Adrian Scott, broadcast tech giant, passes away
Only today did I find out that one of my industry friends passed away.
I would meet him at every show and would always manage to have enriching conversations.
We shared the passion for technology, languages, poetry and music.
Farewell my savvy and kind friend…
26 July 2017
The UK broadcast industry is saddened by the passing of Adrian Scott.
John Adrian Douglas Scott died last Tuesday, 18th July at the intensive care unit at Yeovil Hospital, following a stroke.
Winner of the TVBEurope Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, Scott was involved in almost every element of the broadcast technology industry and has a worldwide presence. Scott was especially notable for opening the broadcaster’s eyes to newsroom systems and the opportunities in non-linear editing.
Scott’s broadcasting career had its roots in at the University of North Carolina, having received a scholarship.
“I did a degree in journalism,” he told TVBEurope in a 2015 interview, “which involved working in both radio and television…my start in the industry.”
When he returned to the UK, Scott began to work in local radio: “I managed to get myself a job in the newsroom at Radio Clyde in Glasgow, not easy when your hometown is Edinburgh. After a couple of years, I moved to London to work as a presenter and producer at Independent Radio News and LBC, from where I went to TV-am as one of the launch team.”
TV-am was one of the UK’s first all-ENG news operations and one of the first to adopt the new BASYS Newsroom Computer System.
Scott explained: “For reasons I still cannot explain, in addition to being news editor and head of forward planning, I became the in-house newsroom system super-user, and was largely responsible for figuring out how to do three hours of live television starting at six in the morning every day on a system which nobody knew how to use and which had no manual anyway. Fun!”
Realising that these new computer systems were the future of newscasting, he went on the road with the BASYS system, which had been bought by ITN: “I started travelling the continent with about a quarter of a ton of rather unwieldy demo equipment, trying to persuade a generation of journalists that learning how to type and then using an unwieldy green screen terminal would make their lives a lot easier.”
Scott was also responsible for promoting the earliest commercially available UNIX-based systems to broadcasters – which may have had far-reaching consequences on the entire computing world.
“Perhaps one of my most far-reaching career achievements was to go to Helsinki with my demo kit, to show it to YLE and MTV, whose editor-in-chief, Jan Torvalds, asked if I minded if his teenaged son came to have a look at the demo. This was, of course, the young Linus Torvalds, so I suppose you can call me the Godfather of LINUX!”
Coaxing Avid into buying BASYS, Scott then become essential in the budding non-linear editing company’s move to asset management and newsroom systems.
“A small group of us at Avid…ended up drafting our thoughts into a paper for internal discussion. This ended up being the basis for a successful Avid US patent application describing a ‘Digital Multimedia Editing and Data Management System’ which allowed users to create, browse and catalogue multimedia assets. This was awarded in 1998, and was, I’m almost certain, one of the first mentions of the words digital, assets and management in the same sentence.”
In later years, Scott became an essential part of the IBC conference committee and represented Avid on both the IABM management committee and IBC exhibitors committee and continued consulting for a variety of firms.
Scott suffered a serious stroke in 2009, which he said “knocked me off my feet for a while, and has left me with some lingering mobility issues. Thankfully, I have no mental or cognitive problems, and can still think and talk – to the great regret of those of my friends who think I talk too much.”
Following a private family cremation, the family will hold a funeral in Somerset in late summer and a memorial service in London later on.
The TVBEurope team extend our condolences to all his family and friends.