Longtime KTHV news veteran Dawn Scott is hanging up the microphone, in her words, leaving the Little Rock CBS affiliate’s anchor desk after 21 years, the station announced Thursday.
Scott told Arkansas Business the decision was bittersweet, adding that COVID-19 pandemic had forced her to evolve, and that she’s determined to spend more time with her family. "Every one of us on this planet has had to take a look at our lives, how we are living, and asking 'what am I doing?'" She said broadcasting remotely from home had given her a new perspective, and made her realize her 12-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son need her more than ever.
"This pandemic gave me time with my children, and I've never had that," Scott said, adding that her last day will be Dec. 18. "When I went back to working in the building again, I thought I can't do this, I can't do this to them. I'm their mama, and that's my covenant."
Scott also has career plans ahead, but didn't want to disclose them Thursday. "It will not be in broadcasting," she said. "I have a huge dream that I want to come to pass through a nonprofit I want to create, but stay tuned for more on that. After 21 years, I feel like I've just finished a book, and I need a minute."
Scott will remain a semi-regular presence of THV11, station General Manager Marty Schack said in a statement, and she'll continue her effort to help foster children seeking adoption in the Channel 11 series “A Place to Call Home.”
KTHV called Scott “a multi-award-winning journalist perhaps best known for her writing, her heart for foster children, and the passion she has for the central Arkansas Community.” Viewers will still be able to catch her "on a somewhat regular basis,” said Schack, who noted that Scott has emceed hundreds of events and galas over the years, aiding causes like Miracle League and Women and Children First.
“Dawn will be missed tremendously as she steps away from the anchor desk, but we are so excited for her next adventure and wish her well.” Schack’s statement said.
Scott’s 21-year colleague on the anchor desk, Craig O’Neill, announced earlier this year that he had changed his mind after planning to retire, and will continue with THV11 for another year.
Scott said in a Facebook post that 2020 “forever changed us all,” and that the decision to step away was “100% my choice.” Still, she called the choice difficult. “All told, I’ve spent 25 years of my life on television or radio. I am so grateful, so blessed, and I could not have done any of it without your love and support. But life pushes and pulls us in directions we may not have known were available, and God sets desires and goals in our hearts that we previously could not have seen until ready.”
She plans to continue advocating for foster children and those up for adoption, sharing their stories on Channel 11 “and dreaming BIG for them,” Scott said.
Scott also thanked her longtime viewers. “You’ve shared your deepest, most vulnerable moments with me, and you trusted me to accurately report these stories for a greater purpose.”
Shayla Teater, KTHV’s news director, said she and Scott have worked together for years, and she’s sad to see her go. “I am so proud of her for making a difficult decision but following her heart,” Teater told Arkansas Business. “She has always followed her heart in her news reporting which is what made her so relatable. I am thrilled I still get to work with her on ‘A Place to Call Home,’ and see her passion continue through that.”