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Anchor Sue Simmons

March 7, 2012 by staff 

Anchor Sue Simmons, The New York Post said in a column by Cindy Adams that the station would not renew Ms. Simmons’s contract when it expires in June. A spokeswoman for WNBC, Dawn Rowan, issued a statement that said the station had been “engaged in ongoing conversations with Sue about her transition from WNBC.”

“We have tremendous respect and admiration for Sue Simmons,” the statement said. “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.”

An anchor at WNBC since 1980, Ms. Simmons earned the affection of New Yorkers, initially on the long-running “Live at Five” program in the 1980s and 1990s, and on Wednesday some of them wanted an explanation from the station.

“Fellow New Yorkers, I hope you all get that this is wrong, stupid and evil,” Mark Harris, a columnist for Entertainment Weekly, wrote on Twitter after reading the Post article.

Ms. Simmons’s role on WNBC had been diminishing. She has not been on the 6 p.m. broadcast regularly since she returned to work after back surgery at the end of 2010 .

The change at the anchor desk comes at a time of rebuilding at WNBC. After going through years of cutbacks in staff and spending, the station has been adding news people and trucks that can do live remote segments. The changes have come at the direction of the station’s new owner, Comcast, which is trying to improve the standing of the NBCUniversal stations it acquired from General Electric last year.

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