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Michael J. Feeney in His Own Words: Celebrating The Career of WNBC-TV News Anchor Sue Simmons

VIDEO: What's The 411TV Pays Tribute to the Life of Michael J. Feeney

What's The 411TV pays tribute to the life of journalist Michael J. Feeney with this video when he celebrated the career of the legendary veteran news anchor Sue Simmons of WNBC-TV at an event sponsored by Essence magazine, the New York Association of Black Journalists, the Black Employees at Time Inc.

Michael Feeney worked for the New York Daily News and was president of the New York Association of Black Journalists, where he helped young aspiring journalists enter the news business including those in NYABJ's high school journalism program. Michael Feeney had landed a new job at CNN just prior to his death. 

Michael Feeney passed away on January 31, 2016, at the age of 32 years. He will be remembered as an exceptional journalist with tremendous promise and an outstanding leader

Looking Back at Former NYABJ President Michael J. Feeney Who Died At Age 32

VIDEO: In His Own Words, Michael J. Feeney shows why he was the right person to lead the NYABJ

What's The 411TV is using this video as one of its videos to pay tribute to the life of journalist Michael J. Feeney; he passed away on January 31, 2016, at the age of 32 years.

In this video, Michael Feeney is talking to What's the 411TV's Andrew Rosario, as the new president of the New York Association of Black Journalists, The interview took place at a fundraising awards event for the NYABJ.

Michael Feeney worked for the New York Daily News and was president of the New York Association of Black Journalists, where he helped young aspiring journalists enter the news business including those in NYABJ's high school journalism program. Originally from Teaneck, New Jersey, New York City had become Feeney's second home. As a young reporter for the New York Daily News, Feeney covered the "village" of Harlem in Manhattan. Michael Feeney had landed a new job as an entertainment reporter at CNN just prior to his death from a staph infection in his kidney.

Just prior to his death from a staph infection in his kidney, Michael Feeney had landed his dream job as an entertainment reporter for CNN.

He will be remembered as an exceptional journalist with tremendous promise and an outstanding leader who did not run away from adversity.

Congratulations to New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ)

NYABJ Named a Finalist for NABJ Professional Chapter of the Year

The NY Chapter of the Association of Black Journalist, representing the nation's largest media market also had a strong year of membership growth and program development.

Michael Feeney, a reporter with New York Daily News and 2010's NABJ Emerging Journalist of the Year, credits the chapter’s networking events as one of the reasons NYABJ's paid memberships has grown to more than 140 members. This includes its hugely successful Late Summer Mixer, at Neely's Barbecue Parlor in Manhattan. The mixers have become such a draw that RSVP is required.

NYABJ remained on the political forefront of the 2012 election season by teaming up with Young Professionals United for Change for a Vice Presidential debate watch party, with remarks from Roland Martin and Keli Goff. Feeney said Actress Lynn Whitfield also attended; and the chapter also hosted a Presidential Election panel, Campaigns through the Lens of the Media on the night before the elections.

NYABJ's signature annual Scholarship & Awards Banquet increased in notoriety and recognition in 2012.

"We honored the work of more than 40 journalists,” said Feeney. “The event also garnered widespread media attention because Beyoncé was among the award winners. She thanked NYABJ in a video posted online."

Beyoncé was honored for Essence article "Eat, Play, Love," about how a nine-month break changed her life.

NYABJ also kept true to its purpose of honoring pioneers in journalism and grooming the next generation.

"We also honored WNBC anchor Sue Simmons in a special awards ceremony," Feeney added.

He also praised NYABJ's FIRST TAKE, a free eight-week high school journalism workshop that meets once a week at Brooklyn's Long Island University campus. It trains some 20 students in reporting and producing stories in multimedia formats under the tutelage of NYC's top journalists.

"We know that the workshop is giving city kids something positive to do and it's helping to mold the next wave of journalists. We're so proud of this program and the kids amaze us every year," Feeney continued.

Iconic News Woman Sue Simmons Reflects on Her Career at NYABJ Event

VIDEO: The New York Association of Black Journalists, Essence, and the Black Employees at Time held a reception to celebrate the career of the legendary WNBC-TV news anchor, Sue Simmons

Former WNBC-TV news anchor, Sue Simmons, gave What's The 411 correspondent, Andrew Rosario, a wide-ranging interview about her career in broadcasting. Off camera, we learned that as Ms. Simmons neared 30-years-old, she realized that secretarial work would not provide her the lifestyle that she was looking for or the personal fulfillment. Consequently, she decided to go to broadcast training school.

As the need to have more African-Americans in the newsroom presented itself, Ms. Simmons was prepared. Although she was prepared from broadcast training school, it was a bit frightening to have a job in broadcasting because she had no work experience in journalism.

She worked two years in New Haven, Connecticut as a consumer reporter and then became an anchor in Baltimore.

In 1980, Ms. Simmons came to New York City to get the big job as an anchor in the number one market. In taking this job, she was thankful that she was born and raised in New York City. However, it was a double-edged sword. She was nervous because it was her home and because she was home, it helped to minimize her nervousness. Surprisingly, it took her five years to get over her nervousness.

There were a few Black women reporters at WNBC-TV at the time, but none had the primary anchor position. Many thought that Ms. Simmons wouldn't last and that because she was so full of fun that she would crash and burn.

Ms. Simmons retired from her job 32 years later, so much for crashing and burning.

Reflecting on her time at WNBC-TV, Lena Horne, an African-American Award–winning jazz and pop music singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist, was her best interview because she admired Ms. Horne's courage for breaking through racial barriers. Ms. Simmons said that she was so thrilled about the interview, she could hardly think straight.

Does she miss her job?

"I tell you the truth, I don't miss a lot about the day-to-day, said Ms. Simmons. "But, I'm like a former athlete, I miss the clubhouse, you know I miss the mixing it up with my co-workers, and dinner and laughing, that's what I miss."

Ms. Simmons is a huge sports fan. It is one of the reasons she got into broadcasting. She credits her father with making her sports fan. There was one television in the house and since her father watched sports, she joined him.

Now that she has retired will there be a book in her future?

"I have not had the endurance or courage to start that yet," said Ms. Simmons.

Although Ms. Simmons is not starting her book quite yet, she is consciously taking it one day at a time; and has made time to appear on Law and Order, Wendy Williams, and Joy Behar.

"If an inviting job comes along, I'll take it, but I am in no hurry. I've worked for 40 years."

Michael J. Feeney Presides Over Successful NYABJ Gala

VIDEO: Feeney elated that his first NYABJ gala is successful and will provide resources for NYABJ's initiatives; Robert J. Naylor, Jr. and Gil Noble honored

What's The 411's correspondent, Andrew Rosario, checks in with NY Daily News Reporter and New York Association of Black Journalists President Michael J. Feeney at the NYABJ annual gala.

Mr. Feeney talks about the revitalization of NYABJ by providing more programs for its members, internship opportunities for students, and through the extension of scholarships for aspiring minority journalists.

Additionally, NYABJ was proud to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to veteran journalist Robert J. Naylor, Jr. and a posthumous award to the late Gil Noble, a legendary veteran journalist who was a staple at WABC-TV News with his weekly news commentary show, Like It Is.

Essence Magazine Editor Constance C.R. White Spills The Tea

VIDEO: Essence magazine editor Constance C.R. White spoke to What's The 411 correspondent, Andrew Rosario, at NYABJ about the changes at Essence

One of the latest changes at Essence is that the magazine lowered the age of the average reader. It did so while still keeping the legacy reader, the foundation of the magazine. A multi-generational magazine reaching women from age 16 to 66, Essence has elevated the look of the magazine, while still advocating for and celebrating Black women.

The interview was conducted at the NY Association of Black Journalists annual gala.

NYABJ Lifetime Achievement Award to Journalist Robert Naylor, Jr.

Watch VIDEO: Robert Naylor Jr.

What's The 411 TV correspondent Barbara Bullard converses with veteran journalist, Robert Naylor Jr., winner of the NY Association of Black Journalists Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr. Naylor is known throughout the industry as a creator of a mentorship program for aspiring and new journalists. He talks to Barbara about the ideals of commitment and service and the characteristics of a good journalist.

The interview was conducted at the NY Association of Black Journalists annual gala.

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