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MSU Today

Longtime WKAR journalist Scott Pohl retires. “I’ve always tried to be fair and right”

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Jim Blanchard
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Pohl with Cokie Roberts Gov. Jim Blanchard’s Public Service Forum at MSU on Nov. 27, 2018";

Legendary WKAR reporter, producer, host, anchor, and journalist Scott Pohl has retired after an award-winning 35-year career at MSU’s WKAR Public Media.

Pohl talks about what it feels like to retire, and he describes his path to MSU as a student and then to WKAR five years after graduation. And he says there are two interviews that stand out to him over his career.

“I have to cite two: getting to talk with my favorite author, John Irving, and the man who inspired me to talk into microphones for a living, legendary Hall of Fame Tigers play-by-play announcer Ernie Harwell,” Pohl says. “Nothing can top those two.
 

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NPR's Don Gonyea, Scott Pohl at MSU Commencement in 2013.

“My favorite story took me back to my childhood. I attended a one-room schoolhouse through the third grade, and a series I did years ago took me to several that were still open in Michigan at the time. At one of those schools, I happened to capture on tape a child’s very first exposure to the concept of multiplication. A golden moment for a reporter.”

Pohl tells why he’s still bullish on terrestrial, over-the-air radio. And he advises young people who want to get into the ever-changing communication world to “make sure you love it. Work hard, write a lot, and talk into a microphone as often as you can. You have to sound confident when you’re on the air.”

As for his legacy at WKAR Pohl says “My commitment has been to be fair and to be right, and to correct myself when I’ve been wrong. I think I’ve done those things, and I hope the audience does, too. And I hope I put a smile on listeners’ faces at times.”
 

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Gov. Whitmer was the speaker at MSU Commencement on May 3, 2019. Pohl, Jody Knol and Jamie Paisley often read names of graduates at MSU commencement ceremonies.

Pohl will continue to contribute part time to WKAR in the coming weeks, and he also plans to stay active in, and supportive of, local theatre.

“I have always respected our audience. I’ve always been grateful for how they support WKAR. I hope they’ll keep listening and contributing.

“Thank you to everyone who has been at the other end of the radio when I’ve been talking into the microphones at WKAR over the years. You’ve all been great, and I hope to see you soon.”

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