Tom Baker

Producer, Sound Designer, Student

It all started in 7th grade, I was a nuts about baseball, like i knew every single fact and religiously watched every game I could. So, it made sense when my mom signed me up for the White Sox JR. Broadcast competition at the ESPN Zone that's no longer in Chicago. I placed in 2nd or 3rd place of 15 kids but I remembered it when I was signing up for summer classes at Lyons Township High School. I decided to take Radio Production and took to the airwaves for the first time. At first, it was a cool place to hangout for a kid who had nothing better to do, but I realized it was a lot more my Junior year when I decided to pursue radio as a career. By that time, I was a struggling music producer and thought about taking my production talents to radio instead of music. I started out by making sweepers and just learning the craft of imaging and Radio Production. I won an Award of Distinction from the Communicators for my first piece that I really put a ton of work into. I realized that I had a lot of potential after that. Soon after, I got my first paying job in radio with Jeff Thomas's Imaging Service: Phantom Producer. That helped me improve my craft a ton because I was getting advice from one of the best radio producers/imagers ever.

 I went on to win more awards at WLTL including an Award of Excellence from the Communicators and 3 first place awards at the John Drury High School Radio Awards. I also got some of my production heard on a commercial station in the Chicago market at WCKG-Elmhurst where I worked part time as a board operator. Besides radio, I like to write as well, so I wrote an article for Radio and Production Magazine and it got featured in their July 2015 issue. While all this was happening, I was talking to John Malone from Lincoln College's radio station: WLNX-Lincoln or 89X about joining their growing broadcast program. 89X is where things got crazy for me. I was given an open door to come and go from the station as I please; so I pulled (and continue to pull) a ton of all-night production sessions. From that, I was building up my skills even more! In my first two months of college, I won the NextRadio College Spot Contest and suddenly my voice was being heard on over 30 stations on a nation-wide campaign that played on legendary radio stations like WXRT-Chicago. But let's face it, Radio's changing and can go in just about any direction any day now. I have little to no clue where radio will be in 5-10 years but I do know I want to be there for this medium I love where ever it goes.