So did you jump or were you pushed?
Thats a good question, replies Stacey Simms, who has made a career out of asking them.
It was my decision. It wasnt an easy one to make, but its the right decision for me.
For a decade, Simms has been part of the team at Charlottes Morning News on WBT-AM (1110). Her alarm has been set for 3 a.m. all those years.
It worked well when her children were young. But her daughter is now 11 and her son is 7.
As theyre getting older, its not working out. I cant ask my middle-schooler to go to bed at 7:30 at night. Believe me, Ive tried, she says. Her husband, Slade Goldstein, is a partner in Rotelli restaurant at Carmel Road and N.C. 51.
Simms, 41, came to Charlotte in 1997 as an anchor and health reporter at WBTV (Channel 3) from upstate New York. Shed worked in radio in college at Syracuse University and went to work in TV afterward, mostly morning jobs.
She began doing medical reports for WBT while at Channel 3 and would fill in on the morning news with Al Gardner. She had fun, and when invited to do it full-time in 2002, she jumped at it.
Shes had some health problems that kept her out much of the summer, but she says shes recovered now. Her latest contract expired in September and shes been working on a month-to-month basis since.
Simms has seen a lot of changes at WBT in her decade there. Owned for decades by Jefferson Pilot and Lincoln Financial, it was sold in 2007 for $100 million at a top-of-the-market price to Greater Media, a Massachusetts-based broadcaster, along with sister station WLNK-FM (107.9).
Since then, most of the longtime department heads have departed, and Simms wound up as the stations only full-time, on-air female.
Theres a more corporate feel to the station, but thats the way of the whole industry, says Simms. Thats what you have to do to survive.
Simms says shell miss WBT and the morning news show, where shes partnered with Bo Thompson and Jim Szoke. I think its the best job in Charlotte a heritage station and a really smart, well-educated audience.
Shell be signing off Dec. 14, then shutting off the alarm. She doesnt know what her next act will be, but she wants to see what appeals.
Im going to find the right opportunity. This isnt about rushing off to the next gig.
Alison Arngrim, who played a scheming brat on Little House on the Prairie, appears Sunday through Tuesday at Petras Piano Bar on Commonwealth Avenue. Greg Moore is returning to the oldies. Hes best known as Eggman and was half of the Eggman in the Morning team with Jim Shafer on the old morning show on Magic. Hell start on a morning show on an oldies station in Oklahoma City next month.
News 14 Carolina celebrates its 10th anniversary this week. Among the staffers who have been there since its launch are chief meteorologist Jeff Crum, sports director Mike Solarte, meteorologist Tara Lane and news director Jim Newman. Departing News 14 after five years is evening anchor Heather Waliga. She is taking an anchor job at WTVD in Raleigh.
Romare Beardens Centennial Celebration, a second documentary on the Charlotte-born artist from Steve Crump, airs at 9 p.m. Thursday on WTVI (Channel 42). ABCs Good Morning America weekend hosts Dan Harris, Bianna Golodryga, Ron Claiborne and Ginger Zee were at Charlotte Motor Speedway this week to tape driving segments that begin airing Saturday.
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