By Maya A. Moore, UConn Journalism | April 26, 2019
Veteran journalist Stan Simpson is skilled in the art of people, a characteristic that undoubtedly rings true when watching the host of Fox 61’s Real People with Stan Simpson on Sunday mornings.
He welcomes viewers with his signature “Alright folks,” in a resounding voice and wide smile before diving in to discuss compelling topics with Connecticut residents.
Simpson has worked in the media business for over thirty years and dubs himself a “multimedia triple threat” having worked reputable stints in radio, print and TV.
His ability to tell stories and get people to share their own is rooted in an early interest in journalism. Simpson, who was fascinated with sports and newspapers growing up, made projections about his future career in multimedia when he was just 8.
“I wanted to work in all three mediums. Howard Cosell was a broadcaster who at one point had a column, a radio show and a TV show,” Simpson said. “And so did Larry King at one time. So I was enamored of the idea of those guys doing these multimedia things and I always thought it was something I could aspire to.”
He got his start at the Danbury News-Times as an intern in 1980 while attending Central Connecticut State University. Simpson covered sports and eventually became the newspaper’s chief boxing writer.
“It ended up being a four- to a five-year internship,” Simpson said. “And so that’s where I thought my career was going to be headed.”
It was a Dow Jones internship and four years full time at the News-Times as a town news reporter, before Simpson landed at The Hartford Courant. He covered Simsbury, Windsor and parts of Hartford. Simpson said he had hit a wall in his career before reaffirming the goal he had made years ago.
“I said well, okay what I need to do is switch gears. You’ve been doing news all these years. Why don’t you set your goal of becoming a news columnist? So I started focusing my attention on writing some opinion pieces and they got some pretty good traction,” Simpson said.
Simpson was a columnist for the Courant for 15 years before the opportunity to check off another goal on his list came with the chance to host his own radio show with WTIC News Talk 1080 on the weekend.
“Then a TV show opportunity came. So, you know the kid who grew up wanting to do all three platforms was able to do that,” Simpson said. “My vision as a kid end up being sort of fortuitous because initially I was frowned upon and then 20 years later, you really want a journalist to be able to go out and do different multimedia platforms.”
The Stan Simpson brand has grown exponentially since as he has checked off his media list and even more. He currently heads his own communications firm. He’s taught young journalists at Quinnipiac and CCSU. When advising others on how to make a mark in media and communications, he says it’s all about good content.
“If I was writing a column, I’d make sure my column had a very high level of content, or if I did a radio show, I’d make sure the content is very high level,” Simpson said. “I think if you consistently excel and perform at a high level and provide high-quality content, that’s your biggest leverage and the biggest entree you can have to advance your career.”
Top photo: Over the last 30 years, veteran journalist Stan Simpson, has checked TV, print and radio off his career wish list. (Photo courtesy of Stan Simpson)