When Fran Morison was in college, he never expected to be a sports producer.
Morison, now a sports producer at Fox, majored in history at Fordham University. He planned to become a history teacher and a soccer coach.
Everything changed during his senior year of college. One of his classmates asked him if he wanted to take an internship at Channel 2 in the sports department, and Morison said yes.
During his internship, he began to learn how TV was made and fell in love with it.
“There is no substitute to watching how it gets done,” Morison said.
After his college internship at Channel 12, Morison began working at CBS Sports, where he met his first mentor, the legendary Bob Stenner. He continued working with Stenner when he moved to Fox Sports in 1995.
Morison, who grew up watching Stenner’s work on Super Bowls and other games, was ecstatic to work with and learn from a top tier producer and a good person like Stenner.
Through his internships, work experience and the influence of his mentors, Morison learned to balance his creativity, organizational skills and communication skills.
Being a producer is almost like being the head coach of the show, Morison said. Producers must plan for unexpected events, work with the announcers and control the overall flow of the broadcast.
During a live game, the producer is in the TV truck talking to the announcers and to all the people who are in the truck with him.
“I need people to work with me. As a producer- you’ve got to be firm and you’ve got to treat people with respect,” Morison said.
Morison uses a diverse set of communication skills throughout his job and throughout the production of live games. With the announcers, he is as calm he can be, and with the people he is with on the truck, he is more urgent.
A sports producer is trying to tell the story of a particular game through the broadcast by making the right decisions at the right time and working together with camera people, replay people, audio people, statisticians and announcers to create a good show.
Morison’s favorite part of being a sports producer is the live element of the games.
“You can’t match that excitement in any other job. Unless you’re playing! There’s nothing better than this,” Morison said.
At the time of the interview, Morison just finished covering College Hoops. This summer, he is looking forward to working on the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Sometimes, people ask Morison why he still cares so much about sports. His answer is always the same.
“If I stopped caring, I couldn’t be good at what I do. You’ve got to have passion for whatever you do,” Morison said.