Pewter Report has been covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 25 seasons. Scott Reynolds has been with Pewter Report (formerly Buccaneer Magazine) for the last 17 years – longer than any Bucs beat writer that has covered the team for the news gathering organization.
Through his work in the former Buccaneer Magazine and Pewter Report magazines, on PewterReport.com, on various national and local television stations and on local radio, Reynolds has become known as an expert on the Buccaneers and has a unique style of generating inside scoop and analysis.
“I’ve been a football fan all my life and owe that to my mother, who is the biggest football fan I know,” Reynolds said. “I’m always wanting to know more about the game, which is why I study game film and ask the players, coaches and scouts questions to which I don’t know the answers to. My job is to know football and when I receive the answers to my questions or insights from those that actually play or coach the game for a living, chances are most football fans would be interested to learn what I’ve learned, so I report that information. That’s where my reporting style starts for me.”
Through the years Reynolds has broken scores of news stories on the Buccaneers but has seen the term “breaking news” change throughout the media over time. The advent of smart phones and Twitter has dramatically changed the business of reporting news since Reynolds moved to Tampa, Florida and began covering the Buccaneers as a graduate of Kansas State University in 1995.
“When I first began as a Bucs beat writer, there were times when our Buccaneer Magazine website, BucMag.com, would have ownership of breaking news for hours or sometimes a full day,” Reynolds said. “Now with Twitter, texting and instantaneous reporting thanks to mobile devices, news outlets can confirm reports within minutes and actual breaking news only lasts a few moments before dozens of other media sources report it, too.
“While we love to break stories, such as the fact that cornerback Eric Wright was missing practice due to a serious health scare over the summer, Pewter Report is putting more emphasis on analysis these days. I have a motto that I have used over the past 17 years and it has served the Pewter Report staff well. ‘We would rather be last and right than first and wrong’ when it comes to reporting news. Accuracy matters the most to me. I have taken great pride in the fact that Pewter Report has become a leading website for trusted Bucs news over the years.”
Reynolds says that approach sometimes frustrates PewterReport.com readers and members of the website’s message boards, which are the largest Bucs message boards on the Internet. He points to the fact that several Bucs fans were lamenting over the fact that PewterReport.com didn’t report that linebacker Curtis Lofton was close to signing with Tampa Bay on the first night of free agency back in March as some media outlets were reporting.
Some reports had even said that Lofton had agreed to terms, but in the end, the Bucs were never interested in signing the linebacker, as PewterReport.com later discovered. Lofton ended up signing with New Orleans two weeks after the start of free agency, and PewterReport.com’s reputation for only reporting news it can confirm remained intact.
Reynolds has witnessed the rise of the Buccaneers under his watch, beginning with covering the end of the Sam Wyche regime in 1995 and the arrival of Tony Dungy a year later. During that time, he went from becoming a Bucs beat writer to the editor-in-chief of the newsgathering organization. Working for former publisher Jeffrey Neil Fox, who also started the Authentic Team Merchandise “Buccaneer Heaven” business, Reynolds hired Jim Flynn as a Bucs beat writer in 2001 after he served as an intern.
Reynolds and Flynn would guide Buccaneer Magazine and BucMag.com to prominence in the Tampa Bay area for 10 years together and witness the Bucs making the playoffs and finally winning the Super Bowl in 2002 under Jon Gruden before Flynn’s departure in 2010.
“Scott’s columns are full of insight and analysis,” Flynn said. “He has a passion for the NFL, but maybe even more so for college football, which shows in Pewter Report’s draft guides and predictions.”
Also in 2002, the publication and website changed names to Pewter Report and PewterReport.com, names that Reynolds helped come up with.
“There was a lot of confusion regarding whether Buccaneer Magazine was owned and operated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or if it was an independent magazine,” Flynn said. “Both entities had concerns about this. One day, we decided that we should change the name of the magazine to help eliminate this confusion. We threw around a lot of possible names. One of the names we gave serious consideration to was Pewter Pride, but after sleeping on it, we felt it sounded too much like a homer magazine. So Scott coined the name Pewter Report, which really captured what the magazine and website were.”
Pewter Report was purchased in 2006 by investor and Bucs fan, Hugh MacArthur, who breathed new life into the news organization and “saved the company” according to Reynolds, who along with Flynn hired Kim Roper to handle subscriptions and serve as the vice president of business of operations.
“I would say Scott’s strongest attribute as a writer is his analysis and no one knows the team better than he does since he’s being covering the Bucs for 17 years,” Roper said. “Our subscribers love his SR’s Fab Five, which has been a PR staple for a long time and the article our subscribers enjoy the most I would say.
“As a publisher, Scott has had to wear many hats on a daily basis. He is often pulled in several directions but we work well as a team. Even though Scott is our boss, he was never above taking trash out at the office, or helping me to field subscription calls during extremely peak times.”
Draft expert Charlie Campbell would later join the Pewter Report team and serve as Flynn’s replacement for a few years in 2010 before leaving for WalterFootball.com. Campbell and Reynolds further elevated PewterReport.com's profile on the local and national landscape and teamed up to provide some outstanding Bucs draft coverage.
“Scott has always been the most visible public face of Pewter Report, from a reporting and business side,” Campbell said. “During my time at PR, Scott had to reduce some of the time he spent reporting and do more on the ad sales side of the company, but Scott had columns with a lot of good insight from inside the team. He also knew the college game well and that came through in strong draft coverage from PR.”
Longtime friend Mark Cook, who worked with Reynolds in the mid-to-late 1990s as a game day reporter, would replace Campbell in 2011 and is currently serving as PewterReport.com’s editor-in-chief alongside Reynolds.
"Scott and I clicked right away after first meeting around 1995 at the old Tampa Stadium," Cook said. "This guy was passionate about football and his job, and I was impressed with his football knowledge. Even today in the media room, when one of the other beat writers has a question, Scott is the guy they go to for answers. That is the ultimate sign of respect to me."
After getting married in 1999 and having two children, a daughter named Ellie in 2001 and a son named Logan in 2005, writing daily stories for PewterReport.com and publishing a 24-48 page weekly magazine during football season – with Reynolds being primarily responsible for the editorial and layout design – took a toll on his first marriage.
“I’m proud of my professional accomplishments and the sacrifices I made to report news to thousands of Bucs fans and in building this business from the ground up, but it has come at a personal price for me and my family,” Reynolds said.
These days Reynolds says he is working smarter and finding more balance in his life. By making fitness one of his personal priorities, Reynolds has shed 60 pounds in two years that sitting in front of computer for a living helped put around his waistline. Through running and working out with a personal trainer, PewterReport.com’s publisher has returned to his college weight and he has run in a handful of 5k races.
Reynolds has also spent the last three years coaching his son’s youth basketball and football teams and found great enjoyment in doing so, in addition to watching his daughter perform as a cheerleader. At age 40, he has found the love of his life in his fiancée`, Ashley, whom he is set to wed in late May 2013.
“We’re getting married in the offseason, of course, after the draft and before the Bucs mini-camp,” said Reynolds, who plans on adopting Ashley’s children, Caden and Jillian. “Ashley has been incredibly understanding and supportive of me and my career.”
Reynolds’ newfound personal excitement has been tempered by the recent loss of his beloved stepfather, Jim Dunleavy, who raised him as his own son. Dunleavy died of cancer on April 25, the day before the 2012 NFL Draft. Despite his stepfather’s death, Reynolds showed his commitment to Pewter Report’s fan base and made it to One Buccaneer Place to cover the Bucs draft the next day.
“It’s what he would have wanted me to do,” Reynolds said. “He knows I love my job and I wasn’t going to let him, my co-workers or our readers down. There’s no doubt I love what I do, and I’ve been blessed to do it for the last 17 years.”
"I was blown away to be honest," Cook said. "Here he is suffering a tremendous loss, and yet he was willing to put his own pain on the back burner and do his job. Honestly I don't think I could have done it. In fact I'm sure I couldn't have. And if you had been with him that weekend and not known what happened, you would have not been able to tell. It was business as usual, even with a heavy heart."
As Pewter Report enters its 25th year of covering the Buccaneers, Reynolds has a newfound vigor for what has been the only job he has held since graduating from college. Covering a team with a new coaching staff and being forced to make a new wave of contacts as most of the old, trusted Bucs sources are no longer with the team has its challenges. But Reynolds and his staff are eager to take on those challenges.
Reynolds has always been best known for analyzing the Buccaneers and the NFL Draft, and providing unique insight and inside scoop found nowhere else. That will be the emphasis going forward in 2012 as Reynolds and Cook rebrand Pewter Report with new Bucs beat writer Dory LeBlanc.
“There are some who think that I am Pewter Report, but that’s not the case,” Reynolds said. “I may be the most recognizable name or face due to the fact that I have covered the Bucs so long for the company, but Pewter Report has always been bigger than me. Jim Flynn and Charlie Campbell have played huge roles in publicly shaping the popularity of our website in the past, and Hugh MacArthur and Kim Roper have done the same behind the scenes.
“Pewter Report is not just me – or our staff of reporters. It’s a special group of Buccaneers fans – hundreds of thousands of them – that want something unique. They want to be Buccaneer experts, too. The popularity of our message boards with the most knowledgeable posters about the Bucs is a testament to that. Our readers don’t just want to know what happened at One Buccaneer Place or at Raymond James Stadium. They want to know how it happened, and why.”
It’s been Reynolds’ job to provide Bucs fans with the answers to those questions for the past 17 years, and it’s definitely been a labor of love.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.