WNBC has ended its 32-year relationship with Sue Simmons
She was reported to have been the highest-paid local news anchor in the country
CNN's Jack Cafferty says she is "a breath of fresh air"
Longtime local news anchor Sue Simmons will no longer fill her familiar co-anchor chair at New York’s NBC station, according to a company statement.
Simmons, 68, who has spent more than three decades on-air for WNBC and was reportedly at one time the highest paid local television anchor in the country, will not get her contract renewed when it expires in June.
“We have tremendous respect and admiration for Sue Simmons,” said Dawn Rowan, a spokesperson for the station. “For decades, Sue has been a critical part of New York’s longest tenured anchor team in the city and has more than earned her iconic status.”
The announcement of her departure spawned a “Save Sue Simmons” Facebook page, and prompted other social media postings about her past exploits.
Her anchoring is punctuated by what some called a quintessential New York attitude, and her often sassy comments, smirks and grins go against what might be considered typical news anchor decor.
Jack Cafferty, a CNN commentator who co-anchored with Simmons for 13 of the 32 years she has worked for WNBC, called her a “breath of fresh air in the otherwise stuffy, pretentious world of journalism.”
Mark Harris, a columnist for Entertainment Weekly, tweeted: “Fellow New Yorkers, I hope you all get that this is wrong, stupid and evil,”
Her newscast was ranked No. 1 in the fiercely competitive New York local news market this year among advertisers’ favorite demographic, ages 25 to 54.
Simmons did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The contract of her co-anchor, Chuck Scarborough, 68, has been renewed for another three years.
Simmons’ role had been diminished in recent years, anchoring only the station’s 11 p.m. newscast. The show dropped her from the 6 p.m. slot last year after she returned from back surgery.
She will remain on the air until her contract expires, the station said.