Scott Brown, a familiar face on WGRZ's news broadcasts since the early 1980s, died Friday after a long fight with cancer, the station reported. He was 59.
According to WGRZ, Brown was born in West Orange, N.J., and studied broadcast journalism at SUNY Buffalo State. He later moved to WEBR radio and began his first tenure at WGRZ in 1982.
Between stints at the television station, Brown also worked as a spokesman for Erie County Executive Dennis T. Gorski and New York State Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer.
During his time at Channel 2, Brown earned a reputation as a savvy political commentator and a vital contributor to the station's coverage of local elections and political stories. He also helmed many special reports on important stories through the years, including specials and lengthy reports on wrongfully convicted Buffalo woman Lynn DeJac Peters and the rocky tenure of Amherst Supervisor Satish Mohan.
Channel 7 anchor and veteran Buffalo newsman Keith Radford called Brown "a solid guy who did good investigative work" and someone he always always glad to see, despite the fact that they were competitors.
"When he came on, there wasn't any fooling around," Radford said. "You paid attention and believed what he said. He had a good deal of experience, was trustworthy and had all the qualities that you would want in a local reporter doing investigative work."
Buffalo News television critic Alan Pergament called Brown "one of the station's best."
“Scott’s death is a tragic loss for all of us who considered him a close friend,” WGRZ General Manager Jim Toellner said in a story posted Friday morning on the station's website. “He was one of the best investigative reporters this town has ever seen and one of the nicest guys I have met. He will be missed greatly by his work family and by this community.”
In a Tweet, Sen. Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer remembered brown as "a tremendous reporter."
Sad to hear of the passing of longtime @WGRZ reporter Scott Brown. He was a tremendous reporter & he’ll be greatest missed by all of WNY.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 31, 2017
Brown was waylaid by a medical issue for about eight months in late 2014, and he returned to the station in June 2015. It is not clear if the same issue was responsible for his death.
Throughout his career, Brown collected three national Murrow Awards for his reporting, as well as many New York State Emmys.
Take a look at his reporting, on a local boy's new lease on life: