A Woman’s Role in the Intense World of Philadelphia Sports – Welcome to World Woman Foundation

A Woman’s Role in the Intense World of Philadelphia Sports

Philadelphia is known for its cheesesteaks, its history and its sports. The fans that support Philadelphia and its teams have an enthusiasm that could be seen in the excitement of the parade celebrating the Phillies’ 2008 World Series win and can be continuously seen at sporting events across the board.

 Sarah Baicker, a sports reporter, hockey fanatic and local of the Philadelphia area, is part of that mantra; “I grew up playing hockey and grew up as a sports fan, my dad was really into it so I inherited that from him,” she stated. However, she did not set out to be in the world of sports when she first realized that journalism was where her career would blossom. She had some experience reporting on politics on Capital Hill, for example.

She does attribute some of her successes to her previous experience on the ice, “I don’t believe you need to have played a sport professionally to be able to speak eloquently about it,” however, she states that “it does help to have played because when players found out [she] was covering there was immediate respect from many of them, also [she states that you] understand the sport in different a way than someone who has only watched it from the stands.”

Furthermore, she talks about how is has helped her to relate with a subject in interviews and that it has been largely helpful in pretty much in all she has done in that it has helped get her to where she is today by it giving her some credibility.

When finishing graduate school at Northwestern University in December of 2007, Baicker moved back to Philadelphia and “wrote letters to people at organizations where [she] might like to work in order to take them out to coffee and ask them questions” she states. One of those individuals happened to be the managing editor of CSN.com, which resulted in her eventual hire two years after where she has been at Comcast doing sports since 2009.

Currently, Baicker is a host on Breakfast on Broad, a sports broadcasting show that airs from six to eight in the morning on weekdays where she covers the social media morning buzz updating viewers about what they missed online from the previous day and night. To be ready for her six in the morning airtime, Baicker wakes up at 3:15 A.M. stating, “Yes there is a 3:15 you can wake up at, not just one you stay up until.”

Continuing her day, she says she has her morning routine down to the 30 seconds as she must be at work for four in the morning to attend producer meetings, prep for the show, research, and go through hair and make up. She must also write the material for her segment, which is something she transitioned to after beginning her position with Breakfast on Broad.

Baicker says that it helps when she sees her own words running on the teleprompter, “it’s a skill,” she states, “seeing how I speak on the screen definitely makes [reading from the prompter] that much easier.”

However, being a writer at heart, Baicker talks about missing some of the seriousness that goes along with political reporting, for example, “I really enjoyed reporting on politics and it is hard to watch from the sidelines during election years, working politics is ugly, but also really fun in a way.”

In order to fill that urge, Baicker continues to write feature pieces for places like BillyPenn.com covering topics like consumer related healthcare issues, which she finds fascinating.

Although Baicker states that she never intended on becoming a part of the broadcast reporting world despite her love of acting and performing music as a child, “I thought I wanted to be a meteorologist when I was young as I was always into acting and being in front of people never really bugged me” she stated. However, she began noticing a change in the air: the people who were contributing to the content were being featured more on television segments. This lead to her eventual on air debut on then Daily News Live (now entitled Philly Sports Talk), which she credits to her proven writing and reporting abilities.

From there, she states that her on air presence grew in scope from appearances on Philly Sports Talk, for example, once or twice a week to her web series Flyer’d Update three times a week and her eventual spot as a host on Breakfast on Broad where she is on air every morning.

When looking to the future, Baicker says she used to claim that the kind of job she was meant to do did not exist yet, but she believes that with the development of social media and its intersection with television that she cannot really say that anymore, “I can say that at this point what I was pointing to does exist with this job I have now with the integration of social media and television, which I find really interesting,” she states, “I like being in broadcasting, I didn’t think this would be where I was going to land, and I didn’t think I was going to like it, but I don’t want to leave at this point and I want to continue, I just don’t know exactly where that would lead me.”


In terms of how social media has changed sports reporting she states that after graduating with her masters degree “twitter was not yet so prominent, so [she] sort of knows what it was like before and after its boost in popularity,” she states, “before it was always a race to break news first, especially in sports reporting time stamps on the website were so important” whereas now, that time difference can consist of only 45 seconds. However, she goes on to say that the development of social media has created a lot of jobs for reporters in journalism, including her own.

As far as her love for hockey, she continues to play on women’s teams through the winter months and with her guy friends through the duration of the summer. Also, she has created a skills camp in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for young girls who also love the sport, “when brainstorming with my lawyer, Todd Schill, about how to develop my brand and name, he suggested the idea of a hockey camp for young girls as his daughter had recently taken up the sport” she states. This led to an eventual partnership with Edge Performance in order to fully develop this idea, “I loved every minute of it and we are doing it again this year,” she states, “I am so happy that we are coming back, hopefully with a bigger and even better group.”

When it comes to inspiring young girls she states that did not set out to change anyone’s life, but does say that her “hope is that those girls, in getting to know, spend time and playing on the ice with me they can say, ‘Oh look somebody did it, so I can too,’” she states, “I didn’t have that, and a number of girls I grew up playing hockey with have reached out to me over the years to say that if they had known that this could be translated into a career they would’ve wanted to do that, but never thought they could do because they are female.”

What are her views on women in sports reporting? “Not enough, both in sports and in sports media, although it is getting better,” she states, “I remember as recently as a year ago, I was sitting in the Flyers press box and I looked to my right only to see like fifty men and that’s not a good feeling,” she states, “it makes me feel good that I’ve accomplished something that people clearly have not been able to do, but I want other women there with me, and I know there is no reason why we can’t do it so I can only hope the positive trend of women in sports media continues in the direction that its going.”