The bombshell news that WNBC 4 is not renewing beloved anchorwoman Sue Simmons' contract continues to shock tri-state residents who have grown up loving her warm, wacky rapport with everyone around her. But the NY Post suggests that her antics off-set, plus a $5 million salary, were impetus for the decision: A station source said, “It is a lot of money, and many people have been under the impression that Sue had been phoning it in for a while." Fine, WNBC wants to deny us the pleasure of her messing around with Brian Williams.
The Post also reports, "Her direct managers also complained to higher-ups that if they cut her, they could save other jobs," (like they did when they fired Len Berman) and says that Simmons hasn't been cooperative with doing "feel-good appearances to promote the station. Scarborough, 68 — who is paid almost the same salary — has 'always been far more willing to contribute outside the broadcast,' a source said. He makes frequent appearances at charity events and corporate functions — which Simmons consistently passes on." Another source claims, "She had this attitude like, ‘I’ve worked hard for all these years to get to this point, and I’ve done enough.'" Talk of Simmons' drinking between telecasts is also resurrected (she's admitted that she did drink during the 1980s); back during her infamous F-bomb incident in 2008, the Post suggested she was drunk.
Yesterday, WNBC did not immediately comment on the news (first reported by the Post's Cindy Adams), but later issued a statement, "We have tremendous respect and admiration for Sue Simmons. 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. 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."
According to the NY Times, "One current and one former WNBC staff member, both speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Ms. Simmons was aware when she signed her most recent contract that it was intended to be her last at the station." The Times also spoke to Jack Cafferty, who once co-anchored with Simmons, "She was the irreverent, spontaneous, anything’s-liable-to-come-out-of-her-mouth ingredient that made that show unpredictable and compelling to watch. [Television news, he said, had been the province of] "the furrowed brow, serious baritone voice... Along came Sue Simmons and threw a grenade in the middle of that and said, ‘We can have some yuks."
And, people, this is Sue's FINAL groundhog impression: