William F. Baker
is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Thirteen
With a career that spans
more than 30 years in the industry, William F. Baker has taken a
leading role in helping to shape American broadcasting in both the
commercial and public sectors. As an author, lecturer and the recipient
of many honors and awards, he is a sought-after expert in the field
and a well-known advocate for the educational potential of television.
Since 1987 he has served
as President and Chief Executive Officer of flagship public television
station Thirteen/WNET New York, a major program and multimedia producer
serving the New York metropolitan area and the nation. It is the
largest producer of cultural and arts programming in America.
Under Dr. Baker's
leadership, Thirteen created the national nightly Charlie Rose discussion
program, the Peabody and Emmy award-winning local series City Arts,
and its affiliate cultural cable channel MetroArts/Thirteen. Thirteen
also instituted the Educational Resources Center for educational
program development and multimedia learning.
He previously served
a dual role as President of Westinghouse Television, Inc. (from
1979) and Chairman of Group W Satellite Communications (from 1981).
During his 10 years at Westinghouse, five cable networks were launched,
including Discovery Channel and the Disney Channel. He established
the successful national PM Magazine program and introduced Oprah
Winfrey as a talk show host.
Beginning his broadcasting
career while still a student, Dr. Baker has held a variety of programming
and general management positions in radio and television in Cleveland,
Baltimore, Los Angeles, and New York.
Drawing on his many
years of professional experience in broadcasting, Dr. Baker co-authored
Down the Tube: An Inside Account of American Television and
has participated in various public forums on electronic media.
Baker is the executive producer of The Face: Jesus in Art,
a landmark documentary film that traces the image of Jesus Christ
in art around the world and across two millennia. The Face
premiered nationwide on public television in April, 2001 and in
a limited theatrical release.
On July 4, 1992, he
hosted the worldwide telecast of the Tall Ships parade, which achieved
the largest audience in the Thirteen's history.
Dr. Baker was honored
with the 1987 Trustees Emmy Award of the National Academy of Television
Arts and Sciences, which is given in recognition of outstanding
contribution to the advancement of television. He has received the
Gabriel Personal Achievement Award, two duPont Columbia Journalism
Awards and numerous other awards for his work as a producer, including
seven Emmy Awards.
His unusual range of
avocations includes amateur radio, horology, astronomy, electronics,
sailing, and polar exploration. In 1983, he carried the Explorers
Club flag to the top of the world, becoming one of the first people
in history to visit both the North and South Poles. He returned
to the South Pole in December 1988 to tape a documentary about Antarctica,
and he revisited in 1992 and 1996.
Dr. Baker serves on
the boards of The British Academy of Film and Television Arts East
Coast, Leitch Technology Corporation, Consumers Union, and College
of St. Elizabeth.
Dr. Baker received his
B.A., M.A. and Ph.D degrees from Case Western Reserve University,
and he is the recipient of honorary degrees from St. John's
University, College of St. Elizabeth and Long Island University.