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Cari Champion Net Worth

What is Cari Champion’s net worth and salary?

Cari Champion is an American broadcast journalist and television personality who has a net worth of $4 million. Cari Champion’s annual salary is $1 million.

Cari Champion has hosted a number of sports-related shows, including her own, “The Cari Champion Show,” on Amazon Prime Video. She has also worked as a reporter for the Tennis Channel and has anchored for ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

Early Life

Cari Champion was born on June 1, 1978, in Pasadena, California, to parents Dylan and Mariah Champion. She grew up with her older sister and two younger brothers. After completing high school, she attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and majored in English and minored in mass communications. While a student there, she also wrote for the university’s publication, the “Daily Bruin.” This experience inspired her to pursue a career in journalism, and she was encouraged by friends like Mateo Gold, who at the time was the editor-in-chief of the “Daily Bruin” and who would go on to work at the “Washington Post.” Champion was particularly inspired to work in journalism in order to positively represent the African American community and to give a voice to underdogs. During her junior year, she studied in Washington, D.C., and had an internship at Voice of America, an international radio broadcaster. Champion graduated from UCLA in 2000 with an English degree.


After finishing her degree, Champion began her broadcasting career at several television stations. She moved to West Virginia for her first reporting job, where she filled multiple roles, often carrying her own camera to set up to film herself doing reports from the field. She later got a job as a reporter in Santa Ana, California, at the Orange County Newschannel. In 2002, she joined WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Champion later moved to Atlanta, where she worked as an anchor for WGCL-TV. In November 2007, she was fired for allegedly uttering a profanity over the air. She appealed the firing and said in an interview that she was not cued correctly following a commercial break, and the microphone picked up a personal conversation she was having with her co-anchor in which she referred to someone as a ‘mothersucka.’ She maintained that she had never cursed and was rehired in January 2008. However, she left the station in March for a broadcasting job outside of Atlanta.


Champion later moved to Florida to work as a reporter and covered various human interest stories and dramatic weather events, like hurricanes. She also developed an affinity for tennis while working there after covering players like Venus and Serena Williams. She subsequently auditioned for the Tennis Channel’s burgeoning news department and was one of three women selected from a pool of more than fifty candidates. She joined the network in 2009. She worked as a courtside reporter and anchored the channel’s “Court Report” news segment. She also began working as an entertainment reporter for the Starz network and on shows like “The Insider” and “Hollywood 411.”

In October 2012, Champion joined ESPN as the new host of ESPN2’s live debate show “First Take.” As the show’s host, she moderated debates between sports pundits Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. She also began proposing her own ideas to ESPN for stories. In November 2014, she made her journalistic debut for the network when she profiled and interviewed American football quarterback Cam Newton in a segment for “E:60.” The same day, she was the target of racist and sexist tweets from comedian Artie Lange. Lange subsequently issued an apology to Champion, and ESPN issued a statement to “Sports Illustrated” that rebuked Lange’s tweets.

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

In early 2015, Champion began petitioning “ESPN” to become an anchor on the popular show “SportsCenter.” After six months, she was promoted to the position in June 2015. She hosted her last episode of “First Take” on June 19 and began anchoring morning editions of “SportsCenter” in July of that year. Champion remained with ESPN for nearly eight years. She left in February 2020.

From August 2020 to February 2021, Champion co-hosted “Cari & Jemele (Won’t) Stick to Sports” alongside Jemele Hill on the Vice on TV network. The show aired for 18 episodes and featured discussions by Champion and Hill that covered social issues, sports activism, business, and pop culture. The show hosted guests like Magic Johnson, Mark Cuban, Cory Booker, and LeBron James, among others.

In 2022, Embassy Row announced that Champion would begin hosting her own show, “The Cari Champion Show,” on Amazon Prime Video. In November 2022, Champion made her debut on the show.  She discusses sports and culture on the show and often invites guests to share in discussions.

Personal Life

Champion keeps her private and romantic life very quiet. Due to her celebrity status, rumors have swirled that she may have been dating Ryen Russillo or Stephen A. Smith, but nothing was ever confirmed. Champion is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and the UCLA Bruins.

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