As the calendar flipped to February, it became Black History Month. For the annual honor, the tri-state McDonalds restaurants select Black Media Legends and Trailblazers. Each year they are showcased on the place mats of customers’ trays.

This year, the lunchtime event moved from the Waldorf Astoria to the Plaza Hotel.

The 18 people are standouts in their fields (TV, radio, and newspapers). But this was all about the great WNBC anchor Sue Simmons, who stepped down last June.

Most of the presenters and award winners mentioned Simmons in their speeches, or ad libbed, due to her remarkable career and presence.

Ironically, John Noel, a reporter with WNBC since 1998, never mentioned Sue’s name in accepting his trophy. FishbowlNY did speak to Noel, a Brooklyn native, about sharing this year’s class with his former colleague.

“If you’re going to call anybody a legend in the media here in New York City, clearly she qualifies for the title,” Noel says. “She’s known and loved by millions of people in the metropolitan area. Much of what she’s done on the air remains legendary.”

The full list of winners after the jump

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