Drew Scott, a Long Island TV legend and a 20-year veteran at News 12, announced his retirement Sunday.
Scott, 70, has been an anchor and senior correspondent there since 1997, but has covered Long Island for various TV stations since 1973.
Scott, in an interview early Sunday afternoon, said he would make his goodbye official at the end of the 5 p.m. news broadcast.
He also anchors the 10 p.m. broadcast — his last was to be Sunday.
Scott said he plans to spend more time with his family, but also “keep busy in a new fight to halt opioid addiction in memory of my late granddaughter, Hallie Rae Ulrich.”
He said he had planned to retire before her death earlier this month.
“The time’s right,” he said. “The environment of TV news is changing and I’m slowing down a bit. I feel it especially in those snowstorms in winter.”
Scott also co-anchors a 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. newscast for News 12’s Westchester affiliate.
“Drew is a classic, street-smart TV newsman. We feel very lucky that he chose to spend such a big piece of his career with us. So many News 12ers have benefitted from his guidance and mentoring. He is a gentleman, a terrific journalist and a great friend. Our newsroom is a better place because of Drew and his work,” said Patrick Dolan, president of News 12 Networks and majority owner of Newsday Media Group.
Scott, a California native, first got into TV in 1970 when he briefly worked for a station based in Bermuda, then moved to Long Island where he has remained ever since. In 1972, he began working at WGBB/1240 AM in Freeport — Long Island’s venerable AM radio station founded in 1924.
He later worked as an anchor for WOR/9 and WPIX/11 — where he helped launch Independent Network News, an ambitious venture to offer network-quality news to far-flung “independent” stations unaffiliated with the three major networks broadcasting at that time. Scott was also news chief for Melville’s WLNY/55.
Scott reported more than 200 Long Island stories a year over a 45-year stretch — totaling some 9,400 reports — making him one of the most prolific and visible chroniclers of Long Island news currently still on the air. He, however, does not, hold the record at News 12: Carol Silva, Colleen McVey and Doug Geed have reported and anchored there since its launch, or shortly afterward, in 1986.
His most memorable story, he says, “had to be 9/11. We were at Ground Zero for a number of days and my beat was to cover people posting lost posters for their loved ones. It was heart-wrenching. And of course Flight TWA 800 was a huge story.
“I was also on the street when Reagan was shot in 1981, covering him for INN; [and] a few years before, at Channel 11, I was a pool reporter who covered the arraignment of David Berkowitz at Kings County Psychiatric. I was the first one he made eye contact with.”
Besides working against opioid addiction, Scott, who lives in Westhampton, says he wants to spend more time with his five grandchildren, as well as continue to do play-by-play announcing for the Westhampton Beach High School football team, the Hurricanes, “if they’ll have me.” He has been associated with the team since 1989.