Remembering the ‘legend’ and the man, WLW radio’s Jim Scott, 81, who died Friday

By Andy Furman
NKyTribune reporter

I was one of the few lucky ones. Not only did I work with Jim Scott – I got to see him daily – for some 18 years. And, yes, he is everything you have ever heard about him – and more.

Jim Scott left us Friday night at the age of 81. He suffered from ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — for some time. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

“Amyotrophic” comes from the Greek language. “A” means no. “Myo” refers to muscle. “Trophic” means nourishment. So, amyotrophic means “no muscle nourishment,” and when a muscle has no nourishment, it “atrophies” or wastes away.

Jim Scott (Photo provided)

“Lateral” identifies the areas in a person’s spinal cord where potions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. So, this area degenerates, it leads to scarring or hardening (“sclerosis”) in the region.

For about 90% of all cases, there is no known family history of the disease or presence of a genetic mutation linked to ALS. For 5-10% of all cases, there is a known family history of the disease. This is often called family ALS.

In August, 2023, Scott announced on social media he had been diagnosed with ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” He said he had noticed a weakness in his left arm, leg, and hand. These were the same regions affected when, as a 12-year-old child, he contracted polio.

But for 46 years of his life – well, he became part of ours – and lucky for me, mine as well. Scott worked as the morning host for 700-WLW Radio, and prior to that, WSAI and WINK-FM, here in town.

He did a brief stint at WNBC Radio in New York City – sandwiched between Don Imus and Howard Stern.

Lucky for us, he decided to call the Tri-state his home. And when his passing was announced, it was just as if your radio died as well. He was our alarm clock, news of the day, companion and, in winter – let us know if our schools would be closed after snow storms.

Yet, he was more than a voice – I have called him The Legend. And that simply means someone who is a) quite famous, and b) admired by many. Jim Scott was.

I have never heard anyone say a derogatory word to the man. Why would they – he would be out greeting people, talking to civic groups, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, or raising money for various charities.

Now that is a legend.

But there was one time Jim sort of raised his voice – ugh, it was aimed at me.

Jim worked from, 6—9 a.m. mornings at 700-WLW – I did Sports Talk in the evenings, and during the baseball season, I did an Extra Innings show after the game until midnight.

And, back in the day, smoking was permitted in the studio – so I would kick back with a cigar from time-to-time

The cloud of smoke that Jim had to endure each morning after my nightly show, was too much for him to bear, to say the least.

And anyone who knows me, well I can get under your skin, at times.

He approached me and asked that I stop – I am not so sure that I did. But I do remember him leaving spray can of Lysol for me one morning.

He was the best there ever was behind as microphone in this town – and I was proud to call him not only my co-worker – but a true friend.

Miss you, Good ‘ol Jim Scott — and I am not the only one.

4 thoughts on “Remembering the ‘legend’ and the man, WLW radio’s Jim Scott, 81, who died Friday

  1. Losing someone close to you is never easy. Extending deepest sympathy for you in your loss…….and hoping too, that comfort and peace may come to you. May fond memories warm your heart always. Although no words can help to ease the loss you bear, just know that you are very close in every thought and prayer.

  2. Well said Andy! Grew up listing to Jim on the radio and met him several times. A “True Legend” is gone, but he will never be forgotten! R.I.P. Jim Scott.

  3. Cincinnati lost an absolute treasure with the passing of Jim Scott. 30 years ago I moved to Cincinnati to begin a life there as HFC at UC, many drive in mornings were covered by Jim. He had a voice you could listen to all day, what a voice to wake up to. He was a celebrity, to say the least, so many events I attended, Jim was there. Never met a stranger and always outgoing with smiles and personality. I have been gone a long time, yet, would come thru Cincinnati for many years following my departure. There it was on 700 the great Jim Scott’s voice continuing doing what he always did, he made you feel good to wake up in Cincinnati, a great city, and a wonderful place to live. RIP my man. Thanks Andy Furman for a great tribute.

  4. Jim dropped the ceremonial puck at a cyclones game a few years ago
    When it came time for Jim to step into the ice i as pa announcer said dropping the ceremonial puck Tonite is a man who needs no introduction
    From 700 WLW Radio Legend Jim Scott drawing a loud ovation.
    When Jim stepped off the ice and into the penalty box he looked and pointed to me and said “No Wildman You are the Legend”
    Needless to say that remark by Jim Scott I have never forgot.

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