The Real Reason Paula Zahn Left CNN – Nicki Swift

The Real Reason Paula Zahn Left CNN – Nicki Swift

01/05/2021

If there’s any news that goes unreported, newscaster Paula Zahn’s got it covered. Zahn has dedicated over three decades of her career to journalism, including gigs at some of the biggest media giants. The broadcast news veteran covered some of the most monumental events in American history, such as the Virginia Tech massacre and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Zahn spent most of her career co-hosting and co-anchoring news segments, but the newscaster eventually got programs of her own on Fox and then CNN, before later leaving CNN for good.

With her newsroom days behind her, the star took on a different form of reporting as a producer and host of her own true crime documentary series, On The Case with Paula Zahn on Investigation Discovery channel. Although she’s receiving great ratings with the show, per IMDb, we can’t forget Zahn’s career ascent from her CNN anchor days. Here’s the real reason why Paula Zahn left CNN.

Paula Zahn needed to 'take a break'

Paula Zahn picked up an impressive amount of momentum early in her national news career. In 1987, the journalist began working as a co-anchor on an ABC News show, per IMDb. After working her way up over the years, on September 11, 2001, she began her career at CNN amid the history-making attack on New York City and Washington, D.C. She hosted two of her own shows at CNN: American Morning and Paula Zahn Now.

After six years at CNN, Zahn announced her resignation from the network on July 24, 2007, per Reuters. While Zahn’s exit made way for her successor Campbell Brown to join the network, Zahn’s primetime show Paula Zahn Now had also fallen behind in ratings in comparison to Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann. The final broadcast of Paula Zahn Now aired on Aug. 2, 2007.

While it may seem that ratings played a major role in Zahn’s departure from CNN, Zahn also wanted to take a breather from being in front of the camera. “Now is the right time for CNN and me to move ahead on different paths. I wish good luck and success to everyone I was fortunate to work with,” Zahn wrote in her goodbye letter to CNN (via Wayback Machine). “And for the first time in 30 years, I plan to take a break between jobs and catch my breath before I take on my next role.” 

Although Zahn isn’t on the evening news anymore, she still remains a staple of American news media.

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