Rising radio star gets head start on his career

RADIO-ACTIVE • Working as a sports analyst for KTRS radio station, budding star Max Baker, a student at Ladue Middle School, offers insight into the world of professional athletics.  (Photo by Daniella Kats) 

BY HANNAH SNIDMAN, Junior, Ladue Horton Watkins High School

Eighth grader at Ladue Middle School impresses listeners

While most eighth graders choose to spend their Friday nights hanging out with friends, doing homework or playing games, Ladue Middle School student Max Baker works as a sports analyst on the radio station KTRS.

Max appears weekly on the “Night Shift” Fridays from 11 p.m. to midnight. Max must prepare for the show so he can keep up with host Scott Sherman and producer Kyle Brittner.

“My favorite part, I’ve got to say, must be the preparation,” Max said. “I get to do all my research and look up all the stats of each team.”

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During each show, Max, Sherman, and Brittner play a game with callers. They pick six Division 1 college games and six NFL games and predict which will win.

“On Monday we review all of the picks, and whoever has the most number right, wins the game. We have callers come in and they pick who they want to be their representative out of Scott, myself, and Max,” said Brittner, explaining that if the caller picks the winning host, the caller wins a prize. 

“So basically, whoever picks Max wins a prize is the way things are going,” Brittner continued. “It’s very humbling to have Max come in and beat us every week.”

Max’s dad, Loren Baker, knew Max was perfect for the show when his college friend, the host of “Night Shift,” explained that he needed a sports expert for the contest. After suggesting Max as a joke, Sherman took the idea seriously.

“As Max got older, it became clear that he was kind of a sports [guru], and he just knew everything since the time he could talk about the lineups, the football teams, and statistics,” Sherman said. “He’s already been to broadcasting camp and he’s very serious about it. He’s more professional than most of the professionals.”

Although Max acts like a professional sports analyst, he still must attend middle school. Max said the one downside to the show is the hours.

“The hardest part is staying up that late because when you have five consecutive days of school, you’re pretty tired from waking up at 7 in the morning every day,” Max said. “Then you have to stay up until 1:30 in the morning because that’s when I get to go home.”

Max plans on continuing to work as a sports broadcaster for his career as an adult. He hopes to work on the radio show again next year.

“Right now, it’s through the end of football season. I would recommend that we keep him on at some capacity, though,” Brittner said. “We get a lot of positive feedback about Max and how [listeners] really like his part of the show.”

The show’s audience tends to be a lot older than Max. Sherman believes that Max’s young age helps attract more listeners.

“Max brings not only an adorability to [the show], where the people are a little older than the traditional talk radio listeners, but he also brings a younger audience,” Sherman said. “At 13, he does a tremendous job. I am not only proud of him, but I’m really kind of lucky to have somebody that good.”