Video Journalist Scott Jacobs passes suddenly at age 71

Scott Jacobs
Scott Jacobs

Story submitted by Tom Weinberg (Founder, Media Burn)

I handed Scott Jacobs his first portable video camera at Videopolis in 1974. He was on leave from reporting at the Chicago Sun-Times. He was hooked on video journalism from that day until Thursday, October 21, 2021.

Scott lumbered. He laughed at his own witticisms and snorted. He was a force everywhere he went. His heart gave out all of a sudden, but he had a generous heart for so many of us for so long.

Intrepid young reporter in the 70’s

IPA, The Editing House will live on in many hundred brains and hearts. Scott, Starr, and Tom Shea started something with its own life at 1208 W. Webster. It grew like Topsy. It was THE place to put together the best of Chicago video: Hoop Dreams, THE 90’s, and probably a thousand others.

Scott had indelible effects on so many in his professional and personal life. He was persistent, imaginative, yet remarkably adept at technical and logistic details. “Jake” never stopped having strong opinions or telling everyone his ideas about the way to do things. Many were spot-on.

I think he always thought of himself as a hard-bitten, hard-drinking old school newspaperman, even when we were young. Hence, he named himself and published as Stump Connolly.

He never stopped trying, always plugging away at the next thing…for a helluva lot more than 40 hours a week. But his priority was his three boys and Lucy. There’s no way top replace him for Justin, Ben, and Nick (now 14). Lucy (Domino) and the sons loved him and were able to find and benefit from the love he had to give. Our hearts and deep sympathy go to them.

Scott will live on in uncounted hearts and minds.  His video productions and huge body of writing will be around for a few generations. 

The Golden Gloves (1973)

Real Reelness of the Higher Highness (1976) with Valjean McLenighan

The Santa Tapes (1978)

Inside the Clinton Command Post (1992)

Stump Connolly Reporting In: Chuy’s Valentine (2015)

Scott’s prolific, never-stopping life was a long and windy trail, from Shorewood, Wisconsin, the Harvard Crimson, the Milwaukee Sentinel, Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Editing Center, Jane Byrne, Independent Programming Associates (IPA), Tom and Jake’s Hotel, and Subtle Communications. 

Scott Jacobs

He produced and edited dozens of personal and political video documentaries (a bunch with me) and won an Emmy award for camerawork on Hobo. 

He was editor/publisher of the longest-running blog of anyone I know, The Week Behind. At least five of his books were published.  

I Told You So! Donald Trump: The Awful Years
Release date January 4, 2022.
The early reviews are in: An intelligent, witty perspective on the Trump years.

He wasn’t anywhere close to done. It was shocking and way too soon.

(He and I had a great phone conversation last Wednesday at dinnertime, the day before he collapsed. We had a lunch date set for this Wednesday. I’ll go anyhow and hear his stories, his voice and his laugh).

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest film, TV, advertising, entertainment and production news! Sign up for our free elert here.