Former WIBC news anchor Simpson lands new gig

Former WIBC-FM 93.1 morning news host Steve Simpson has landed a new job out of the Indianapolis market.

On Oct. 8, Simpson will join WCCO-AM 830, a CBS Radio station and Minneapolis’ No. 1-ranked news-talk station. As part of host Dave Lee’s morning show, Simpson will anchor the news at the top and bottom of the hour from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Simpson, 50, said he wasn’t sure he wanted to remain in radio after he was terminated by WIBC in mid-June. He had discussions with stations in this market and others, but nothing seemed right, he said. Then WCCO called.

“When a heritage radio station owned by a legendary company calls, you answer the phone,” Simpson told IBJ on Thursday. “If you are a radio person, this is a station you know when you are very young. And Dave Lee is a legendary broadcaster. This is just amazing for me that I have this opportunity.”

In a fortunate coincidence, Simpson, a Philadelphia native, has a sister and brother-in-law living right outside Minneapolis.

“The way it all worked out was just crazy,” Simpson said. “I realized this would be a perfect situation for me. It’s a great city. It’s very progressive and has so much art. And I’ve got an apartment right by the skywalk so I can escape the winter weather as much as possible.”

Simpson was swept out of WIBC after 22 years as the station moved to a format driven by conservative and opinionated talkers.

The host of WIBC’s morning news show, he was replaced by conservative host Tony Katz, who formerly was based out of Los Angeles but has moved to central Indiana.

The shakeout at WIBC, Simpson said, didn’t catch him completely by surprise. WIBC is owned by Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp.

“Times change, and the direction they were headed is a place I couldn’t take them,” he said. “I had a nice, long run at WIBC and certainly still have some friends there and wish them the best of luck.”

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