WDSU-TV's Scott Walker is leaving the station next month to pursue "a new adventure," he announced today on Facebook. His last day will be July 27.
"I'm just a big believer in different chapters and challenges in my life," he told Gambit tonight. "I never saw myself anchoring in my sixties."
Walker said he's not leaving to take another news position, and that he and his family are not leaving New Orleans. "I really am leaving to spend more time with my family," he said, citing his two boys, 12 and 8.
Walker, a New Orleans native, has been an anchor at the station since 2009, coming back home after stints in Hattiesburg and Jackson, Mississippi, Biloxi and Mobile, Alabama and Orlando, Florida. Earlier this year he and his wife Jennifer, along with partners, opened Shipley Do-Nuts on Metairie Road in Metairie. The Walkers also ran the now-defunct New Orleans Baby & Child Festival, a parenting expo, for seven years,
"I started in the news business when there was no internet," he said. "In some ways it's been bad and in some ways it's been good. The media landscape now is very different, but Hearst [WDSU's parent company] has been amazing. I have no complaints. I'm just done with news."
Walker has had a couple of viral moments in his broadcasting career — one, as the bemused anchor in the "Mobile Leprechaun" video, and the other at the WDSU news desk, during which former New Orleans Saints coach Jim Mora — unaware he was on the air — said into a hot mic, "Tell Scott he's full of shit."
I believe life is about different chapters and new adventures. My TV news career has served me incredibly well and I’ve been able to see a lot, meet amazing people and cover incredible stories. A few stand out: countless hurricanes, including Ivan and Katrina in 2004 and 2005, Casey Anthony coverage while working in Orlando, interviewing then-Sen. Obama one-on-one on his road to the presidency, the Gulf oil spill, the Saints Super Bowl win and following Steve Gleason to the Sundance Film Festival for the world premiere of his feature-length film. For that work, I won two EMMY awards, a Murrow award, and a National Headliner award, all of which I am immensely proud. Telling Steve's story in the way that we did, including a 30 minute documentary, is a true highlight of my career. Another highlight, of course, is the Mobile Leprechaun. You didn’t think I’d leave that out, did you?