Thursday, February 9, 2023

Mississippi Connection

Todd Baer, left, in the newsroom at Bloomberg TV in Mongolia. Photo Courtesy of Bloomberg TV

Mississippi Connection
Bloomberg bureau chief Todd Baer credits his Mississippi connections with advancing his journalism career
By Michael Harrelson, editor,
Bloomberg News Executive Producer Todd Baer has traveled the world for ABC Radio News, CNN and other global media conglomerates. Since 2006, the New York City native has traveled to and worked in Pakistan, India, Beirut, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, among many other places.
More often than not, his work as a journalist has taken him to areas of armed conflict, where even seasoned journalists might fear to tread.
“As a young reporter, I was walking into everything,” Baer says, adding, “If you survive your first armed conflict, you develop an instinct.”
Yet when Baer visited Oxford, Mississippi, and the Meek School of Journalism and New Media last week, he found himself in friendly territory where he could let his guard down.
A graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Baer was in Mississippi to visit Ole Miss Journalism Dean Will Norton, his former professor and dean of journalism at the University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
“He set me on a path toward a career in journalism,” Baer says, adding that Norton is actually one of three Mississippi connections who had an impact on his career as a foreign correspondent.
While visiting Mississippi, Baer and Norton also paid a visit to Greenville, Mississippi, to attend a gala/fundraiser honoring Chuck Jordan, the late mayor of Greenville who died of pancreatic cancer earlier this year.
Now the bureau chief for Bloomberg TV in Mongolia, Baer was invited to attend the Greenville gala by Bloomberg TV News chief Andy Lack, whose own great-grandfather once served as mayor of Greenville.
“Andy Lack is really focused on his Mississippi roots, and he wanted Todd to attend the gala, see Greenville and stop by the University,” Norton said.
In addition to Lack, Baer said there is a third Mississippi connection to his career that goes back to his first job for ABC Radio News. When hired for his first news internship at ABC in New York City, the man who hired him was Chris Berry, himself an Ole Miss journalism graduate.
“Berry definitely opened the door for Todd,” Norton said.