What is Paula Zahn’s Net Worth and Salary?
Paula Zahn is an American journalist and newscaster who has a net worth of $18 million. Paula Zahn has worked at a number of different television stations throughout her career. She has served as an anchor at ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and Fox News, covering a wide range of stories on both morning and nightly news programs. Elsewhere on television, Zahn produces and hosts the true crime documentary series “On the Case with Paula Zahn,” which debuted in 2009 on the Investigation Discovery channel.
Paula spent ten years working at stations across the country including in Dallas, San Diego, Houston, Boston, and Los Angeles before accepting an offer to join ABC News in 1987. Within a few months at ABC, Zahn was co-anchoring “World News This Morning” as well as providing news segments for “Good Morning America”. In 1990, Zahn moved to CBS news to co-anchor “CBS The Morning” until 1996 when she began working on the Saturday “CBS Evening News” and “48 Hours”. Zahn also covered the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France and the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. In 1999, Zahn moved to Fox News, where she worked for two years before joining CNN. Her first day of work at CNN was September 11, 2001.
Salary and Contracts
At the peak of her time at Fox News, Paula was earning a salary of $600,000 per year. Fox News fired Paula in September 2006 upon learning that she had received an offer to join CNN at a salary of $2.1 million per year. Fox News at one point threatened to sue CNN, Paula and her agent over an alleged breach of contract that they claimed precluded her from accepting new offers while she was under contract with Fox News, a contract that did not expire until February of 2006.
Early Life and Education
Paula Zahn was born on February 24, 1956 in Omaha, Nebraska to a father who worked as an IBM sales executive and a mother who worked as a schoolteacher. She has three siblings, with whom she initially grew up in Canton, Ohio. The family then moved to Naperville, Illinois, where Zahn went to Washington Junior High School and Naperville Central High School. As a teenager, she competed in a number of beauty pageants, including Miss Teenage America in 1973. For her higher education, Zahn attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri on a cello scholarship. She graduated in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Following her college graduation, Zahn ventured into television news broadcasting. For a decade, she worked at local stations across the country, including KFMB-TV in San Diego, KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, and WFAA-TV in Dallas.
National News Broadcasting
Zahn took her first job at a national news station, ABC News, in 1987. At first, she anchored “The Health Show,” a weekend program focused on the areas of health and medicine. A few months after beginning that gig, she began co-anchoring “World News This Morning” and anchoring news segments on “Good Morning America.” After about three years at ABC News, Zahn joined CBS News in early 1990. There, she began by co-anchoring “CBS This Morning” with Harry Smith. Zahn later helped cover the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics; she also covered the infamous Waco siege in 1993. Both she and Smith left their posts in mid-1996. Subsequently, Zahn became an anchor of the Saturday edition of “CBS Evening News” and contributed reports to other news programs as well, including “48 Hours” and “Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel.”
In 1999, Zahn moved to Fox News, the first cable news channel she had ever worked at. For the channel, she anchored the nightly newscast “Fox Report,” and later launched her own primetime show called “The Edge with Paula Zahn.” She went on to move to CNN on September 11, 2001, when she joined fellow anchor Aaron Brown in covering the day’s terrorist attacks. The following day, Zahn began co-anchoring the morning news program “American Morning” with Anderson Cooper. She returned to primetime in 2003 as the host of “Live from the Headlines,” which covered the Iraq War, among other major world events. After Anderson Cooper took over from her, she debuted her show “Paula Zahn Now.” In 2007, Zahn resigned from CNN.
Other Television Appearances
After leaving CNN, Zahn returned to the local broadcasting scene in 2008 to co-host “SundayArts” on the New York City PBS stations WNET and WLIW. In early 2009, she began one of her longest-running gigs, producing and hosting the true crime documentary series “On the Case with Paula Zahn” on the Investigation Discovery channel. The popular program focuses on stories of crime mysteries and includes interviews with those close to the cases. On the show, Zahn travels across the country to talk to people affected by various crimes. Among her other television work, Zahn hosted the annual “From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration” special on PBS on New Year’s Day in 2011.
In 1987, Zahn married New York City real estate developer Richard Cohen. Together, they had three children named Austin, Jared, and Haley. The couple eventually divorced in 2007 after two decades of marriage. That year, Zahn sued Cohen for mismanaging her career earnings during their time together. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed by the New York state court.
An advocate for breast cancer awareness and cancer in general, Zahn was named an honorary board member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. In other honors, she was given an honorary doctoral degree from Dowling College in 2003.