Ann Francis

Vice President, Operations

Ann Francis, an ESPN veteran of more than 30 years, serves as vice president of operations, in charge of production operations and facilities at the ESPN offices in Charlotte, N.C. – home of ESPNU and SEC Network. Prior to her current role, she also led the Charlotte-based remote operations, crewing, creative services and network traffic teams. In April 2013, those business segments were moved to Bristol to make room for the 2014 launch of SEC Network in Charlotte.

Francis joined ESPN in August 1982 in the Bristol, Conn., headquarters as an analyst in the program finance department. In 1985, with a solid foundation for show cost budgeting, Francis made a lateral move to the operations department as an operations coordinator. Over the next several years, Francis was promoted into various positions and travelled as a senior remote operations producer. In that role she managed remote productions on site, including studio shows for the Super Bowl and the Final Four, and productions of the Stanley Cup Finals, MLB, primetime college football and golf. In 1992, she came off the road to take an in-house job as supervisor mobile production services, responsible for marketing and leasing the five ESPN-owned mobile units to external clients. Her primary client was OCC Sports and its Senior Golf tour telecasts.

In July 1996, Francis moved to Charlotte, accepting a position as manager of operations with ESPN-owned Creative Sports. At the time, Creative Sports produced Big Ten, Big 12 and Big East conference syndicated programming and a limited number of ESPN events. Francis booked mobile units, published surveys and created show budgets for all events while managing a small team of crewing and transmission coordinators. A year later, OCC Sports (purchased by ESPN in 1993) moved to Charlotte, merged with Creative Sports and ESPN Regional Television was born. In time, Francis’ operations team added more ESPN events, including CART racing, Senior Golf, Skins Games, numerous NCAA championships, Women’s World Cup Soccer and the America’s Cup. In 2005, ESPNU launched from Charlotte and Francis’ team grew to absorb the new networks remote and studio responsibilities.

A native of West Hartford, Conn., Francis graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1982 with a bachelor of science degree in hotel management.