Longtime Cincinnati Radio Host Jim Scott Loses ALS Battle


When it comes to The Queen City of Ohio, there’s perhaps no more familiar name when it comes to local radio personalities than Jim Scott. He retired in March 2015 and in 2022 was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). On Friday night, Scott lost his battle with the disease.

News of Scott’s passing at the age of 81 came via X [formerly Twitter] midday Saturday (6/29) from the station that was his on-air home for decades — iHeartMedia News/Talk giant WLW-AM 700 in Cincinnati.

His wife, Donna Scott, posted a statement on her husband’s Facebook page. “[O]ur sweet Jim crossed over and is in the loving, welcoming embrace of his mom and dad, mine, his sister and so many friends. He has a new birthday. The grace with which he met and endured the indignities of ALS was astounding and inspiring. So very Jim. With his graciousness and thoughtfulness and gratitude, he continued to spark joy in everyone he met. A good friend said that Jim was in the pre-clearance line straight to heaven.”

Scott arrived in Cincinnati in Spring 1968 with his arrival at WSAI-AM 1360, then a Top 40 station playing the Beatles alongside the Archies. How big was Scott? The seventh-ever edition of Radio & Records in November 1973 devoted its entire front page to him.













In 1984, the popular morning host would join WLW Radio; a second stint came in 1997 after Randy Michaels-helmed Jacor Communications bought it and moved him from WWNK-FM “Wink 94.1.”

Michaels, via e-mail, tells RBR+TVBR, “Jim Scott was an icon in Cincinnati. His ‘Good Old Jim Scott’ persona was no act. His biggest thrill was meeting people. When he first came to town, he went door to door promoting his show. That behavior never stopped. Jim didn’t leave a restaurant without saying hello to everyone. He loved meeting new people and he was truly interested in them. He would ask people what time they would listen, and mention them on the air.”

Michaels adds that Scott was well known for his extensive charitable work. “What isn’t known is how much more he did out of the public eye,” he adds. “In a business well know for big egos and bigger insecurity, Jim was a genuinely good human, comfortable in his own skin, and always concerned about others.”

Furthermore, Michaels says, Scott had polio as a child and had limited use of his left hand as a result. “Through it all, he remained an inspiration to others,” he said.
A die-hard Cincinnati Reds fan, he helped WLW stay a a ratings leader and a format giant, with strong ratings in nearby Dayton as well as in Cincinnati. Today WLW remains one of the nation’s most-listened-to AM radio stations.

Born James Boland, the man all know as Jim Scott was raised in Binghamton, N.Y. and worked at radio stations in York, Pa.; San Diego; and Buffalo before coming to WSAI. He departed in 1972, spending time in afternoons at WNBC-660 in New York. Scott would return to Cincinnati a year later, with “YES95” added to the list of local stations where locals would enjoy the iconic host.

Nexstar Media Group President of Network Sean Compton, who literally made the music room at WLW Radio his home for 13 months as his father, Dale Sommers “The Truckin’ Bozo,” hosted the famed overnight show on the station, tells RBR+TVBR. “There’s little I can add that hasn’t been said. Jim was a kind man, a great talent, and treated everyone the same.  He brought a warm start to each day on 700 WLW.  I’m grateful to have known and worked with him in the early days of my career. I wish more people could be like Jim Scott.”




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