This is Home: Todd Baucher retires after 41+ years with WTAP
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - After more than 41 years with WTAP, reporter Todd Baucher has decided to call it a career.
“That’s about two-thirds of my life I’ve spent here,” Todd said. “I saw a quote recently, and I won’t say who it is, but it’s a well-known TV personality who has been in the business a long time and he said: ‘You know, I would rather retire two years too early than two years too late.’ I want to step down while I still have my health, while I can still enjoy whatever it is I’m going to continue doing.”
Todd began reporting as a college student, working for WOUB Pubic Media while earning his bachelor’s degree at Ohio University. He graduated from OU in 1978 and began working for Marietta-based radio station WBRJ-AM as its only news reporter. He joined WTAP in the fall of 1980 after WBRJ-AM decided to eliminate his position, and has been here ever since.
Todd says he has always wanted to work in television, and that’s likely what kept him in the business.
“I grew up in front of a TV,” Todd said. “I was mesmerized by it, to come up with one word for it. That’s probably what’s kept me in television. Kept me at this job... the fact that this is always what I wanted to do. Failure wasn’t an option.”
Todd’s favorite show was, and still is, the “Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
“It took place in a newsroom, and in a way, it might have influenced me to go into this business,” Todd said, noting he always knew he didn’t want to be like Ted Baxter.
In his more than four decades with WTAP, Todd has covered nearly every topic imaginable.
He even interviewed a groundhog for a Groundhog’s Day story.
“It’s pretty much been anything and everything,” Todd said.
Todd’s outstanding work has won him numerous awards, including a lifetime achievement award from the Associated Press.
He has also earned the respect of many of the officials he has covered. He was honored with a Spirit of Wood County Award by the Wood County Commission on his 40th anniversary with WTAP and several other local officials have honored him since he announced his retirement. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice even recognized his retirement on December 30th, saying Todd will be missed.
Plans for retirement
After decades at work, Todd says he mostly plans on relaxing in his retirement.
He says he would like to do some traveling and see some family, but plans on staying in the Mid-Ohio Valley. At least for a while, that is.
And, he says if the offer is right, he may dabble back into the news business on a part-time basis.
Todd’s 40th Anniversary Special
Want to know more about Todd? Watch this special interview Todd did for his 40th anniversary with WTAP.
You can also read more about Todd in this story.
Todd is a friend to everyone in the WTAP family. He has been a mentor to countless young journalists including the current WTAP staff. Todd, you’ll be dearly missed at our station. Enjoy your retirement!
Here’s just a few of many well-wishes sent to Todd in his last days at work.
In order of appearance and from left to right: WTAP News Anchor Samantha Cavalli, Former WTAP Sports Director Jim Wharton, WTAP News Anchor Phyllis Smith, Meteorologist Hannah Stutler and WTAP News Anchor Zach Miles, WTAP Sports Anchor Ryan Wilson, WTAP Reporter Kaitlin Streator, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, Wood County Commissioners Bob Tebay, Jimmy Colombo, and Blair Couch, and Wood County Administrator Marty Seufer.
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