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StarBulletin.com

Colorado publisher once worked at KITV


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POSTED: Monday, April 06, 2009

Jacque Scott was a reporter and anchorwoman during some of our most turbulent times: Vietnam, the gas crisis and the Watergate years. From 1972 to 1977 she was a familiar face on KITV.

Today she's using her extensive background in print and television journalism to publish a successful newspaper in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

But first, Scott had to prove herself in what was a manly world. In the 1970s, when women finally began to earn positions on air in radio and television, KITV's management promised Scott an on-air spot as a reporter for the station — provided the public didn't revolt against a female newscaster.

“;It was at that time when television news was coming into its own, increased from 15 minutes to the half-hour casts across the nation,”; Scott said. “;Slowly the anchors were becoming journalists rather than pretty people who just read rip and read AP news. We were all part of that change.

“;It was a good time for television news. The Vietnam War made TV news important. People watched TV news for real information and depended on it.”;

Scott claimed her piece of it. “;Being a UH grad, I had contacts on the campus at a time when students were protesting and an ROTC building burned. Stuff was happening and TV news grew up fast.”;

She earned her place, covering local politics, the courts and crime, “;and was then dubbed as an investigative reporter,”; she said.

“;Hard news was my thing, but I grew to include reporting of everything from alternative lifestyles to comparing gas prices during the gas wars and testing people's reaction times on various drugs and alcohol. I think viewers liked me because I knew what I was talking about and was comfortable on air.”;

Growing up as a daughter of an Air Force intelligence officer, Scott moved around the globe, trekking from Libya, Germany and Saudi Arabia (where she attended high school) to Honolulu.

In the late 1960s she enrolled in the journalism department at the University of Hawaii. She also wrote and edited for the campus newspaper, Ka Leo o Hawaii.

After graduation, Scott entered UH graduate school, and her guidance counselor suggested she try out for job as a news secretary at KHVH-TV (now KITV). After a year she became one of the few women delivering on-air daytime newscasts for KHVH radio, working with Ray Lovell, Art Shotwell and the late Ed Michelman. “;I loved those guys,”; Scott said. “;They were the unsung heroes of our profession in radio.”;

While at KITV, Scott worked with Linda Coble, Denby Fawcett, Roberta Wong, Emme Tomimbang, Doug Bruckner, Warren Moran and Tom McWilliams, as well as Jim and the late Chuck Leahey. She began anchoring with Rockwell in 1976, the same year she became one of the first anchorwomen to work on air while pregnant. Her son's birth was the top story on the 6 p.m. news.

The return of American prisoners of war from Vietnam was a special highlight — an important event not only for the nation, but locally, as Hawaii was the POWs' stopover on the route home.

“;It was a privilege to be on the front line,”; Scott said. “;This event was not planned or choreographed — these men were finally coming home on American soil. It was an honor.”;

Covering many of these events with her as cameraman was the late George Cabral Sr. “;I loved, absolutely loved him. He taught me as much as (Don) Rockwell did about the news business.”;

In 1977, after nearly a decade in the islands, Scott returned to her home state of Colorado with her family and began the transition to print. She became heavily involved with the community and within a few months was associate editor of the Canyon Courier in Conifer, Colo.

She later became editor of the Golden Transcript and publisher of Jeffco Publishing, and has been a respected editor and publisher in the Denver area for more than 30 years — including a term as president and chairwoman of the Colorado Press Association.

“;Today I own my own little newspaper up in the mountains of Colorado,”; said Scott. Mountain Connection, with offices in Evergreen, has a circulation of more than 22,000 homes and 100 businesses throughout Denver's surrounding communities.

Mountain Connection has survived while other publications have suffered in recent times, but Scott is preparing the paper for change. This month the Mountain Connection Web site will be upgraded to an interactive news forum. “;Don't be afraid to try something new,”; she said. “;Try and drive the people to your Web site and entertain them. Be dynamic.”;

Despite having left Hawaii many years ago, Scott misses the place that was so important to her career and life: “;The warm weather, the ocean, always having a tan, the international diversity of backgrounds, my good friends and co-workers. I miss it all.”;

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A.J. McWhorter, a collector of film and videotape cataloging Hawaii's TV history, has worked as a producer, writer and researcher for both local and national media. His column runs on the first Monday of each month. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).