior writer for ESPN.com. During his tenure at ESPN, Smith has provided both breaking NFL news and insight for the network as well as analysis on all sports for a wide variety of shows including SportsCenter, Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption, ESPN2’s First Take, Jim Rome is Burning, ESPN2’s SportsNation, Sports Reporters and ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning (simulcast on ESPN2).
Smith has also hosted NFL Live, College Football Live, SportsCenter segments, ESPN2’s First Take and Outside the Lines. In 2007, ESPN launched its prime-time news magazine show, E:60, with Smith as one of its core correspondents.
Prior to joining ESPN, Smith was a reporter for the Boston Globe from 2001-04, primarily covering the NFL and New England Patriots. He was the lead reporter on the Patriots beat during their second Super Bowl winning season in 2003.
Smith, a native of New Orleans, began his journalism career as a student at hometown Loyola University, where he also worked as a sports reporter and copy editor for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He graduated from Loyola with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications.
Thompson covered the NHL for Versus from 2010-11, including the 2010 All-Star Game and Stanley Cup Finals. In 2010, Thompson reported on the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, FIFA World Cup, BCS National Championship Game, Super Bowl and NBA All-Star Game for Yahoo! Sports. She has also appeared on NFL Network and co-hosted programming on the Speed Network. In 2009, Thompson was a sideline reporter for ABC’s Shaq Vs. show.
Thompson began her career at Fox Sports Network (FSN) Los Angeles in the human resources department. She then became a production assistant with FSN Rocky Mountain (Denver), which led to her first on-air role covering the Colorado Rockies for the network’s Rockies All Access program. She eventually relocated back to Los Angeles to co-host FSN’s The Best Damn Sports Show Period. Her responsibilities expanded to include NFL sideline reporting on Fox, along with the Big Ten Network’s game of the week. She also covered college basketball for the Big Ten Network.
Thompson, a native of Seattle, was graduated from UC-Santa Barbara with a degree in law and society.