Nbc Flagship Station Drops Anchor
Sue Simmons, a popular news anchor at WNBC, NBC's flagship TV station in New York since 1980, has been fired. The New York Times reported the ouster on its front page, commenting, "It was as if someone you had grown fond of, someone who had become as much a part of the cityscape as the buildings, was disappearing from your life." Noting that the contract of her co-anchor, Chuck Scarborough, had been renewed for another three years, several of Simmons's fans posted comments on TV news blogs remarking that her firing appeared to be yet another case of a television station attempting to replace an older female anchor with a hot younger one. (In fact there was no hint from station executives that they intend to replace her at all.) According to several reports, Simmons was being cut loose as an economic move. With a reported annual salary of $5 million, she is believed to be the highest-paid female anchor on any station in America. "That's a pretty tough line item to defend in any media outlet's budget season," commented Andrew Beaujon, who reports on the media for the Poynter Institute's website. Added New York Post columnist Don Kaplan "There were 5 million reasons to oust Sue Simmons -- and they were all in her paycheck."