Longtime WSFA 12 news director leaving for Hawaii

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 5:51 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Longtime WSFA 12 News News Director Scott Duff has announced he will be leaving Montgomery after 16 years. Scott, who has been with WSFA since Oct. 2006, will take on the same position at Hawaii News Now, WSFA 12 News’ sister station in Honolulu.

WSFA employees toasted Scott’s success with a surprise Hawaiian-themed sendoff on Wednesday, ahead of his last day.

“It was one surprise after another,” he said in a lengthy letter to employees, summarizing his feelings on his time in Montgomery. “It was a day of days for me as I have never experienced such an outpouring of appreciation ever from a workplace,” he admitted.

WSFA 12 News employees watch as a Hawaiian-themed celebration is held for departing news...
WSFA 12 News employees watch as a Hawaiian-themed celebration is held for departing news director Scott Duff.(Source: WSFA 12 News)

Scott will be parting with a number of well-wishes, gifts and Hawaiian shirts, which he has frequently worn to work over the years.

“I must say, I was somewhat embarrassed with the attention focused on me,” he noted.

Scott’s tenure as news director is one of the longest in WSFA’s 68-year history, accounting for nearly 25% of the station’s years delivering news.

“I took pride and was honored that legendary journalist Frank McGee was the first News Director at WSFA back in 1955,” Scott explained. “I embraced the responsibility to never to let the people, like Mr. McGee or anyone else who worked here before me down or let the WSFA standard slip.”

In nearly two decades on the job, Duff has become a walking encyclopedia of WSFA 12 News history, helping to craft hundreds of projects, special reports, breaking news and severe weather coverage along the way. He consistently arrives with boxes of doughnuts at 5:30 a.m. and departs late in the day. It’s not surprising to find him on the job during holidays.

Under Duff’s leadership, WSFA 12 News made many strides, including the switch from an analog to digital signal, the move into the age of social media and the move from 12 East Delano Avenue to WSFA’s state-of-the-art new facility at 445 Dexter Avenue, across the street from the Alabama Capitol.

Scott will admit that he believes his greatest accomplishment over the years has been the people he’s hired and watched grow. An Ohio native, he often quotes legendary Ohio State Football Coach Woody Hayes with the phrase “You Win With People.”

“As proud as I am of their professional achievements,” Scott said of his employees, “I am even more proud to see how they grow in the personal lives. Being on the sidelines watching so many life-changing events is amazing...the investment and dedication in your team always comes back 100-fold. I love the team now and the people who have departed over the years. It is a special bond I have with everyone I have had the privilege of working alongside.”

WSFA 12 News management has promoted Desmond Wingard, the current assistant news director and a 23-year WSFA veteran, to fill the news director role.

“Des is a native Alabamian and has spent more than half his life working at WSFA 12 News,” Scott explained. “He will be an outstanding news director. I am so proud of him and excited for what is ahead at 445 Dexter Avenue. WSFA 12 News is in tremendous hands!”

Scott and his family are currently in the process of moving from their Prattville home to Honolulu, a distance of nearly 4,500 miles. His last day at WSFA 12 News is Friday.

Scott, from all of us at WSFA 12 News, we wish you safe travels on your new adventure. Mahalo.

Copyright 2022 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.