When WDAE switched to Sports/Talk in 1997, one of the hosts who helped build the station’s new image was WFLA-TV’s lead sports anchor Chris Thomas (Christan Thomas Olrick). Coming to Tampa Bay in 1988 from WBAL-TV in Baltimore, he had a reputation for speaking his mind, and he did so quite often. However, it was his openly hostile relationship with the Glazer family, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (and a major Channel 8 sponsor), that got him fired from the TV job in 2002.
Chris started his broadcast career in 1969 as a sports reporter at a South Carolina radio station and earned his broadcast degree in journalism at the University of South Carolina in 1970. Before heading to Baltimore, he was a sports anchor in Salisbury, MD.
He may have broken every rule in the broadcast book, but Chris had mass appeal. Everybody liked him, and often he would get into on-air “feuds” with WDAE’s afternoon host, Steve Duemig, although the two men were really good friends.
Chris passed away in February 2004 after losing a long battle with cancer. He was 55. After his death, WDAE named the studio where he did his shows The Chris Thomas Studio and honors his memory with the annual Chris Thomas Golf Tournament.
1997 - 2004 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)