Paula Zahn – Biography, Marriage, Divorce and Personal Life of The Journalist

It is one thing to be a celebrity in any chosen career and another to remain relevant. Most celebrities fade out after a few moments of fame. They become so carried away by the attention that comes with the limelight and ends up fading away with it. However, some make a conscious decision never to go down the path of obscurity and Paula Zahn is among such ones.

Paula Ann Zahn is an American newscaster and journalist who has a wealth of experience in the field of journalism. She started her career at a very promising age and has anchored several TV programs. Over the years, her passion for her career has taken her to enviable heights and has given her opportunities to work with great minds.

Currently, she is the face of On the Case with Paula Zahn – a true-crime documentary series that is aired on the Investigation Discovery channel. She has worked for top-rated broadcasting corporations such as CNN, ABC News, Fox News, and CBS News.

There is more to Paula other than just her career in journalism and all you need to know are fully detailed below.

Paula Zahn – Biography

Paula Zahn was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the United States on February 24, 1956, to a schoolteacher/artist mother, Betty Zahn, and an IBM sales executive father, Norm Zahn. While growing up, she resided in Canton, Ohio, with her parents and three siblings, Leslie (sister), Steve (brother), and Mark (brother). Over time, the family relocated to Naperville, Illinois, because the nature of her father’s job required him to move frequently.

Zahn attended Washington Junior High School in Naperville and later bagged her college degree from Naperville Central High School in 1974. She was very active in her high school days and participated in several beauty pageants. As a matter of fact, in 1973, she made it to the semi-finals of the 1973 Miss Teenage America Pageant. She went further to continue her education at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, on a cello scholarship, and later in1978 she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.


Zahn started her career at an early age and for the first ten years, she worked for local stations around the country. Among the stations, she worked for are WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas, KFMB-TV in San Diego, California, KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas, WHDH-TV (then WNEV) in Boston, Massachusetts, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, California.

Paula’s career took a flight after working with local stations. In the year 1987, she accepted an offer to work at ABC News. She began with anchoring a weekend program known as the Health Show which centered on health and medical issues. Within a short period of time, she began co-anchoring World News This Morning, which was the network’s early morning newscast, and anchoring news segments on Good Morning America as well as substituting for co-host, Joan Lunden.

Three years after, she accepted an offer to work at CBS on February 26, 1990, as a co-anchor on CBS This Morning with Harry Smith. During this time, she played a major role in covering the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, and the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, as well as covering the Waco siege. However, she left on June 14, 1996, after charges were laid against the morning show.

Paula Zahn was very active in CBS and as a result, she was highly indispensable to the network as she took part in almost all programs. Zahn also anchored the Saturday edition of the CBS Evening News and substituted for Dan Rather who was then the chief anchor.

Be it as it may, corporations were so much in love with her act.  Almost all the “A” rated broadcasting corporations wanted Paula to work with them. In 1999, she joined Fox News channel and anchored Fox Report, the network’s nightly newscast. Few months after her employment, she helped launch her own primetime news program, The Edge with Paula Zahn. However, she was subsequently retrenched two years later when Fox News channel discovered she had ties with CNN. The dismissal was on the basis of a breach of contract.

On September 11, 2001, Zahn resumed work at CNN. She was, as at that time, not scheduled to be in CNN programs until January 2002 when her CNN morning news program was launched, American Morning with Paula Zahn.

On January 9, 2009, Zahn entered into a development deal for a true-crime documentary series, On the Case with Paula Zahn. The series premiered on the Investigation Discovery cable channel on 18 October 2009.

Personal Life – Marriage, Divorce

Paula Zahn still looks flawless in her sixties. It has been rumored that the journalist had undergone plastic surgery, but there is no authentic information about the types of surgeries she opted for. A comparison of her old and new photos suggests that she might have undergone age-defying treatments like facelift and Botox. Despite that, the American journalist is still a beauty to behold. If not for her passion for journalism, it won’t be mistaken that she would have ended up having a career in modeling.

In 1987, Paula got married to a Jewish man, Richard Cohan, who is a real estate developer. The union saw to the birth of three children – Austin Bryce Cohen, Jared Brandon Cohen, and a daughter, Haley Cohen.

Paula’s union with Richard lasted about two decades and in April 2007, Paula announced that they had decided to go their separate ways. The yellow press reported that the divorce was a result of Paula’s affair. It was rumored at the time that Paula was seeing Paul Fribourg, the CEO of ContiGroup and one of Richard’s best friends.

It was reported from another source that Richard found a diary of Paula, where she had written about her love interest towards Fribourg. The reports could not really be authenticated outside the yellow press.

According to Paula, the divorce was a result of Richard’s mismanagement of her 20 years’ earnings. She filed a case against Cohen for that matter but it was put off by the New York state court on the basis that it was not a commercial dispute but a matrimonial one.

Net Worth

Paula Zahn is a name to be reckoned with in the field of journalism.  Her level of skill, professionalism, and wealth of experience made top broadcasting corporations offer jobs.  The exact amount she earns is unknown but it has been estimated that Paula is worth $12 million.

Other Facts About Paula Zahn

Paula’s interest in modeling is not widely known by people. Paula, during her high school days, participated in various beauty pageants. She made her journey up to the semi-finals of the Miss Teenage America pageant in 1973.

Among other interests, Zahn is an exceptional cellist. She received a cello scholarship during her high school days to continue her education at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She was privileged to play at Carnegie Hall in May 1992 with the New York Pops orchestra.

Paula has a great interest in creating cancer awareness. This interest was born out of a sad family experience. Few months into her career, four of her family members were diagnosed with cancer; her father, mother, aunt, and sister-in-law. Paula later lost her father, aunt, and sister-in-law to cancer. Her maternal and paternal grandmothers also died of the disease. Only her mother survived breast cancer – twice. This geared her to become a voluntary board member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and has actively participated in cancer awareness in general, and breast cancer in particular.

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