Claremont, Calif. (October 29, 2021)—Pitzer College Trustee Bridget Baker ’82, a cable industry pioneer who co-founded CNBC, will be inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame on November 15, 2021. The Cable Hall of Fame recognizes innovative leaders who have shaped and advanced the cable industry. The Cable Center named Baker to its Hall of Fame in 2020 but postponed the induction ceremony due to COVID-19. Other industry leaders who will be honored during the virtual event, which will air on C-SPAN3, include CNN founder Ted Turner, CNN President Jeff Zucker, and Urban One founder Cathy Hughes.
Baker helped build the cable television industry from its earliest days. She co-founded CNBC shortly after joining NBC in 1988 and spent more than two decades at NBCUniversal, where she was named the company’s first president of TV Networks Distribution in 2006. In that role, she oversaw the North American distribution of the NBCUniversal’s news, entertainment, and information channels, including MSNBC and CNBC, and led strategic initiatives that ranged from expanding Olympics coverage to creating Hulu. Matt Bond, chair of content distribution for NBCUniversal, told the Los Angeles Times that Baker “transformed NBCUniversal’s cable portfolio from CNBC into the formidable multi-billion-dollar, multi-platform it is today.”
In the early days of cable, Baker saw cable television’s potential to be a new vehicle for information, a way of providing more people with more news about the issues that affect their lives and the world around them.
“Maybe because I grew up in a small town in Alaska, I realized the value of having access to information,” said Baker, who is from Juneau. “I think that’s why I’ve stayed so passionate about the industry. I didn’t come to it from an angle of entertainment, I came at it from an angle of information—and getting that information out to people.”
Now the principal of the independent consultancy Baker Media, Baker has been recognized as an industry leader and champion for women in an often male-dominated field. She has been named the Hollywood Reporter’s “Power 100 Women in Entertainment” and Cable World’s “Most Powerful Women in Cable.” In 2012, she received both the Champion Award from the T. Howard Foundation, which promotes diversity in the multimedia and entertainment industry, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership, considered one of the industry’s highest honors. In 2008, Baker was the only woman inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers Association.
Baker majored in political studies at Pitzer College and cites the late political studies professor Lucian Marquis as a life-long influence. She later attended George Washington University and Exeter College, Oxford, to study politics and business and served as an aide to the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens after graduating from Pitzer.
Baker joined Pitzer’s Board of Trustees in 2003 and received the College’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010. A longtime supporter of the College, Baker has contributed to numerous projects on campus, including the Marquis Library and the Residence Life Project. Her daughter recently enrolled as a first-year student at Pitzer.
Pitzer College alumna, trustee and parent Bridget Baker’s achievements in the cable television industry will be celebrated during the Cable Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony on November 15, which can be viewed on C-SPAN 3 at 8 p.m. ET and on C-SPAN.org.