Scott Thompson

2021 Honoree

Scott Thompson had his first foray into “broadcast news” as a first-grader at Webster School in his hometown of Collinsville, Illinois.  On the playground, he would mount his Batman lunch box on his shoulder, grip a pretend microphone in his left hand, and roam around during lunch recess, asking his fellow seven-year-olds questions like, “What are you doing?” and “How long have you been doing it?”

For those living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the three other states reached by the signal of KOTV, it’s fortunate that Scott not only continued his TV career on the school playground, but grew his skills and passion into a remarkable body of work and commitment to the Tulsa community.

Scott is an artist with words.  The pictures he paints are an unforgettable tableau of the human condition and a reminder of the hope, joy and beauty that surround us, if only we take the time to look.

He’d look for people and their stories that wouldn’t ordinarily be featured on a television newscast.  But as Scott would say, “I want to talk to the people who can’t imagine why I would want to talk with them, and who wonder why I’d want to put them on TV.”  Because to Scott the stories of “ordinary” people, told in his extraordinary way, were worth telling and sharing.

He traipsed through every one of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, across the United States and around the world and shared his discoveries with us. In addition to being the main weeknight news anchor at KOTV for 20 years, where he led the station to become the highest-rated CBS affiliate in the nation for late news, he took us to all the world’s continents.  He continues to serve on Boards of Directors across the state and is a strong voice for quality education and the environment, among other passions.

Scott Thompson is the embodiment of integrity, professionalism, honor and the highest ideals of the television craft.  What began with that Batman lunchbox became one of the most distinguished careers in Oklahoma journalism history: beloved and admired by both the public and his peers.