Sam Baker

Senior Editor and Morning Edition Host

Sam Baker is KERA's senior editor and local host for Morning Edition. The native of Beaumont, Texas, also edits and produces radio commentaries and Vital Signs, a series that's part of the station's Breakthroughs initiative. He also was the longtime host of KERA 13’s Emmy Award-winning public affairs program On the Record. He also won an Emmy in 2008 for KERA’s Sharing the Power: A Voter’s Voice Special, and has earned honors from the Associated Press and the Public Radio News Directors Inc.

Sam worked in commercial television at NBC and CBS affiliates for six years before moving to public broadcasting. He was news director and Morning Edition host at KWGS-FM in Tulsa, Okla., for three years and moved to KERA in 1991. He has served on the board of Public Radio News Directors Inc. and is a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Communicators.

As a volunteer, Sam produces a weekly series, Jazz in Words and Music, for Reading and Radio Resources, an agency serving the visually impaired. He also serves on the board of Southwest Transplant Alliance, a private non-profit organization that provides organs and tissues for transplantation.

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Vital Signs
10:18 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

New FDA Rules On What's Really 'Gluten-Free'

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Not all products labeled as “gluten-free” or some variation of it were actually free of the protein that can cause life-threatening illness in millions of Americans.

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Politics
6:18 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

What's Ahead For Gov. Rick Perry After His Indictment

Gov. Perry at his August 16, 2014 press conference
The Texas Tribune

Gov. Rick Perry still plans to meet with Republican activists in New Hampshire this weekend.  That’s as his lawyers meet with prosecutors about his indictment on two felony counts in his home state.

Sam Baker talks about the case with Ross Ramsey of The Texas Tribune.

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Vital Signs
6:28 am
Mon August 11, 2014

FDA: Pregnant Women Should Eat More Fish

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The Food and Drug Administration is issuing new recommendations about pregnant women and fish: Eat more of it. Most types are fine, save for a few. 

In this edition of Vital Signs, Dr. Sheri Puffer, an OB-GYN at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, says the new recommendations eliminate a source of concern for pregnant women.

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Business/Economy
6:38 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

New Report Shows A High Growth Rate Of Women-Owned Businesses In Texas

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A report out this year found the number of women-owned businesses has increased at one and a half times the national average between 1997 and 2014. During that time, Texas saw a 98% percent growth in women-owned businesses – the second highest in the nation behind Georgia.

Michael Cox, the current director of SMU’s O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom and a former chief economist for the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, says some of what fueled growth for women applied to business owners across the board.

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Vital Signs
6:28 am
Mon August 4, 2014

What You Should Know About Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease

Coxsackieviruses can cause meningitis and hand, foot and mouth disease.
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Summer usually brings a peak in cases of hand, foot and mouth disease – a contagious, viral illness affecting mostly small children.

Dr. Barbara Durso is a pediatrician with Parkland Hospital System. In this edition of Vital Signs, she tells KERA’s Sam Baker most cases of hand, foot and mouth aren’t serious, but they can cause discomfort.

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Vital Signs
10:49 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Early Onset: Alzheimer's Isn't Just For Old People

Doctor examines a patient's tonogram
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Of the five million people diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, as many as five percent were diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 60. It’s called early-onset (or younger-onset) Alzheimer's. Dr. Bassem Elsawy, a geriatrics expert with Methodist Charlton Medical Center, explains in this edition of KERA’s weekly consumer health series, Vital Signs.

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Vital Signs
6:28 am
Mon July 14, 2014

New Study Holds Promise For Children With Depression

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In this edition of Vital Signs, treating depression in children and adolescents. A study at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas indicates cognitive behavioral therapy combined with medication can improve the long-term success of treatment. Dr. Betsy Kennard, who's with both institutions, is lead author of the study. 

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Vital Signs
6:28 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Drowning After You Leave The Water

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In this edition of Vital Signs, the rare occurrence of drowning after you’ve left the water. Dry drowning and wet or secondary drowning can be fatal if left unattended -- and the latter can go unnoticed for several hours before symptoms appear.

Dr. Glenn Hardesty, an emergency physician at Texas Health Arlington Hospital, explains.

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Business/Economy
6:28 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Texas Tribune Series: Few Protections For Workers In Texas 'Miracle' Economy

Workers help with construction of a building in Austin. Photo by Todd Wiseman.
Todd Wiseman The Texas Tribune

State officials have touted the so-called Texas “miracle” economy and its boost in oil and gas and construction.

The Texas Tribune investigative series "Hurting For Work" found little protection for workers in those industries because of lax regulation. For instance, the lead author of the series, Jay Root, says Texas is the only state that allows employers to opt out of providing workers’ compensation coverage.

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Vital Signs
6:28 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Dehydration: Pay Attention To Your Body To Avoid It

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It’s natural to sweat more in summer, but also dangerous if you’re not careful. In this edition of KERA's consumer health series, Vital Signs, Dr. Alexander Eastman, Interim Medical Director of Trauma at Parkland Hospital,  explains how to guard against dehydration.

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