Randy Bell has been covering Mississippi news for 38 years. He's thinking about making a career out of it. After getting his start in radio as a DJ at his hometown station in Vernon, Alabama (his first words on the air were introducing a song by Herman's Hermits), Randy thought he wanted to get involved in the technical side of the business. But after one semester of 8 AM labs, he decided a degree in Electrical Engineering at MSU wasn't a good idea and switched to Communications although he was already working in a local station and learning more about radio on the job than in school.
In 1975, Randy applied at WJDX as either a DJ or news reporter. Turns out, the station had an opening only in news and the rest is history. He has covered nine governors and six hurricanes, and has witnessed six executions. He has flown with the Blue Angels and had lunch at the White House.
Randy has been named Mississippi's Radio Newsperson of the Year 18 times and has won 21 national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He coordinates Mississippi's Emergency Alert System and helped develop the state's AMBER Alert plan.
He and his wife, Pat, have been married for 41 years and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Some thoughts after spending two weeks in Omaha covering the College World Series--
the people there are into the tournament. Everywhere you go, folks in restaurants and gas stations would recognize MSU shirts and tell you they're pulling for the team (although I suspect they were telling UCLA fans the same thing.) But Omahans aren't happy with the ballpark where the CWS is played. They want to see more home runs. TD Ameritrade Park is situated so that the prevailing wind blows in from center field. Only three homers were hit during the entire tournament this year (one of those by MSU's Hunter Renfroe).
MSU's fans support in Omaha was amazing. Monday morning, prior to the first championship series game, Bulldog fans stood in line during a storm to have a chance to buy tickets-- then lined up again in the afternoon to get the best outfield seats. LSU always brings a lot of fans to the CWS, but a columnist in the Omaha newspaper said he had never seen an outpouring of fans like this one.