*Scroll down for a special message from Scott*
OKLAHOMA CITY -- News 4 journalist Scott Hines is retiring from his career in local television news.
He is a singular talent in Oklahoma and a staple for many KFOR viewers for the past 15 years.
Hines graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2002.
While in college, he traveled to California for internships at E entertainment and Fox Sports Network.
After graduation Hines got his first job in local television news at the Fox station in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
He got laid off after only one year on the job.
After a disappointing stint in local sports and news, Hines had decided journalism wasn't for him.
He moved in with friends in Atlanta, Ga.
"At that point in my life I was in a really bad place," Hines remembers. "I was done with television news. Like I was out. I didn't know what I was going to do. But in my mind I thought maybe I could manage an Abercrombie and Fitch store. I even went for a day of training."
Hines' family was living in Edmond, Okla., in 2004. His parents had heard about an opening for a reporter position at KFOR.
Unfortunately, Hines' dad accidentally dropped off his resume tape at the wrong station.
"So, we had a problem. My dad started calling. Really (he was) more like harassing management at the competing stations," Hines said. "His persistence paid off. He was able to retrieve one of those tapes. He drove it over to 444 East Britton Road to the KFOR Studios and a week later they flew me in. The rest is history!"
Hines' historic career, however, got off to a sleepy start on day two.
Hines was learning the ropes from KFOR reporter, Heather Holeman, when he fell asleep in the back of a news vehicle.
"On the second day on the job!" said KFOR's Marc Dillard. "I don't know how much longer you're going to be around."
Thankfully, things turned around quick for young Hines.
"I remember thinking he's going to do well because he seemed so eager and ready to learn and so kind and fun to be around, and people just instantly like him," said former KFOR reporter Cherokee Ballard.
On the outside, everything was going great for Hines at KFOR.
On the inside, Scott remembers feeling insecure.
"I lacked confidence," Hines said. "I didn't have any self-esteem. I remember calling my parents on a number of occasions, in tears, and saying, 'I can't do this. I'm not cut out for this. I can't do this!'"
Hines was an extremely shy child. In fact, he says his parents thought he was 'mute' until age six.
"I was shy. I was scared. I was always trying to blend in," said Hines.
Turns out, Hines was a natural on-camera.
Soon after he started at KFOR he was promoted to the flagship 10 p.m. newscast; a big move for a young reporter.
"I just wanted to do a good job," said Hines. "I wanted to prove myself at that time."
Two years after Hines started working at KFOR, News 4 lost a legend.
Legendary consumer reporter Brad Edwards was the founder of the "In Your Corner" segment.
Edwards died unexpectedly in 2006.
"When we lost Brad (Edwards), we not only lost the best consumer reporter in the state, we lost a great person," said KFOR's Kevin Ogle.
Oklahoma needed "In Your Corner" and Scott Hines stepped right in.
"I was very proud of Scott and I know Brad would be too; to know that he stepped into that role and did it so well," said Ballard.
Hines delivered his reports with heart and with stamina, regularly going after scammers accused of taking advantage of Oklahomans.
Some of Scott's most memorable reporting was when he was trying to get answers from people who had skirted the law, cheated the system, lied to their customers and taken advantage of people.
They learned quickly that there's no use running from Scott Hines.
"Here's the thing about Scott Hines, most people at home have no idea how much time he spends helping people off-camera," said KFOR's Ali Meyer. "And how much their stories have touched his heart."
Oklahomans have had a front row seat, watching a young news reporter grow into a consumer champion.
"Looking back, I can see all of the hundreds of people we've helped," said Hines. "If I have had even a sliver of impact on their lives or the trajectory of their lives that's the greatest gift you could ever give me."
The KFOR newsroom was brighter and the Oklahoma City metro was safer because of the tenacity and heartfelt work of the "In Your Corner" team under the leadership of Scott Hines.
Scott's letter to viewers is below:
It’s not a "GOODBYE.” It is a "SEE YOU SOON."
This week is bittersweet. I’m retiring from In Your Corner, and wrapping up my 15-year career at KFOR.
What a wild, wonderful, and at times unpredictable ride it has been.
When I arrived in 2004, I never intended to stick around for more than a couple of years.
Of course, fate often has a different plan for us.
It was a shock, and honor to be tapped to fill Brad Edwards’ legendary shoes, a post I’ve proudly held for 13 years.
Brad was a Rockstar.
Sure, he could be tough as nails when the situation called for it, but there was this gentleness about him.
He was kind, and thoughtful, funny too, in that sly, dry humor kind of way.
I am forever grateful for the special connection we shared, and still share to this day.
I feel his spirit with me often.
In Your Corner isn’t just a job. It’s a divinely appointed mission, and this franchise is so much bigger than one person.
In Your Corner represents connection, community, service, taking care of our neighbors, creating more positivity in the world, loving one another, and speaking up for those who aren’t able to speak for themselves.
Sure, I might be putting down my reporter’s notebook, but my thirst for truth and connection has never been more lit.
Giving love a voice through storytelling lights me up!
I am in awe of people’s life stories, not only the beauty and the joys, but the tragedies and the pain.
I'm listening to my heart & following the twinkly lights.
I’m jumping into the unknown, taking a long hard look in the mirror in 2019, reflecting on identities, attachments, and the roles I've assumed over my 39 years on this earth plane.
I’m feeling really grateful for all of it, but now is the time to consciously & deliberately shift into a new space, new energy.
The BIG lesson in trusting my life path, accepting what is, and having faith that all is well, and that the path of least resistance will reveal itself to me no matter what happens.
To our loving and generous viewers, be curious. Have fun. Play more. Listen to your heart. All the answers are in your heart. I love you more than you will ever know. I know you feel that, and know this, no matter where I go the world, you can be sure I will be taking you in my heart with me.