Lincoln College sophomore Tom Baker of Western Springs, is the 2017 “Production Director of the Year.” The honor was announced at the 77th annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Media Conference on Saturday, March 4, at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City.
Baker was present to accept the award in midtown Manhattan, where he edged out finalists in the category from Montclair State, Arizona State University, Indiana University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Baker serves as Production Director of WLNX-FM, the student operated radio station at Lincoln College. In addition, Baker also won first place honors Saturday in the category of Best Station ID.
Radio station production directors are responsible for shaping a station’s on air marketing and imaging and producing recorded promotional announcements, public service announcements, and other pre-recorded material. Prior to Lincoln College and WLNX, Baker served as production director of WLTL-FM at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, known for having one of the most successful high school radio programs in the country.
“Tom has an exceptional talent for creating magic in a production studio,” said John Malone, Lincoln College Associate Professor and WLNX-FM General Manager. Malone, who met Baker on a 2014 visit to WLTL, later recruited Baker to attend Lincoln College. Baker was among the first cohort of students to officially declare intent to pursue the four-year degree in Radio, Television, and New Media upon its approval last summer.
Baker is one of 18 students currently enrolled in the new degree program. “Tom represents what we want the Radio, Television, and New Media program to be known for,” Malone said. “When he decided to come to Lincoln College before the degree was even approved, I told him he’d be a trailblazer, helping to build the foundation of something great.”
Last year, Baker won a national college radio competition, where his entry was selected to air on commercial radio stations nationwide promoting the NextRadio FM tuner application for Smart Phones. While a Lincoln College freshman, Baker also garnered a coveted Award of Distinction at the prestigious Communicator Awards presented by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. Baker’s work has also been recognized in last year’s Intercollegiate Broadcasting System competition and by the Illinois Broadcasters Association.