What You Never Knew About Paula Zahn – Nicki Swift

Paula Zahn is now known for her true-crime documentary series On the Case with Paula Zahn, but she first made a name for herself in the reporting world in the 90s and early 2000s. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Zahn first became popular in 1988 when she worked at ABC News as an anchor for World News This Morning and the news segments of Good Morning America. According to the Los Angeles Times, she said goodbye to ABC in 1990 and made the switch to CBS News to co-anchor CBS This Morning, which “apparently caught both ABC and CBS officials by surprise.” 

Zahn stayed with CBS for around ten years before jumping again to another network, Fox News Channel, where she anchored Fox Report and The Edge with Paula Zahn. In 2001, Zahn decided to make yet another change and join CNN where, on her first day, she “began continuous on-scene coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York,” per her CNN bio. She climbed the corporate ladder at CNN, launching and anchoring the network’s morning news program American Morning with Paula Zahn and then anchoring for CNN’s weeknight primetime evening program, Paula Zahn Now

In 2007, however, her image “became tainted” after news broke that she was involved in a scandalous affair, according to Hollywood Mask. Read on for all the details about Paula Zahn. 

Paula Zahn's messy divorce tarnished her popular anchor image

Paula Zahn’s public divorce from Richard Cohen impacted her trustworthy-anchor persona. The couple was married for over 20 years and had three children together, but in 2007 an “illicit affair” rocked their picture-perfect marriage. Hollywood Mask reports that Zahn got caught up in a relationship with “business biggie Paul Fribourg, who happened to be the friend and golf buddy to her then-husband Richard Cohen.” The affair resulted in a messy split with the news anchor filing a lawsuit “against Richard accusing him that he mismanaged her money worth $25 million.” The accusations were denied and, ultimately, the court dismissed the case, but the publicity surrounding the divorce could not be dismissed by the media. After her show Paula Zahn Now, “struggled in the ratings,” per Reuters, she decided to resign from CNN in 2007, as well.

Since her public divorce, Zahn has tried to keep her private life out of the media and has transitioned into a new role. In 2009, Zahn said goodbye to news anchoring and decided to join the Investigation Discovery channel to produce a true-crime documentary series, On the Case with Paula Zahn. The series has received positive reviews and is now on its 21st season. So, despite the bad press from her public affair, Zahn isn’t going to let a messy divorce destroy her career or stop her from reporting. 

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