William F. Baker, remarkable broadcasting executive and public television leader, to speak at Fairfield University event for business leaders



Communion breakfast sponsored by CAPP and Center for Faith and Public Life

Image: Dr BakerWilliam F. Baker's place among broadcast executives, educators and fundraisers is arguably unparalleled. The multiple Emmy Award winner introduced Oprah Winfrey to America, launched the landmark program "Charlie Rose," and established the largest endowment in the history of public television.

Dr. Baker, now an educator at Fordham and a research fellow at Harvard, will deliver the keynote address at the Sixth Annual Communion Breakfast for Business Leaders on Sunday, October 30 in the Oak Room, located in the Barone Campus Center at Fairfield University. His talk will be preceded by a mass at 9 a.m. in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola, to be celebrated by the Most Reverend William Lori, Bishop of Bridgeport.

In addition, Fairfield University graduate Michael J. O'Rourke '74, Executive Director, Oppenheimer & Company Inc., will be honored with the CAPP Fairfield County Business Leadership Award, recognizing a business leader for fostering the mission of Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice (CAPP) by enhancing society through the application of Catholic Social Teaching. A Stamford, Connecticut resident, O'Rourke has exemplified applying the principles of Catholic Social Teaching of Human Dignity, Solidarity and Subsidiarity through his commitment to recognize the human dignity of women experiencing a crisis pregnancy and his personal support for the right to life for all beings. He was the driving force to establish Malta House of Good Counsel in Norwalk, Connecticut.

The event is being co-sponsored by Fairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life and the Fairfield County Chapter of Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice ("CAPP"), a lay-led Vatican organization founded by Pope John Paul II for education and evangelization of Catholic social doctrine through business, professional and academic leaders. There is limited seating. To register, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2927 or register online at www.fairfield.edu/commbkfst11.

"When you look at Dr. Baker's array of achievements, there is little wonder why Columbia, Julliard, Harvard and Fordham have asked him to be involved in their institutions," said Rev. Richard Ryscavage, S.J., director of the Center for Faith and Public Life. "His impressive 40-year career will undoubtedly serve to inspire business leaders."

Dr. Baker 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. He is also co-author of the book, "Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results" (American Management Association, 2008). In addition, Dr. Baker, who teaches at the Julliard School, is a senior research fellow at Harvard's Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, executive-in-residence at the Columbia University Business School, and is president emeritus of Educational Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), licensee of America's flagship PBS station Thirteen/WNET, and WLIW21, New Jersey's PBS affiliate.

During his twenty years as chief executive officer of Educational Broadcasting Corporation, he distinguished himself as one of America's most prolific fundraisers, raising over $1 billion for the station. Among many other accomplishments at EBC, Baker oversaw the station's transition to digital broadcasting, and launched WNET's first cable channel, MetroArts/Thirteen. Prior to that, 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 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 documentary film that traces the image of Jesus Christ in art around the world and across two millennia.

Baker was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Management Hall of Fame, Broadcasting & Cable's Hall of Fame and the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. He received the Mark Schubart Award from the Lincoln Center Institute and two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Awards, among many other honors.

Baker, who holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve, hosts the documentary, "Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results," which premiered on public television in 2008. His long standing commitment to promoting education led him to establish WNET's Educational Resources Center, America's most prolific trainer in multimedia teaching techniques.

For more information on Fairfield County Chapter of Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice, visit their website at http://www.capp-usa.org/ and click on the link to National and Regional News and then on the link to CAPP - Fairfield County. Additional background on Fairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life is available at http://www.fairfield.edu/cfpl/.

Contact: William J. Fox, President CAPP Fairfield County Chapter, FOXWJFOX@aol.com, (860) 659-0591

Image: CAPP Image: Fairfield University

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 23, 2011

Vol. 44, No. 48