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Jim Porter takes over as Pro Football Hall of Fame president

Front of Pro Football Hall of Fame museum
Tim Rudell
The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton has named Jim Porter as president of the museum. Porter replaces former president David Baker.

Jim Porter has been named the new president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The lifelong Stark County resident is excited to make his mark on the institution.

Growing up in Plain Township, Porter always loved the Hall of Fame.

“When you’re younger, most kids are counting down the days until Christmas. I was counting down the days until Hall of Fame enshrinement,” he said.

After a dip during the COVID-19 pandemic, Porter said attendance is bouncing back.

“We’re going to put a lot of focus on regional tourism and getting the folks in Buffalo to come over and getting the folks in Pittsburgh. And quite honestly, getting the folks in Stark County, Summit County, Portage County," he said. "We’re going to put a big focus on those people coming into the hall and getting a look at what we have to offer.”

Before joining the Hall in 2020 as chief marketing and communications officer, Porter, spent six years as the CEO and Publisher of The Canton Repository.

Though the 2022 class has yet to be announced, Porter wants to bring back old Hall of Fame traditions like celebrating enshrinement anniversaries.

So in 2022 you may see members of the class of 1972 honored.

“Just recognizing those guys just a little bit more than all the guys that come back. Just because it’s an anniversary year,” Porter said.

Porter is taking over for the retiring David Baker, who spent seven years leading the Hall.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.