The Hollywood Reporter gave its readers a list of the 15 best choices to grab a chair permanently on the ABC daytime show. Some of the names have been bandied about from their previous guest hosting stints, including Brooke Shields and Jenny McCarthy. However, former Today host Ann Curry is propped up at number two.
Even more intriguing is the magazine’s pick for number 11—Sue Simmons.
There’s no doubt Simmons, whose contract was not renewed by Channel 4 in June 2012 after 32 memorable years, has the track record and pedigree to take a role at the table or coach of The View.
Simmons’ longtime WNBC colleague Jane Hanson thinks it would be an awesome fit.
“She’d be perfect for them for adding insight and perspective, and she is a very good interviewer,” Hanson tells Tuned In.
All you need to know is three words–Live at Five. During that one-hour WNBC broadcast in the 1980s, Simmons showed a knack for hard news, softer features, and, of course, those countless celebrity interviews.
“That show rocked, and a big chunk of its success was Sue’s ability to interview, especially people in the music and entertainment business, which comes from her background,” Hanson says.
The unknown is if Simmons, 71, would like to work in the daily grind of TV again. We alerted Simmons to the Hollywood Reporter article.
“This is the first I’m hearing it. It’s very flattering to be thought of. [It’s] a big surprise,” Simmons tells Tuned In.
In February, Simmons discussed her future professional plans with this reporter.
“I want to be on television in some way,” Simmons said. “I think I’ve had enough news. What else could I do? I don’t know. I have my life in front of me.”
At the time, Simmons was more focused on the occasional broadcasting work.
Hanson wasn’t sure if the gig would appeal to Simmons at this point in her life.
“She’s out of a regular routine now, and has created a new life for herself.”
Plus, with Hasselback’s exit for Fox and Friends, the youngest member of the show is gone. So we don’t know if ABC wants to keep that portion of the audience with its next hire. Not to mention, with holdovers Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd, would The View be comfortable having a third black co-host?
The flood gates are about to pour open. A second slot will be vacant upon the departure of Joy Behar later this summer, while creator and occasional panelist Barbara Walters is retiring next year. Simmons granted the only TV interview after leaving WNBC to Behar on her HLN last fall.
Even if there’s wait time, and if Simmons isn’t the first choice, former WNBC sports anchor Len Berman thinks Simmons is the right choice.
“As Sue said live on WNBC, ‘Turn me upside down, it’s a party!’ That’s what The View would become,” Berman tells Tuned In.
Although not discounting the opportunity, Simmons is also not holding her breath for a call from her agent.
“I’m sure you’ve noticed there are several big name folk being considered,” Simmons admits. “I don’t think I’m really in the mix.”