“Black Media Legend” Sue Simmons Says Her Final Months at WNBC Were “Pretty Much a Nightmare”
On Monday, McDonald’s restaurants in the New York area honored Black Media Legends and Trailblazers at a luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria. Among the honorees were CNN’s Don Lemon, The Grio and MSNBC contributor Joy-Ann Reid, and Power 105’s DJ Clue.
But the name on everyone’s lips, reports Fishbowl NY, was Sue Simmons. After 32 years as a local New York newscaster with WNBC, her contract wasn’t renewed and she left the anchor desk for the last time in June.
In an interview with the website, Simmons said that she was hoping something would happen to keep her in her job.
“The last several months from March to June was pretty much a nightmare for me,” she said. “Because after you’ve worked with your teams and your friends for that long it’s very difficult to come to terms with the fact that it’s not going to be anymore.”
She adds that she “got the feeling that they had softened their position” and was surprised when she hadn’t.
Comcast and NBC announced a merger in 2009, and it was ultimately approved by the FCC in 2011. Shiba Russell is now sharing the anchor duties with Chuck Scarborough. He has been with the broadcast since 1974. (Simmons joined in 1980).
“The positive of it is that another black person is employed in television in a high-visible spot. The negative of it for me is it looks like they’re trying to duplicate,” she says.
In the exhaustive interview with Fishbowl NY, Simmons says she’s still interested in television, but would like to try something different, like being a “talking head.”
For longtime New Yorkers (or natives, like myself), Sue Simmons was a fixture on television. It would be great to see her back on the air.