In this addition of Meet the Media, we are diving into the world of sports reporting – because who doesn’t love to tune into sportscasts and hear the stories behind your favorite teams? Meet Chris Francis, the Sports Director at KIRO 7!
How did you find yourself in your current role?
Local television news can be a very transient business. This is my second stint at KIRO7 and the 7th market I’ve worked in during my 27-year career. I came back to KIRO after three years at the PAC 12 Network in San Francisco. This time around I’m able to focus solely on local sports and there’s been an emphasis on showing viewers we’re right in the middle of the Seattle sports scene.
Which of your stories are you most proud of?
Without a doubt – covering the Seahawks Super Bowl weeks in 2014 and 2015. Being in New York City and Phoenix for an entire week, producing and anchoring several hours of content each day, at all hours of the day, was the most challenging and rewarding assignment of my career.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
The flexibility I have to shape the coverage we provide. Not only in regard to what goes on the air and how it’s presented, but also what my workday looks like while preparing. Working around different team schedules and events is challenging, so the ability to decide what’s important and what can wait is essential.
What is your interview style?
The best interviews are just conversations. Not really a Q and A so much as a chance to get to know who I’m talking to. If only that big camera weren’t visible! That’s when an interviewee feels comfortable enough to tell you something you didn’t know.
What do you look for in a story?
Again, something I didn’t know previously. Sports can be filled with clichés and canned answers. It’s refreshing when a person or team is forthcoming with new information. I also really like a laugh or two mixed into every story. Sports, above all else, is supposed to be fun and entertaining!
What is your day like at your job?
It’s really built around what is happening each day. Games, practice, press conferences, etc. Most sporting events are on the calendar so I know what each day will be like and how long it takes to prepare to cover certain happenings. It gets interesting when “breaking news” happens. My phone is never far.
Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?
My dad, Fred Francis, was a long-time news reporter for NBC Nightly News. He traveled the world for 35 years covering all the biggest stories. I learned a lot about the business watching him.
He retired in 2006 but I caught the bug at an early age!
What is your favorite news outlet?
I am partial to CBS college sports and golf coverage, as well as NBC hockey coverage. ESPN is not a favorite, believe it or not. I also really enjoy Inside the NBA on TNT. Entertaining and informative!
Fill in the blank:
If I am not working, I am… showing two toddlers the ropes!
If I could interview anyone, it would be… Jerry Seinfeld.
My favorite thing about Seattle is… an 80-degree summer day.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Golfing, I would play EVERY DAY if I could.
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