"After more than three decades, WNBC/Channel 4 is tossing anchorwoman Sue Simmons overboard," famed New York Post columnist Cindy Adams wrote in an exclusive story this morning, March 7, 2012.
Adams continued: "Last week, the station gave her the bad news that her contract would not be renewed — and come June, she’s history. Simmons, who has won four Emmys since starting at Channel 4 in 1980 and is the top-paid anchorwoman at any local station in the country, would happily have stayed. It was entirely NBC’s decision to break up the city’s best-known local anchor pair, Simmons and Chuck Scarborough.
The story adds that the contracts of both Simmons, 68, and Scarborough, also 68, are up in June, and that Scarborough’s been renewed while "Sue’s been given the boot."
Adams said that an unnamed senior NBC executive had quietly told Simmons a year ago that this would happen.
Adams’ story continues: "In January, Sue was bounced from the 6 o’clock news, staying with Chuck for the 11 o’clock telecast only. At that time, a few of us wondered why she wasn’t moved to improve the weak 5 o’clock spot or asked to do a talk show of some kind — lest her talents go to waste. Nobody said anything. That’s when we knew it was the beginning of the death sentence."
Following up on Adams’ scoop, the New York Times article on Simmons getting the boot said that Mark Harris, a columnist for Entertainment Weekly, wrote on Twitter after reading the Post article,“Fellow New Yorkers, I hope you all get that this is wrong, stupid and evil,”
The New York Times story also has this anecdote:
"In 2010, Mr. Scarborough took questions from City Room readers. One of the first was what Ms. Simmons was really like to work with. He replied:
Sue has never had an unspoken thought, and I mean that in the nicest way. She is the least inhibited broadcast journalist I’ve ever known, making her always interesting and occasionally dangerous, like the night she read a touching story about an effort to save a sick baby whale that had washed ashore. At the story’s conclusion, her co-anchor (not me, thank goodness) said, ‘You didn’t seem all that sympathetic.’ Sue immediately replied: ‘Oh I really am. If he gets well, I’ll kiss his little blow hole!’ "