One of the great runs in New York TV history will end in June, when Sue Simmons officially vacates her role as the other half of what a generation of viewers has simply come to know as "Chuck 'n' Sue."
The WNBC/4 anchor -- who joined Ch. 4 out of NBC's Washington, D.C., station in 1980 -- is expected to step down in late spring, although the station offered no timetable for the transition Wednesday, referring all questions to a statement that read: "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."
Simmons did not return a call, although industry executives said the departure has been expected for months. Simmons, 68, had been working off what they termed a series of short-term contracts, with the current one expected to be the last. Separately, Chuck Scarborough, also 68 -- so closely allied with Simmons all these years -- signed a new deal that will keep him at the station at least another two and possibly as many as three years.
It's also widely expected that 5 p.m. anchor Shiba Russell, who joined Ch. 4 last year, will replace Simmons at 11 p.m.
In recent years, Simmons had been anchor of the 6 and 11 p.m. broadcasts, but after returning from back surgery early in 2011, she retained only the later newscast.