Shiba Russell rumored to replace Sue Simmons as Channel 4 anchor
After the news broke earlier this week that longtime Channel 4 anchor Sue Simmons will leave the station in June, speculation is now swirling over her replacement.
The rumored frontrunner is Shiba Russell, a 36-year-old single mom who joined WNBC last year from a Boston station. She’s currently the anchor of the noon and 5 p.m. broadcasts. She reportedly negotiated a clause in her contract when she first came to Channel 4 that requires the station to pay her $600,000 if she is passed over as Simmons’ replacement, according to the New York Post.
Simmons will finish her tenure in June after WNBC declined to renew her $5 million-a-year contract, reportedly due to the flippant attitude she developed for the job.
Russell, who is currently making $400,000 a year, is said to be pursuing the position full steam ahead, though industry insiders doubt she is experienced enough for the coveted role in the country’s largest television market.
“A year in New York may not have been enough time to develop the kind of recognition to anchor the flagship newscast,” a broadcast agent told the Post.
Other WNBC staffers rumored to be considered as Simmons’ replacement include investigative reporter Melissa Russo and anchor Darlene Rodriguez. Station officials could also leave the spot open, letting veteran anchor Chuck Scarborough have the 11 p.m. desk to himself.