American journalist and newscaster Paula Zahn has been associated with the major networks like ABC News, Fox News, CBS News and CNN in her career spanning over four decades. Multiple Emmy award winning news veteran is currently a producer and host of the true crime documentary series On the Case with Paula Zahn.
Paula Zahn’s early life and early career
Paula Ann Zahn was born on February 24, 1956, in Omaha, Nebraska. Her father was an IBM sales executive officer and her mother was a school teacher. She grew up in Canton, Ohio with her three siblings. Her father’s job required them to relocate to Naperville, Illinois later.
She attended Washington Junior High School and later graduated from Naperville Central High School. She went to Stephens College on a cello scholarship and earned bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1978.
She competed in several beauty pageants and reached semi-finals of the 1973 Miss Teenage America Pageant. She started collecting the knowledge of news industry by working as an intern at Chicago-based WBBM-TV.
Following graduation, she spent the next decade working at local stations around the nations, including WFAA-TV in Dallas, KFMB-TV in San Diego, KPRC-TV in Houston, WHDH-TV in Boston and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles.
Paula Zahn’s early success: From ABC News, CBS News and Fox News
Zahn joined ABC News in 1987 to anchor The Health Show, a weekend show on health and medical issues. After few months, she earned a position as a co-anchor of World News This Morning and anchored news segments of Good Morning America.
She moved to CBS News in 1990 to co-anchor CBS This Morning with Harry Smith. At that time, she covered 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, and 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. She began anchoring the Saturday edition of CBS Evening News in 1996 and later substituted Dan Rather during the week. She also contributed reports to Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel, 48 Hours and CBS News Sunday Morning.
Paula’s next workstation was Fox News after a nine-year long tenure at CBS. She anchored the network’s nightly newscast Fox Report for a few months until she got her own show The Edge with Paula Zahn. After two years, FNC learned that she was negotiating with CNN and fired her. FNC stated their act as a result of the breach of her contract.
Paula Zahn’s unanticipated exit from CNN & come back to Investigation Discovery a year later
She joined CNN in 2001 and her very first assignment at the network was to cover September 11 terrorist attacks. She started co-anchoring the morning news program American Morning with Anderson Cooper the next day.
During the Iraq War in 2003, she hosted a two-hour long show Live from the Headlines, which offered the coverage of the war and other events. That same year, she got her own show, Paula Zahn Now.
She announced her resignation from CNN on July 24, 2007, and the final broadcast of her show was aired on August 2, 2007. For some time, guest co-hosts continued her show under the name Out in the Open which was later replaced by election campaign coverage and finally by Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull.
According to Paula, she left the channel for an unplanned hiatus. “I plan to take a break between jobs and catch my breath before I take on my next role”, she wrote in a goodbye letter penned for her colleague at CNN.
Paula returned to the news business in November 2008 as the host of SundayArts (now called NYC-ARTS) on New York City-based PBS affiliates, WNET and WLIW. She is now associated with Investigation Discovery as the host of true crime documentary series called On the Case with Paula Zahn which she has been hosting since October 2009.
It is the first show on the network to have reached 100 episodes. Now, the show has already been aired for 14 seasons and 200 episodes. Paula travels throughout the country interviewing people about their tragic cases and presents it on the show.
Till date, the accomplished journalist has amassed a net worth of about $18 million.
Paula Zahn is single following the end of 20-year-long marriage
Paula Zahn is a mother of three children, sons: Austin Bryce and Jared Brandon Cohen and a daughter Haley Cohen. Her kids’ father is her ex-husband Richard Cohen, to whom she was married from 1987 to 2007.
After a divorce, news surfaced in the media that her affair with Paul Fribourg contributed in dissolving their 20 years long marriage. However, Paula denied the allegations. She has been single since then.