Baker has replaced Kate Laverge and will report jointly to Julia Phelps, senior vice president of communications, VIMN, based in New York and James Currell, chief operating officer of VIMN UK, Australia and Eastern Europe, based in the UK.
In his new role Baker will oversee corporate media relations and internal comms for VIMN’s operations in the UK, with an international remit that covers the business’ markets in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Israel.
Leading a team of seven, Baker is charged with leading and supporting corporate comms strategies for the company’s global activities, including commercial brand partnerships, digital media, programme sales, consumer products and social responsibility. He also has a ‘dotted line’ to Viacom’s consumer PR teams including brands MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.
Baker's three years away from the media industry included 16 months at Oxfam as head of media, overseeing the charity’s UK and international PR output for its emergency relief and development programmes and global campaigns.
Speaking to PRWeek, Baker said that media is the industry he ‘knows best’ and that his time at Oxfam was always intended as a year’s maternity cover, though he ended up staying longer.
He said: ‘I left Channel 4 at the end of 2010 and took some time off - I enjoyed my time at Oxfam but I have spent 20 years in the broadcast media industry and media is the world that I know.’
Baker spent 12 years at Channel 4, ascending to head of PR, covering corporate comms and consumer publicity. His career in journalism included time as editor of trade magazine Broadcast.