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Thu, Sep 5, 2002

New TV-9 anchor ran for Congress

By Amy Kimmes
Wausau Daily Herald

A former Quincy, Ill., television reporter and anchor and Illinois congressional candidate has joined a Wausau television station.

Mark Baker, 43, is the latest anchor to join WAOW-TV 9 after longtime anchors Dave Benton and Lisa Bertin left the ABC affiliate recently. Benton's last newscast was in the spring and Bertin's was earlier this summer.

Baker's former employer, Les Sachs, news director at WGEM-TV 10 in Quincy, Ill., said Baker will be an asset to the community. WGEM-TV, an NBC affiliate station, and WAOW-TV 9 are owned by Quincy Newspapers, Inc.

"He's a great guy, very professional," said Sachs. "He was a fine overall general assignment reporter. He's friendly, outgoing, informed, just a real well-rounded fellow. He's a real solid guy, I wish him the best."
Baker, who grew up in Shelby County, Mo., graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1981. He worked in sales for four years and did some radio work in southern California before joining the Financial News Network, now known as CNBC, in 1989..

He was hired at WGEM-TV in Sept. 18, 1991 and left on Dec. 31, 1995.

Baker ran for the Illinois District 17 seat in Congress on the Republican ticket three times - 1996, 1998 and 2000 - and lost each time to Lane Evans, an entrenched Democrat.

Baker joined the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, or DCCA, an economic development organization in Illinois, after his first run for Congress in 1996. He worked for DCCA until recently.

Baker said Wednesday that he could not answer journalists' questions, and officials at WAOW-TV 9 did not return telephone calls Tuesday and Wednesday.

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