Why is WNBC anchor Sue Simmons being let go?

New York Post
Soon-to-be-former WNBC anchor Sue Simmons made $5 million a year to do one telecast, writes Don Kaplan this morning. Whether or not that’s on station management for not deploying her adequately, that’s a pretty tough line item to defend in any media outlet’s budget season. Kaplan anonymously quotes “former co-workers” as saying Simmons used to drink between broadcasts, something she’s owned up to before.

As problematic is Kaplan’s report that her co-anchor Chuck Scarborough “makes frequent appearances at charity events and corporate functions — which Simmons consistently passes on.”

Those events are an important part of what keeps the wheels spinning at local television stations. If she was in fact unwilling to appear at them, her continued employment was downright miraculous. Still, I’d be surprised if there were a connection between that gripe and the failure of the Save Sue Simmons Facebook page to catch fire.

Simmons’ departure is on Page One of the New York editions of The New York Times this morning; the article addresses the charges that sexism is at play here, since Scarborough is staying on. Simmons and Scarborough will, at least, forever be paired at the 2:30 mark of Fountains of Wayne’s “Traffic and Weather.” || Related:NABJ is disappointed” (Richard Prince/Maynard)

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  • JH

    I cannot believe it’s still acceptable these days to pay someone $5 million to read a teleprompter.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/535519-nick-p nick price

    I hope Sue Simmons goes to another local station 

  • Anonymous

    Sue’s had a wonderful run on WNBC — we should all be so lucky. But in today’s economic climate, the station probably only needs one $5 million-a-year newsreader to get the job done. Many industry folks were surprised she wasn’t canned back in 2008 after dropping an angry F-bomb during a local update. Still, she’ll likely have more opportunities than most job seekers due to her celebrity value.