Up the River  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   December/January 2004

Up the River   

By Christina Cepero
Christina Cepero is a former AJR editorial assistant.     


After more than 10 years at WDSU-Channel 6 in New Orleans, Scott Simmons has traveled upriver to anchor the nightly news at WAPT-Channel 16 in Jackson, Mississippi, a town where his family is well-known in the media world.

Simmons, 38, arrived at his native Jackson in October to replace Gene Edwards, who's now deputy director of content development at Mississippi Broadcasting Networks.

Simmons' new job brings him closer to his mother and two older brothers-- brothers who also work in TV in Jackson. Since he's been in town, he has gotten calls from an elementary school teacher, former classmates and childhood friends who recognized him on television. "When you write a news story or deliver a news broadcast, you ought to try to think of it as if you are speaking to your friend," Simmons says. "That is easy to do when that is exactly the case."

It was his father Al's successful talk-radio career during the '70s in Jackson, with WSLI-930 AM's "Bob and Al Show," that prompted Simmons to consider a broadcasting career. And after interning at a Jackson television station, Simmons says he "never looked back."

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