Donnie Simpson Update: Separation Deal In The Works
January 18, 2010 at 10:19 AM (PT)
ALL ACCESS has an update on the DONNIE SIMPSON story (NET NEWS 1/15). According to our sources, SIMPSON is said to be working with his counsel and those of CBS Top 40/Rhythmic WPGC/WASHINGTON in trying to reach a settlement agreement with his contract.
SIMPSON, 55, remains one of the most recognizable air personalities in WASHINGTON. He has been doing "wake-up duty” at the station for more than a decade. He first joined WPGC 17 years ago, following a long stint at crosstown rival RADIO ONE Urban WKYS (93..9 KISS), where at one time, he served as its PD.
As is usually the case, ratings are the reason given for the proposed change. SIMSPON’s ratings under ARBITRON’s new electronic measurement system (PPM) have slipped, along with those of the station overall. Where SIMPSON had consistently placed among the top-three morning shows in WASHINGTON before PPM, currently his show ranks #10.
SIMPSON has reportedly clashed with his management, including recently departed PD ROBERT SCORPIO, over how to adjust his show to score better in the era of electronic measurement. SIMPSON has over a year left on his current two-year contract at an annual salary said to be in excess of $1 million.
Inside sources tell ALL ACCESS SIMSPON will most likely depart before the MARCH 11th anniversary of his latest contract. The same sources are saying that WPGC will look for a local host to replace SIMSPON, rather than opting for a syndicated one. So far no official comment from newly appointed WPGC OM MICHAEL SAUNDERS, nor CBS VP/Urban Programming REGGIE ROUSE. Some say SIMPSON, who spent many years as the host of BET’s “VIDEO SOUL,” may be considering resuming his television career