WNBC/Channel 4 has officially tapped noon and 5 p.m. anchor Shiba Russell to pick up the 11 p.m. shift as well following the departure of Sue Simmons after 32 years. “I’m not here to replace Sue Simmons,” Russell told the Daily News last year when she started at the station. “I’m here to be me.” But today, the News is more frank about the move everyone saw coming: “It replaces the 69-year-old Simmons, whose departure was not voluntary, with a woman closer to half her age — and who reminds some viewers of a younger Simmons.”
The Post previously reported that Russell stood to make $600,000 if she was passed over for the job, on top of her $400,000 salary, but that won’t be an issue now. The local NBC affiliate saves big either way: Simmons was rumored to be making between $2.5 million and $5 million annually upon her exit.
And while Russell’s YouTube reel isn’t quite up to Simmons’s standards just yet, blooper-wise, she does have a personal Twitter feed that might help New Yorkers get acquainted. “U know it’s not a good start to the day when…..u break the coffee pot! #happythursday” she wrote last week. A new era is upon us.