Q & A: Linh Bui Talks Retirement With Don Scott
BALTIMORE (WJZ)–After 40 years, Don Scott will be saying his final goodbye to WJZ on Friday.
Linh Bui had a conversation with Don as he reflected on his wonderful television career.
Bui: “45 years in the business and 40 years at WJZ. How does it feel knowing it’s going to end soon?”
Scott: “It Definitely feels strange. Part of me is elated, part of me is frightened and part of me wonders–is it the right thing to do.”
Bui: “You’ve become such an integral part of the community– you even say when you go out in public–everyone’s like ‘Don Scott! Don Scott!'”
Scott: “It comes with the business, but I feel like I’m sort of like an old pair of jeans at this point. I’m comfortable.”
Bui: “Looking back , what were some of the most memorable stories you’ve covered?”
Scott: “There’s always a couple that come to mind. First of all, when the Pope visited, John Paul II, that was an amazing story all the way around. I co-anchored with Denise at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and I’m not a Catholic, but I found myself tearing up when his plane was shown on the Jumbo-tron. Everybody was tearing up and so was I.
“Another one I covered was Three Mile Island from the beginning , at least the first three days. We were actually at the groundbreaking for the Baltimore Colts training complex on Owings Mills Boulevard at the time when they got the call. We went over to a local golf course, the helicopter met us there, and like four hours after the meltdown we were flying over the cooling towers at a very low altitude seeing things. I’ve had two children since and they’re fine but afterward, they closed that airspace and we were the last to do that.”
Bui: “What about interviews? You’ve talked to politicians, actors, musicians. Does anything stand out?”
Scott: “Every year, on the anniversary dates, they show Marty and my interview with Elmo. That was one of the thrills, I guess– seeing how that worked.
Kevin Clash was lying down on the floor, with the sticks and a small TV on his chest– but nobody, neither Marty nor I, talked to Kevin– we talked to Elmo!”
Bui: “It was like Elmo was real!”
Scott: “It becomes real, so that was fascinating. Elmo and the Pope, that’s pretty good! A puppet and the Pope!”
Bui: “What will you miss the most after you leave?”
Scott: “I think the interaction with the people and the audience , even though we’re talking in front of a camera as we are now, you can imagine the audience behind that camera– not in a large group, but maybe one or two people watching a TV, or in my case, I always try to imagine that it’s my mother behind the camera, and I tell her the stories.”
Bui: “People have grown up with you. They’ve watched you for decades. What would your message be to all the viewers who love you so much and are going to miss you so much?”
Scott: “Well, I thank them for liking what they have seen on the air for supporting me in good times and bad — and be willing to offer advice from time to time. It’s been a lot of fun, it’s been very satisfying, and I appreciate everything that everybody has said.”
Bui: “They’ve given you some nice tributes, posting some really cool pictures of you.”
Scott: “Yea, old pictures and things, it’s always fun to do. I have to admit, I feel it in my heart and I tear up occasionally when those things happen — trying not to do that now.”
Bui: “Any message to all of us–your soon to be former colleagues?”
Scott: “Same as the general public , I thank you for all of your support, especially Marty, I have to say that. You can’t have a partnership of over 30 years without a partner. Marty kept me on my toes, helped me in times of good and bad and vice versa– it wouldn’t have been the same.”
Don Scott’s last day on the air is Friday.
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