Behind The ScenesESPN CareersGolfWalt Disney CompanyWho Does That?Working @ ESPN

ESPN’s Pennington helps orchestrate behind-the-scenes functions at PGA Championship

Weeks before the major begins, the operations specialist helps lay the groundwork that bring fans 230 hours of live-play viewing options this week from Oak Hill Country Club. Here's a look at what she does

ESPN operations specialist Cindy Pennington stands before a replica of the PGA Championship Wanamaker Trophy at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. (Cindy Pennington/ESPN)

This week, ESPN has a large presence at the PGA Championship, golf’s second major of the year, being held at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. Over four days of competition, ESPN and ESPN+ will present more than 230 hours of live play viewing options for fans.

It takes a talented and dedicated team behind-the-scenes to make that happen. One of the key players keeping things running smoothly is Cindy Pennington, operations specialist. She will be on location for 17 days, but as one of the lead operations personnel on the team, much of her work was done in the months leading up to the event.

“My primary job is working directly with the PGA of America and CBS,” she said. “That includes many months of big-picture planning of infrastructure, technology workflows, scheduling, and staffing – all operation aspects.

“I am on-site for 17 days for the Championship – I traveled here last Monday [May 8],” she said. “Part of being in operations is you’re first in – we received shipping, set trailers, prepared for Mobile Unit parking, collected and assigned 45 golf carts – I am the point person for all things operational.”

Once the event starts, she and senior operations specialist Jim Munn continue making sure everything runs smoothly for ESPN.

“When you look at the number of people we have on-site, you really have to have a point person or a team to be a liaison for the rest of the group,” she said. “Between the production and operations folks, we can’t have everyone going to the PGA of America or CBS, and Jim Munn and I, and our team, act as the point of contact for the other entities.”

This fall, she will start her 20th season working on ESPN college football coverage, her main sport. The PGA Championship is one of several big events that she works for ESPN during the part of the year away from football season.

The Kentucky native started her broadcasting career in local television, working in operations for eight years at Lexington, Ky., station WLEX-TV before joining ESPN.

What are her favorite parts of her job?

“Isn’t it the dream of most people to work these events?” she said. “I’m coordinating network television at the Masters, the PGA Championship, the College Football Playoff, the Home Run Derby, and working with such a great team of talented people.

“The best parts are the people and the events themselves.”

Back to top button