Remember Scott Dosztan, North Country newsman – listen to his voice

Journalist Scott Dosztan died this week at the age of 45.  Photo:  Dosztan Facebook page

Journalist Scott Dosztan died this week at the age of 45. Photo: Dosztan Facebook page

Veteran North County journalist Scott Dosztan died suddenly this morning at the age of 45. The news was confirmed this morning by Potsdam radio station B99, WPDM and WSNN, where Dozstan had worked since 2000 and was news director.

“It’s with a heavy heart to announce the passing of our news man and North Country Icon Scott Dostzan. RIP Scotty,” the station posted on its Facebook page.

Dosztan collapsed early Wednesday morning on his way to work. This from North Country Now:

“He was an old school news guy,” said the station’s general manager John Winter. “If he smelled something going on he had to dig until he got the answers. He tried to be the first to know without being pushy, but with persistence and curiosity. He was dedicated to the station and dedicated to the community. There are not many like him any more,” Winter said.

Dosztan grew up in the North Country and had worked at various stations around the region, including Gloversville and Plattsburgh.

Dosztan will be remembered for his booming baritone voice and for his dedication to covering local North Country issues. NCPR’s David Sommerstein would see Dosztan regularly at press conferences over the years and marvel at his pace and commitment. “Scott worked tirelessly – often quite literally – to cover news for St. Lawrence County,” Sommerstein says.

“He’d race from early morning newscast to press conferences across the county all day. A crazy pace. You have to be a reporter to realize how much work he was doing behind the scenes to deliver the news.”

In 2005, former NCPR reporter Gregory Warner interviewed Dozstan about – ironically today – how he delivers obituaries.

This clip of tape is a must-listen. It captures Dosztan’s dedication, his sense of the importance of his work to his listeners, and his sense of humor.

13 Comments on “Remember Scott Dosztan, North Country newsman – listen to his voice”

  1. John Byrne says:

    Scott’s passing is a great loss for the North Country. While some reporters report on a community, Scott was unquestionably a North Country guy all the way. His sources were his friends- people he trusted, and who knew they could trust his fairness and integrity.

    Scott was my first interview when I ran a political club as a freshman at SLU, and he was my favorite reporter to call when I worked in Albany for two governors. His concern wasn’t just to get a story, it was for the North Country and the folks who woke up to his 99 News broadcast each morning.

    If God’s going to go on the record with anyone up there, I hope Scott will get the exclusive.

    Rest in peace, Scott. Your work, humor, and decency will be missed.

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  2. Shelly Pike says:

    I’m so glad that the link to Gregory’s piece with Scott has been included here. I remember hearing it when it aired…and felt glad that NCPR included this wonderful North Country voice as a part of our AB5 show. It’s hard to grasp that I won’t be able to tune in and hear Scott broadcasting the news and bantering and laughing with his colleagues, or see him doing a little local theater. Such a loss… He was one of the good guys, both as a professional, and as an individual. Indeed, he *will* be missed.

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  3. Paul Haggett says:

    Scott was, and has been for a long time, the only commercial radio reporter in the county that covered and reported on meetings, press conferences and other news events, at all hours, in addition to his on-air reporting of those same meetings, press conferences, etc. in the early morning. He did this all himself because that’s how he had to and he felt an obligation to his listeners. A big, big loss for everyone.

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  4. Pat McKeown says:

    Scott Dosztan was an eager newsman on the verge of obsessive. If there was a fatal accident, he raced to get the details. If a robbery, listeners could count on Scott for items stolen, suspects IDd, culprits nabbed. If a dignitary passed, such as Mario Cuomo did this past week, Scott saw the relevance in talking to those who knew the stories, being sure that person’s passage did not go unnoticed. He often quoted his mentor, Gordie Little, whom I used to hear on WICY then Plattsburgh stations. Gordie, then Scott, could detail an accident like no other person I knew, spending an excessive amount of time on tire tracks, dent information and other minutiae hardly necessary in today’s fast-paced newscasts. Those details made a story come alive to listeners and set these broadcasters apart from the rest. I knew Scott away from the microphone as well, enjoyed his banter, understood his struggles, appreciated his uniqueness. I will miss him.

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  5. Sean Magers says:

    I worked with Scott during my time as Rep. Owens’ communications director and he was an absolute joy to work with day-in and day-out. He always answered the phone with an charmingly disarming “Wasssssuppppp!”. I’m not going to try to pretend I knew him as well or better than residents in St. Lawrence County or beyond in the North Country, but his work and personality certainly traveled miles to Washington D.C. and many other places. I will miss him and the periodic emails we would exchange very much.

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  6. Jon Montan says:

    It was just last week when I saw Scott in the Potsdam Price Chopper. We chatted briefly. In typical fashion, he asked me how I was doing. This was typical of Scott; he was always interested in the other person, not talking about himself. I have known him for many years and have been interviewed by him. He has always been one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet. I loved his sense of humor and his laugh. Goodbye Scott, and thank you.

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  7. dbw says:

    Scott used to attend our board meetings, especially when there was a big issue. Later i would see him away and he remembered my name. His honesty, integrity, work ethic and personal touch made him special. I saw him in the last few months. He had dropped a lot of wgt and I told him how great he looked. St. Lawrence County has lost someone who was making a difference.

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  8. Jerry Manor says:

    I echo what Paul Haggett said about Scott and his news duties. He was the only one who did it anymore. Now, with the exception of NCPR, it’s just “rip and read” off the internet for most stations. I was lucky to see Scott almost every week when I stopped in to do my weekly bit for SeaComm. We always traded a barb from my old days in radio and it was always a laugh. But, we also took note of what was happening in local news. This is a great loss. Things change… radio changes.. but that doesn’t mean it’s for the better.

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  9. Chris Morris says:

    When I was at WNBZ, unquestionably the best part of my day was getting on the phone with Scotty and sharing our newscasts – if he had something of interest to Tri-Lakes folks, he’d send it, and if we had something newsworthy for his listeners, we’d send it. It spoke to what Scotty cared about as a reporter: informing the public. I was also lucky to get to know him outside of work; simply put, he was an interesting, passionate man. I’ll miss him.

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  10. Aaron Woolf says:

    As a candidate transitioning from the world of journalism to the world of politics, I took particular interest in the men and women from the press I met along the trail. Scott was a decent, smart and reverent reporter. I enjoyed our interviews and even more the rapport we developed over the course of the campaign. Once he interviewed me in a Potsdam alley and the dumpsters’ odor became so intense that we both broke into a laugh. He seemed to relish his work and the power of the medium in a way that evoked a golden, pre-TV age of radio reporting. Even the timbre of his voice seemed to emanate from another era. I’m lucky I got to know Scott, and very sorry he won’t be able continue bringing his craft to the North Country.

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  11. Paul Haggett says:

    @ Chris. We did the same at the St. Lawrence County stations in the “old days”. Scotty was a big part of that and it made for real camaraderie among all of us one-person news shops. It also made for much more interesting and listenable newscasts!

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  12. John Massaro says:

    I did not know Scott Dosztan well, working with him more in a professional sense than a personal one when I lived in the North Country. He was a excellent reporter in great part because he was such an attentive listener and always a good audience. He “got” what you said or carefully and with unbounded curiosity asked for clarification afterwards. He always made you feel you had something to contribute and in that sense he brought out the best of us and in himself. He kept us in touch with the North Country and the world beyond. Thank you, Scott Dostzan.

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  13. CARINA says:

    A wonderful colleague, an encourager, someone who built up, instead of tearing down. If there’s anybody deserving of a tribute, it’s him!

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