…but at least we can pay her tribute on her final day, tomorrow!
According to this Newsday article, Sue will be honored all day during WNBC’s broadcasts. Check out the full schedule and set your DVRs (and line up your boxes of tissues).
NBC 4 New York is planning a daylong tribute to Sue Simmons marking her final day on the air on Friday, June 15. Sue has been a part of many memorable moments in New York history, and we’re going to look back at some of those and her contributions to them.
-The on-air tributes will start with Today in New York and go throughout the day on all of our newscasts, at noon, 5 p.m., and 6 p.m.
-Every newscast on News 4 New York on June 15th will feature moments with Sue over the years. Viewers will be able to see highlights’ from Sue’s career and salutes from current and former colleagues and well-known New Yorkers.
-The solutes will feature clips — past and present, interviews with some of Sue’s former co-anchors, and memories about Sue from celebrities and notable figures in our region.
-The tributes will culminate on News 4 New York at 11 with a special look back at Sue’s career. Chuck Scarborough had been working with a team of our producers to create a memorable video presentation for Sue.
Even if this is the last we see of Sue on the local news, it certainly won’t be the last we see of Sue!
You tell ‘em, Joan!
Chuck without Sue is like Abbott without Costello or Laverne without Shirley — hard to comprehend. But, still, it’s worth celebrating Chuck’s long tenure on WNBC given how indelible the mark is that he and Sue have left on New York news.
FishbowlNY has a nice article today on Chuck’s 38 years, with some nice notes about Sue too.
Scarborough has dozens of Emmy Awards to his credit, and fittingly he and Simmons are charter members of the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.
…Through it all, Scarborough was there like a beacon in the night, guiding ships through rough waters. But, come June the super-successful Chuck and Sue excursion will be no more.
Chuck is great, but this celebration is just another reminder of the lunacy of breaking up this hall-of-fame, super-successful team! We still insist: save Sue Simmons!
Michael Jack is the General Manager of WNBC. Let’s all leave comments on his WNBC bio page demanding that he renew Sue’s contract!
Write your own sentiments or use this message:
Sue Simmons is a local news legend and a priceless asset to WNBC. Without her on the air beside Chuck, countless New Yorkers will have no more reason to watch the station they’ve been loyal to for decades. After over 30 years as a beloved city icon, Sue Simmons has earned the right to decide when to step aside. Renew her contract now! #SaveSueSimmons
Somehow we missed this fantastic NY Post column by Linda Stasi that was published a couple of days after the news first broke about Sue’s non–contract renewal. We’ve all complained about Sue getting the axe at age 68 while Chuck finds his contract renewed, but Stasi adds irons to the fire with a bunch of disturbing numbers of male/female age differences in the news:
So, big salary aside, Simmons got the boot at 68, while her same-age co-anchor, Chuck Scarborough, who you know makes at least what she makes, lives on — to be paired with a younger, sexier co-anchor.
While Sue is considered past her prime, WNBC still employs Gabe Pressman at age 88!
Why is no one in TV news looking at the rest of TV?
…there’s Barbara Walters (82) and Joy Behar (69) of “The View,” the most popular female talk show on TV.
Yet, as well-informed and experienced as these two women are, they’d never get news jobs sitting next to CBS’s Bob Scheiffer, who is 75.
Then, there’s Ernie Anastos on Fox, who, at 69, is paired with Dari Alexander, who is 42 years old.
We don’t care about Sue’s age — we want her on the air cause she’s the best anchor in New York! She comes back from vacation tomorrow, and hopefully it’ll be about time for WNBC to sit up and listen to the chorus of New Yorkers demanding that they save Sue Simmons.
Yes, even a week after the initial announcement of her proposed ouster, Sue Simmons is being resoundingly defended on Twitter. Keep the tweets coming to #SaveSueSimmons!
Business publication Crain’s New York is running a poll on its website about whether sacking Sue Simmons is a good business move for WNBC. Of course it isn’t! Vote-casters agree — go add your voice to the chorus!
I can’t believe I missed this video until now: Chuck and Sue celebrating their 32nd anniversary! It’s fantastic and has some great flashbacks through their many, many years side-by-side behind the anchor desk.
Here are some more lovely messages I’ve received from fans of Sue devastated by her imminent departure (unless WNBC wises up and changes course!). Hopefully seeing messages like these will keep mobilizing New Yorkers — and fans elsewhere — to join the cause!
Goodness I almost fell out of my chair when I heard the news and I could have sworn that I felt a teardrop rolling down my face. Sue Simmons has been a staple on News 4 New York since 1980… What is so heartbreaking is that her non-contract renewal comes after viewers voted her and Chuck as the best news team on FishbowlNY and that the 11pm slot finally made gains in the 25-54 demographic. I cannot live without her groundhog, I cannot live without her amazing ability to conduct interviews, I cannot live without her chemistry with whoever she has worked with over the years… We are going to win this battle, keep praying that she stays.
When I heard the news I shed a few tears. I love her and whenever I’m in New York I always watch her. I will really miss her and not to forget her great impressions of the groundhog on February 2nd. Thank God I have a few pictures of her doing it. When I’m back in New York on June 4th, I will shed some more tears when I watch the 11PM news.
Keep sending in your own Sue memories and favorite moments!
Note: messages have been slightly edited for length and style.
(Photo courtesy of TV Spy.)
A reader sends this great blog post on legendary news critic Marvin Kitman’s conversion from Sue-Hater to Sue-Saver. It links to a Huffington Post article Kitman wrote in 2008 after her now-infamous on-air expletive.
Both are worth reading in full, but here’s the key takeaway from Kitman’s paean to Sue:
We in New York love Sue because she’s a smart, sarcastic, sassy, funny chick, compared to the usual vapid, vain but gorgeous newsperson. She is the successful single older aunt who wisecracks her way through Thanksgiving and Passover dinners that everybody wishes they had. If she didn’t exist, we would need to invent her.
So leave my Sue Simmons alone.
These people get it. Keep tweeting to #SaveSueSimmons!
The New York Post today has a lovely recap of Sue’s career highlights, discussing her impact on both the New York news landscape and on her colleagues at 30 Rock. You should all read the whole thing — and post it on Facebook and Twitter and email it to your friends — but here are some highlights.
Like a true New Yorker, Sue’s kindness matches her candor:
If it wasn’t her quick wit or unyielding New York toughness, it was her quiet generosity that endeared her to everyone at 30 Rock. She knew the first names, and life stories, of the doormen, the camera crew, the makeup artists.
TV news would look a lot different if not for Sue Simmons:
“I had a huge crush on her,” Roker admitted to The Post. “Sue swept me up and took me under her wing. I believe my career is what it is because I got to sit next to Sue Simmons.”
And the newsroom will never be the same without her:
Sportscaster Len Berman remembers being constantly stumped on air by Simmons, a rabid Met fan who would toss him obscure baseball questions.
“Sue would love to say things for shock value and love to put you off guard,” said Berman. “I used to sweat before going on the air.”
But she was the one who’d lead the daily newsroom battle cry.
“Wake up!” she’d say. “We’ve got a newscast to do!”
When will WNBC wake up to the fact that it’s crazy not to save Sue Simmons?!
The New York Times yesterday did a nice roundup of #SaveSueSimmons tweets. We couldn’t agree more!
@WillieGeist1, a television personality for MSNBC, braced for the next piece of crushing news. “Whats next for NYC?” he wrote. “Trade Jeter? Sell the Statue of Liberty back to the French?”
For some, the remembrances were personal. @JenniferLoeber recalled being interviewed by Ms. Simmons as a fifth grader. “I feel unnaturally attached to her,” she said.
@mgreen49 praised Ms. Simmons and her longtime co-anchor, Chuck Scarborough, for making the local news “bearable.”
Just two months ago, FishbowlNY wrapped up a poll of New Yorkers’ favorite news team of all time — guess who won?
and at number 1…was there really any surprise?
Chuck Scarborough and Sue Simmons — 33 percent (1980 to present)
“It’s been an extraordinary privilege sharing an anchor desk with Sue Simmons for over three decades serving our viewers in the metropolitan area,” Scarborough tells FishbowlNY. “Being chosen as their all-time favorite anchor team is both humbling and heartwarming.”
Chuck and Sue began their march toward immortality when they first sat side by side in 1980. They have been on the air longer than any other anchor team in New York City history.
Let’s keep this all-time favorite anchor team marching!