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News & Press: NABJ News

NABJ Statement on Sue Simmons Departure from WNBC-TV After 32 Years

Thursday, March 08, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Aprill Turner
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WASHINGTON, DC (March 8, 2012) --The National Association of Black Journalists is disappointed the WNBC/NBC 4 has decided to let iconic anchor Sue Simmons go.

 Simmons, 68, is one of the longest-tenured African American women to anchor a primetime newscast but today it was announced that her contract won’t be renewed when it expires in June.

"NABJ learned months ago that Simmons was on her way out, but what is especially troubling is Simmons’ co-anchor, Chuck Scarborough, is the same age but had his contract renewed for another three years,” said NABJ president Gregory Lee.

 Simmons, who started on WNBC’s 11p.m. newscast in 1980, was by far the dean of African American women anchors in New York.

WNBC issued a statement that said in part, "We have been engaged in ongoing conversations with Sue about her transition from WNBC and will continue to work with her on plans to celebrate her many contributions to WNBC and the New York market.”

"We don’t know for sure why WNBC decided not to renew her contract, but it has long been a practice in television news to replace women news anchors when they begin to reach middle age,” said NABJ Vice President of Broadcast Bob Butler.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.

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