Multimedia triple threat Stan Simpson marries branding and storytelling

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.

Stan Simp­son hosts Real Peo­ple on Fox 61 on Sun­days at 10:30 a.m. 

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.”

Simp­son and Courant Reporter Kel­li Sta­cy dis­cuss UConn Wom­en’s Bas­ket­ball on “Real Peo­ple with Stan Simpson”.

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)

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