Turning Back the Dial: Todd Baucher
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - It’s time for a look back as WTAP celebrates its 70th year in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
In the spirit of celebration, we have invited some familiar faces from the past to celebrate with us.
Join us as we sit down with Todd Baucher in this week’s “Turning Back the Dial.”
“When I first started here, I eventually became the morning newscaster doing those news broadcasts, and I did that for almost 10 years.”
Todd Baucher has been a familiar face in the Mid-Ohio Valley for many years.
Originally from the Cleveland area, Baucher is a graduate of Ohio University who made his way to WTAP after working at a radio station.
“The radio station I was working for was about to let go of me, and I heard from someone that the news director was leaving, and I got in touch with the general manager at the time, Sherman Grimm. And he interviewed me for a job, and I didn’t become news director. But I got hired here in September of 1980.”
Baucher held many different positions over the years. One of his first positions at WTAP included being a morning newscaster.
“Morning newscast back then meant you’d air at about 25 minutes after the hour on the Today Show. I did that for almost 10 years, and I like to say that I became as well known at being, at least in the Mid-Ohio Valley, being part of the Today Show as Bryant Gumbel, Jane Pauley and Willard Scott, who were the hosts of that at the time.”
Looking back on his time at WTAP, Baucher reflects on all of the changes that happened throughout his time here.
“This station actually grew a lot while I was here. We were in a building on 7th St. which today is a parking lot, and even when I started there that building had seen its better days. After about 10 years management at the time started putting some money in it. We moved in here, in this building, in 1990, but along with that, the station staff in general and in particular the news department, grew from about four people to probably around 13 these days. But it was a big jump from what we had done 10 years earlier.”
The station environment wasn’t the only thing that changed throughout his time at WTAP. Baucher goes on to say that his time in the studio and in the newsroom consistently led him to new experiences and lessons throughout his career.
“I started here, as I said in 1980. At the time, cable television was a new thing for much of the country, you know, today we not only have cable television, we have streaming TV. We have satellite-to-home TV. It was a constant learning process because technology and TV hadn’t changed a whole lot by the time I got here. It’s gone through all kinds of changes, as I said since then, so it was a big learning process for me.”
After working at WTAP for 41 years, Baucher says that the next step in his career was retirement.
“Somebody I talked to not long after I retired asked me the question, “Is this like Saturday every day?” I think that’s a great answer to that question. In the last year or so, I have done some traveling, and this might disappoint a lot of our audience, but I actually moved out of the area, I moved last year up to Central Ohio.”
After reminiscing, Baucher left off with one more thing he wanted to share about WTAP.
“There are a lot of cities the size of Parkersburg, and a lot of areas the size of the Mid-Ohio Valley, who do not even have a local TV station. We’re not that far from Charleston, we’re not that far from Columbus, or Wheeling, or maybe even Clarksburg. It could be that we would be in a situation where those stations would serve the area without a local station here. You would not get the local coverage of this area that you get on WTAP on any station, say 80, 90, a hundred miles from here. It’s a good thing to have a local TV station.”
L.V. Hissem for WTAP News. This is Home.
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