May 032005
 
Authors: Steve Hendriksen

If people saw Baker Machado in public, they would never know they were standing near one of Northern Colorado's top disk jockeys. That is, until he spoke.

With one of the most recognizable voices in the region, and enough charisma to fill a stadium, Machado is a radio producer's dream.

Machado sits at his desk, chatting with his co-workers just like any ordinary person. With a blue blazer sitting on top of a button up shirt, Machado has class written all over him. Then one may notice his wild hair and signature Carmello Anthony sneakers, and realize Machado is anything but ordinary.

As a DJ at 90.5 KCSU-FM, CSU's student-run radio station, Machado has earned national recognition from numerous awards for his outstanding work in the broadcasting world.

"I'm an ADD (attention deficit disorder) workaholic and a perfectionist," Machado said.

With more jobs than most could handle at KCSU, Machado has little time to play around. "I usually have so much to do that I'm here until 6:30 at night, so I'm running 40 to 50 hours a week at KCSU," he said while prepping for the day. E-mails need to be checked, news needs to be acquired and then there is his homework.

From producing the majority of all KCSU's production pieces to running the jazz department, to teaching the future on-air talent with his quick tips and sharp wit, Machado has a lot to think about.

And then there is his show…

"Baker for the Ride Home" is a popular ride-home radio show in Colorado and has been for a year and a half. Airing from 3 to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Machado's show attracts many listeners coming home from work or school. With nearly 50 calls a day and tons of hilarious antics, Machado's show reaches thousands in the Fort Collins community.

"The thing about Baker is he stirs up listener response and it helps give KCSU a name for itself," said Chris Dittmer, KCSU Station Manager.

For all of his hard work, Machado has a lot of things to show.

"I have won close to 10 regional and national awards," Machado said.

In fact, Machado just returned from Las Vegas after receiving Best in Show from the Broadcast Education Association. He achieved this by placing first in both the DJ on air category and newscaster category. He also placed third for a production piece, advertising the station's Web site on KCSUFM.com.

Apparently, word has gotten out about his success.

"I was offered a job at 99.9 The Point last semester. It was very flattering, but I'm just not ready," Machado said. "My ultimate goal is to get a job in radio or television in San Diego or Los Angeles."

Mario Caballero, KCSU's broadcasting operation manager, thinks Machado's ideal career is in reach.

"I think Baker is one of the best young DJs I have ever heard in more than 30 years of radio," Caballero said.

This compliment comes from a man with more than 18 years experience in the radio industry.

The West Coast radio scene has become the breeding ground for such heartthrobs as Carson Daly and one of Machado's biggest influences, Ryan Seacrest.

Always looking to learn more, Machado can be found streaming Seacrest's Los Angles based KIIS-FM show over the Internet every morning.

"That's where I want to work," Machado said. "KIIS has been my dream since I can remember."

Machado got his chance to do his best in Seacrest's shoes while hosting the annual CSU Idol this year.

"It was a lot of fun and I plan on going back next year," Machado said.

It may surprise people that Machado has accomplished so much at the age of 20.

"It's scary to think that I've been offered a job at a radio station and I'm only a sophomore," Machado said.

Machado has already promised at least one more year to KCSU, where he will be a primetime host as well as the program director.

"Next year I want to get involved as much behind the scenes as I can," Machado said. "I am so excited to meet these eager kids, because I used to be one of them."

While Machado does not know what his future holds, he has some plans.

"I plan on getting an internship in Denver next year and see what happens from there, unless the dream job calls me," Machado said.

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