My Media Week: Alex Baker

This week we contacted our Media Week Awards media owner Rising Star, Alex Baker, presenter and commercial programming manager at Kerrang! and Q Radio, who tells us about his newly found exercise regime and why he only drinks station-endorsed drinks on New Year's Eve.

Alex Baker: presenter and commercial programming manager at Kerrang! and Q Radio
Alex Baker: presenter and commercial programming manager at Kerrang! and Q Radio


You know that horrible "HONNNK" tone that the iPhone alarm makes? Apparently it's not that alarming as I'm sleeping through it like a baby. I hate to sound smug (and I realise that I do), but I love working in radio, so springing out of bed in the morning, once awake, is never a problem.

I get into the office at 8am – not bad considering the New Year's drinking shenanigans. Ever since I started working in the commercial radio sector, I've had an internal pact that I only drink the products on New Year's Eve that we, at Kerrang! Radio and Q Radio, have advertised that year.

So Saturday night consisted of the potent mix of Jack Daniel's and cola/ginger in a can, Marston's Hobgoblin, and Budweiser, thanks to everyone at InBev – who will be pleased to know that I allocated a designated driver and drank their product responsibly.

Being a bank holiday, work is dead (except for us presenters) – a perfect environment for me to hit the ground running, tie off all the loose ends from 2011 and write the 2012 strategy that I've spent all Christmas formulating.

I then email my mentor Steve Taylor (creative commercial director at Bauer) to wish him a happy New Year. Steve has an infectious passion for radio which makes him an inspirational joy to be around.

I email Dan Cooke at 2K Games who we've been working with on 'The Darkness II'. Dan's become a good friend. Something I relish about the media – the abundance of genuinely lovely people.

Next up, some script writing for a really exciting Virgin Active campaign, a campaign that will, for the first time ever, make weight loss my job.


In work at 7.30am, write up my daily "to do" list in my oddly-treasured day-to-a-page diary. I go through the booking for 'The Darkest Hour' promotion. It's going to be an absolutely huge, production-intensive campaign, so I spend a good deal of time writing the presenter briefs, briefing drive-time presenter Kate Lawler and her producer Neil Fearn.

Next I catch up with Craig Jennings, founder of Raw Power Management, and his wonderful team about an exciting idea I have. He gets as excited as me and before the day is out, loads of things are already booked.

iPhone beeps and my new personal trainer from Virgin Active is already on my case. I tell him about my sore knees and oversized belly – he tells me not to worry. For the next six weeks, I will be sculpted into shape for the campaign.

On-air features will track my progress and I will embrace the relaxed Ofcom Broadcast Code by endorsing Virgin Active. It's always fun when I get to be part of the whole campaign (from booking to delivery), but this time, to really deliver for the client, I need to lose a stack of weight.

I get home after 7pm and take a call from Lower Than Atlantis – one of the bands I look after for Monster Energy Drink. I've worked for Monster for three years part-time. Like Bauer, it's a brilliant, inspiring company that pushes the boundaries. I love this consulting role and it's great working both client side and media-owner side.

I try to play some Fifa, but the Xbox 360 flashes red and dies. Just as well – I suck at Fifa.


I head down to London to catch up with the account handlers. I walk from Euston to Shaftesbury Avenue, avoiding the previously obligatory fast-food outlets. I'm loyal to the end to our clients, in this case Virgin Active and the new healthy me.

Many high-fives, hugs, serious meetings and plans later I'm back on the Virgin Pendolino speeding back up to Brum. Incidentally, I follow @virgintrains on twitter and we tweet each other regularly. That's not cool, is it?


The downward slope of the week always frightens me, not because of workload or deadlines, but because it always comes around so fast. I plunge into the day with a miniscule bowl of Diet Chef Cereal, a Berocca and reply to a string of emails.

An email springs up – a very large client is interested in sponsoring one of our premium day-parts so I'm on the phone straight away, generating ideas with the lovely Loren Eley (account director) and Jemma King (project manager) from Bauer. The ideas are fantastic and are set to really showcase the client's brand.

Next up, I get back to the BBC. They want me to come and speak about specialist playlisting at a forthcoming BBC Academy event.

I brief our freelance producer on some complex copy that needs creating. Don't you love it when you work with people that just "get it"?  That is one of my favourite things about Bauer – quality people.

Some 67 emails, 11 phone calls and a facetime call (so 2012) later, it's time to start working on my shows. Generally, I do my shows live, but I'm often so busy over the weekend that I'm not able to.

So I prepare and record my 'Unsigned' show and leave work just past 9.30pm, absolutely psyched about a new band I'm playing called Yearbook.

I get home to find my fiancée has bought me a new Xbox 360 – what an absolute hero, I cannot wait to marry her. No rest for the wicked though, and I'm back out on the road to Worcester to DJ at The Velvet Lounge.

Get home to find out that @VirginActiveUK has started following me on Twitter…awesome!


Friday is always my busiest day and today is no different. I approve copy for broadcast, create ideas for some exciting film briefs, meet with presenters about next week's commercial activity, tweet @VirginActiveUK, work with the indescribably talented Karen Nicholson (trade marketing manager, Bauer) on a project based in Hamburg, write some presenter scripts for our 'Drive Time' show, take two Beroccas, pay an annoying tax bill, record my 'Klub Kerrang!' show, prepare my 'The Alex Baker Show' show, do a feature on the drive-time show, and figure out how I'm going to re-communicate what a wonderful yet misunderstood brand Kerrang! Radio is to the agencies this year.

Work finishes at 8pm and I set out to DJ at the HMV Institute in Birmingham. The weekend will be fun with DJing at Rock City, and then my usual dip into work on Sunday to ensure all is well with my programmes.

Week over – roll on Monday.

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