William F. Baker (television)

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William F. "Bill" Baker
Born William Franklin Baker
(1942-09-20) September 20, 1942 (age 75)
Cleveland, Ohio

William Franklin "Bill" Baker (born September 20, 1942) directs the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Education, and Public Policy at Fordham University, where he is also Journalist-in-Residence and a professor in the Graduate School of Education.[1] He is a professor at IESE Business School and is President Emeritus of WNET, New York’s public media station. Over the four decades of his career, Dr. Baker has been a broadcaster, executive, author, public speaker, academic, and explorer.


Baker’s career spans four decades. During his twenty years as chief executive officer of WNET, he raised over $1 billion for the station through fundraisers, and established the largest endowment in the history of public television. Baker introduced the landmark program Charlie Rose, oversaw the station’s transition to digital broadcasting, and launched WNET’s first of many cable channels, MetroArts/Thirteen.

Before joining WNET, he was president of Westinghouse Television and chairman of their cable and programming companies. At Westinghouse, Baker introduced Oprah Winfrey as a talk show host and established PM Magazine as the #1 syndicated program in America in the 1980s. During Baker’s tenure, Westinghouse also launched five cable networks, including the Discovery Channel and the Disney Channel.

Baker is the executive producer of the The Face: Jesus in Art, a landmark Emmy-winning feature film that traces the image of Jesus Christ in art around the world and across two millennia. He is also executive producer of the forthcoming film SACRED, which will depict sites and rituals from the sacred calendar of a diversity of world religions.

Baker is co-author of the books The World's Your Stage: How Performing Artists Can Make a Living While Still Doing What They Love, based on a class he teaches at The Juilliard School and Fordham University, Every Leader is an Artist and Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results. Baker also hosted the 2008 PBS documentary Leading with Kindness. Baker is also the co-author of Down the Tube: An Insider’s Account of the Failure of American Television and the author of Lighthouse Island: Our Family Escape.

Baker is former Chairman of the National Parks System Advisory Board, and serves on the board of Rodale Press. He holds a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, and seven honorary doctorates from universities in America and Europe. In cooperation with Fordham University, he teaches The Business of the Performing Arts, Juilliard’s only business course.[2]

Dr. Baker’s long-standing commitment to promoting education led him to establish WNET’s Educational Resources Center, the nation’s most prolific trainer in multimedia teaching techniques. He also founded the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Education, & Public Policy at Fordham University, and was an annual speaker at WNET’s Celebration of Teaching and Learning.

He is believed to be the 8th person in history to have stood on both the North and South Poles.[2]


Baker is the recipient of seven Emmy Awards and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[1] He has been inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Management Hall of Fame and received the Mark Schubart Award from the Lincoln Center Institute, given to individuals who most exemplify the Institute’s ideal of integrating the arts with education.[1] He has also been inducted into Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame and the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. In addition to numerous other awards, Baker has received the Gabriel Personal Achievement Award, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Awards and the 1987 Trustees Emmy Award, given in recognition of outstanding contribution to the advancement of television.


  1. ^ a b c Kelly, Milnes. "The Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Public Policy and Education". www.fordham.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  2. ^ a b "Baker, William at The Juilliard School". www.juilliard.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 

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