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Sports Career Spotlight


We've been featuring executives from the sports industry since 2001. Naturally, some of these executives have moved onward and upward in their sports careers. We believe these profiles remain relevant and valuable because they highlight the hard work, dedication, brilliant successes, and lessons learned in a variety of career paths through the sports industry.

Mike Baker

Mike Baker, NHL Coordinating Producer


OLN

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Age: 42
New title: NHL coordinating producer, OLN
Previous job: ESPN NHL producer and NBC Olympics producer
First job: McDonald’s
Education: Bachelor of arts, broadcast journalism (1984), Boston University
Resides: Sudbury, Mass., with wife Karen, daughter Emily and son Andrew
Grew up: Cumberland, R.I.
Executive most admired: David Neal, executive vice president, NBC Olympics
Brand most admired: Nike
Favorite vacation spot: Walt Disney World
Last book read: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”
Last movie seen: “Wedding Crashers”
Favorite movie: “Slap Shot”
Favorite musician: The Beatles

Mike Baker brings more than 20 years of experience producing hockey games to OLN, which recently obtained the rights to broadcast 58 NHL regular-season games and select playoff games. He has won four Emmys for his work on NBC Olympic telecasts and has produced other events such as the Stanley Cup Finals, the World Cup of Hockey and the NCAA Frozen Four.

What is the biggest challenge in your new position?
Presenting the sport of hockey in a way to draw the viewers back. We need to make the players and game the stars again.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
I left a stable full-time job to become a freelance producer with ESPN. It was quite a risk going from full-time work to a job that didn’t have anything guaranteed.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment in your career?
Being a part of the Emmy Award-winning NBC Olympics production teams. Also my current job ranks right up, as we are starting on the ground floor before our first game is even on the air.

What is your biggest professional disappointment in your career?
Seeing the NHL lockout. Although I am not directly involved with the league, hockey has been a part of my life since I was 12 years old, and it was really disheartening to see.

What career advice do you have for people wanting into this industry?
It is difficult not being comfortable and taking chances. People like to take the safe route … but you need to be willing to take chances.

What is one story you are continuing to watch in sports today?
The steroid scandal in Major League Baseball. It makes me appreciate what hockey players (whom I feel are the best-conditioned athletes) are able to perform without illegal assistance.

This career spotlight is courtesy of the Sports Business Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.


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