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Paula Zahn; CNN Anchor.
Paula Zahn is anchor for CNN's weeknight primetime evening program, Paula Zahn Now, an issues-driven program offering live newsmaker interviews and meaningful discussion and analysis from an exclusive roster of contributors. Based in the network's New York bureau, Zahn also hosts People in the News, CNN's feature-format program with PEOPLE magazine profiling newsmakers from politics, sports, business, medicine and entertainment. Previously, Zahn anchored the network's flagship morning news program, American Morning with Paula Zahn, which she helped launch in fall 2001. In 2003, Zahn anchored and provided the latest news on Operation Iraqi Freedom, interviewing multiple guests, including family members of troops, diplomats, Iraqi-Americans and politicians. On her first day with CNN, Zahn began continuous on-scene coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York. In the course of that reporting, she interviewed multiple rescue workers, survivors, dignitaries and officials, including Jordan's King Abdullah, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, N.Y. Gov. George Pataki, former U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke and U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, to name a few. Before joining CNN in September 2001, Zahn most recently was host of The Edge with Paula Zahn, a daily news program on Fox News Channel. She joined Fox in 1999 as anchor of its evening news, The Fox Report. Previously she spent 10 years at CBS News, where she co-hosted CBS This Morning and anchored the CBS Evening News Saturday Edition. She also co-anchored the 1994 Olympic Winter games in Lillehammer, Norway and served as primetime co-host of the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France. Earlier, Zahn served as co-anchor of World News This Morning and anchored news segments of Good Morning America on ABC. Zahn joined ABC in November 1987 as anchor of The Health Show.
Zahn began her career at WFAA-TV in Dallas. In 1979 she moved to San Diego to work for KFMB-TV. Zahn also worked at KPRC-TV in Houston, WNEV-TV (now WHDH-TV) in Boston and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles before joining ABC News.
Throughout her career, Zahn has interviewed multiple key newsmakers, including former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, Cuban President Fidel Castro, former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, H.M. Queen Noor of Jordan, former President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, first lady Betty Ford, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, civil rights leader Stokely Carmichael and human rights activist Winnie Mandela. Zahn has also interviewed athletes and artists, including tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, actress Faye Dunaway, baseball player Ted Williams, actress Katherine Hepburn, actor Warren Beatty, baseball player Joe DiMaggio and actress Sophia Loren.
Zahn has received numerous honors and awards, including seven Emmys, the National Commission of Working Women Broadcasting Award and an AWRT Award for reporting on gender bias in education. Zahn also received an Albert Einstein College of Medicine Spirit Achievement Award, the Second Annual Cancer Awareness Award by the Congressional Families Action for Cancer Awareness, the Spirit of Life award from the City of Hope Cancer Center and a citation from New York's Beth Israel Medical Center for her contributions to the battle against breast cancer. In 2004, Zahn received the Love of Life Foundation’s Tavel-Reznik Award in support of cancer prevention, the Matrix Award for Broadcasting from New York Women in Communications and a National Headliner Award for “Fall of Saddam.” She was also honored by the Museum of Radio and Television.
Paula Zahn was born on February 24, 1956 in Omaha, Nebraska. Her sign is Pisces. Zahn, an experienced cellist who began playing when she was 5, made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1992 performing with the New York Pops orchestra. Zahn earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., attending on a cello scholarship. Her Awards: 1994 Emmy for Outstanding Coverage of a Continuing News Story.
In Her Words: "I think my generation of women was fed a bunch of myths about what it means to be a working mother. You can’t have it all. You can’t have it all at the same time."
Five Things You Must Know About Paula Zahn
Zahn, who began playing cello at age 5, made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1992, performing with the New York Pops orchestra.
In her coverage of the events of September 11, Zahn interviewed Jordanian President King Abdullah and Secretary of State Colin Powell, to name a few.
Zahn co-hosted the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France and co-anchored the 1994 winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
The news veteran received a 1994 Emmy for Outstanding Coverage of a Continuing News Story for her reporting about the education of the mentally disabled.
Zahn's name was in the headlines this year when CNN aired-and then publicly apologized for-and ad that called the newscaster "just a little sexy" and featured a sound like a zipper being unzipped.
Paula Zahn Is A Newsworthy Gal
Having spent her childhood moving from town to town, Paula Zahn was well-equipped to deal with the get-up-and-go atmosphere of broadcast news.
Because their father was a sales executive for IBM, Paula Zahn and her three siblings grew up moving around the country. (To this day, Zahn, who was born in Omaha, jokes that IBM stands for "I've been moved.") The tight-knit family spent quality time watching Walter Cronkite, which may have fueled Zahn's interest in broadcasting. While attending Stevens College in Missouri on a cello scholarship, the aspiring reporter gave her own newscasts at the campus TV station and landed a summer internship at a CBS affiliate in Chicago. After graduating in 1978, Zahn was hired as a reporter by a station in Dallas, one of the 10 largest television markets in the country. By 1983, Zahn had worked in San Diego, Houston and Boston. Her nomadic childhood had proved beneficial, as Zahn quickly adapted to her adopted homes and won the trust of viewers.
Zahn then moved to the dream destination of every TV personality: Los Angeles. However, in the summer of 1987, she gave up her high-profile job to move back to Boston and marry her former neighbor Richard Cohen. The decision did not negatively impact her career — in fact, far from it. Within a few weeks, ABC called and offered Zahn an anchor position on its Washington-based health show. She accepted and was quickly promoted to the top spot on ABC's "World News This Morning." By fall 1989, Zahn had established herself as a reputable newswoman on the national scene. She then caught an unexpected break: She substituted for Joan Lunden on "Good Morning America" the day after Pan Am flight 103 exploded over Scotland. CBS was so impressed that the company offered Zahn a job on "CBS This Morning," which premiered on February 20, 1990, and lasted more than six years. In 1999, Zahn joined Fox News, where she had her own show, "The Edge With Paula Zahn."
In 2001, CNN offered Zahn a job, which she accepted on the condition that she be granted some time off before beginning her new contract. But that was not to be. Two days into her sabbatical, she turned on the television and discovered that two airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center. She reported for work just a few hours later — almost a year ahead of schedule. When the shock of September 11 subsided, Zahn found herself hosting CNN's "American Morning" and "People in the News" as well as savoring a schedule that allows her to spend more time at home with her three children.
Deal reached to welcome celebreted hawks back
Two New York celebrities are being allowed to move back to their home at a chic Manhattan building.
But the celebrities aren't people -- they're red-tailed hawks and their home is a nest perched on the Fifth Avenue building.
Yesterday, the building's co-op board and The Audubon Society announced plans to develop new nesting area designs that could get the birds back by the end of the week.
The birds have been the subject of a book and at least two television documentaries. They were evicted last week when spikes that held their nest in place were removed.
Their eviction has drawn strong protests from advocates, including one who was arrested on charges of harassing tenant and C-N-N anchor Paula Zahn and her family.
Flip the bird to Paula and the rest of those hoity-toity residents
A BIRD lover, who will go nameless to protect the wealthy, told me of a weird encounter with his neighbor, CNN newsblonde and committed fowl-foe Paula Zahn.
"My friend was telling her, 'You're so lucky to live in the same building where those hawks live,' " the bird fancier said. Her reaction was not what he expected.
"She said, 'Hawks? I don't know about hawks,' " the man said. "I was aware there was a bird problem here." And she walked off.
The man was perplexed. "I didn't think that the people here would think of the hawks as a problem, rather than something to be happy about."
But there it was yesterday in that clannish village with the massive net worth called Manhattan's Upper East Side.
While the rest of the city mourned, residents of one spectacularly snooty co-op at 927 Fifth Ave. — where Zahn's hubby is president of the co-op board — angrily defended their evil decision to evict a pair of undesirable tenants just before Christmas — the red-tailed hawks Pale Male and Lola.
Actually, residents of the building, toting Tiffany shopping bags and sporting well-pickled faces, scampered like rodents behind the blacked-out windows of chauffeur-driven cars — then left it to maids, drivers, nannies and assorted servants to do their talking.
From them, I learned the real reason the hawks had to go.
It was the telescopes," explained a meek, dark-skinned employee of the lily-white building — where a nine-room, eighth-floor apartment recently listed for $18.5 million, plus $10,460 in monthly maintenance fees.
The woman, who like all who defer to the anti-hawk forces begged me not to use her name, was talking about why her boss wanted to destroy the wild creatures' nest. A nest that, for the last 11 years, saw the birth of 23 hawk chicks.
You see, the beloved hawks attracted the one thing the tenants dread more than off-the-rack suits: attention. These birds were superstars, and all sorts of people would gather in Central Park with long lenses, hoping for a peek.
Spokesmouths for the building claim the birds were ousted because their nest endangered the limestone façade of the structure.
That's a lot of bird droppings. "There were complaints" about telescopes. "They've been talking about [destroying the nest] for a long time," a man who said he managed the building told me as he skedaddled out of the building.
Across the avenue and inside Central Park, bird fanciers watched Pale Male through telescopic lenses, as the homeless hawk circled his old nabe forlornly.
"I've been coming here from Astoria, two, three times a week just to see them," said Nick Sabbaghi, 65. "When I hear what happened, I wanted to cry''. Me too.
Enough. Bring the hawk nest back to 927 Fifth!
Evict the evil bird-haters.
Paula Zahn should be proud to have a hawk as a resident
Pale Male soon could be flying home on the wings of victory.
A deal is in the works to return the red-tailed hawk and his mate to their posh perch overlooking Central Park, the Daily News has learned.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other bird protectors expect to meet with the managers of 927 Fifth Ave. next week to discuss building a sturdy rooftop roost for the hawks.
The co-op board tore down Pale Male and galpal Lola's nest from a 12th-floor cornice on Tuesday, claiming it posed a safety hazard.
But now building bigwigs admit they may have mishandled the eviction of the longtime tenants.
"We did not fully appreciate the importance of these birds to the people in the city," said co-op board president Richard Cohen, a developer married to CNN newswoman Paula Zahn.
The decision to dismantle the nest was made at the building's annual meeting - which Zahn did not attend - after an engineer reported it had gotten too large and could fall.
Managers got permission from the feds to take down the aerie, since there were no hatchlings in it, but feathers still flew over the avian eviction.
Bird watchers have been holding nightly protests in front of the building, and actress Mary Tyler Moore, who owns an apartment there, has pledged her support.
Meanwhile, Cohen, Zahn and other residents are feeling the heat.
"There have been death threats," Cohen complained. "I have a 7-year-old son, and people were running up to him and threatening him and yelling at him, 'Bring back the nest!'
"There's enough angry, mean people out there who are making it miserable," he added.
Cohen said he's open to letting the celebrated birds take up residence at the building again, as long as it does not compromise safety.
The city's bird experts believe they have a solution: a rooftop tower, set back from the edge of the building so there's no danger of falling debris.
But they need to act fast.
"You need to do it early enough in the winter to allow them time to attach to the nest before courtship and nesting," said Chris Nadareski, a research scientist with the city Department of Environmental Protection.
Even if a rooftop enclosure is built, there's no guarantee Pale Male and Lola will flock to it, but their fans are hopeful.
"He's very territorial," New York City Audubon Society Director E.J. McAdams said yesterday. "He's going to stay in this area."
That was certainly the case yesterday, when Pale Male roosted on the 12th floor of 920 Fifth Ave. and Lola settled in atop 930 Fifth Ave.
Those who have heard about the homeless hawks' plight stopped by Central Park to peer through binoculars at the city's most famous birds.
"It's really sad," said Sylvia LeBlancq, a consultant who lives in lower Manhattan. "I wish Pale Male would move by us. Any building should be proud to have him as a resident."
Hawk protestor arrested, charged with stalking CNN's Paula Zahn
A bird lover distraught over the destruction of a hawk's nest at an Upper East Side co-op was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stalking one of the building's celebrity tenants, CNN anchor Paula Zahn.
It was the latest flap over the city's most famous homeless birds, Pale Male and Lola, a pair of red-tailed hawks who lived in a roost at 927 Fifth Ave. for more than a decade -- until their nest was unceremoniously removed last week.
At a protest outside the building yesterday, police arrested Lincoln Karim, 43, but not because he was squawking about the hawks. Karim, who works for Associated Press Television News and has been an advocate for the hawks, was pointed out by Paula Zahn's driver as having allegedly stalked the family for five days and for making threatening comments to Zahn's 7-year-old son.
Zahn's husband, Richard Cohen, is president of the co-op board.
On Thursday, Karim allegedly screamed at the 7-year-old and his nanny to bring back the birds. Two days later, police said, he screamed and photographed Zahn's husband and their 11-year-old son as they were leaving the building from a service entrance.
Monday, Zahn was leaving her car and Karim, screamed at her and snapped pictures of her, said authorities, who said that later that same day, her driver had to physically move him so Zahn could get into the car.
Karim was insistent that the building allow the birds to rebuild their home overlooking Central Park, police said.
Police said he was expected to be charged with four counts of aggravated harassment and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
He was taken to the 19th Precinct station house shortly after the 4:25 p.m. incident. Other demonstrators followed him to the station house and protested there, assuming Karim had been arrested for exercising his civil rights. Zahn could not be reached for comment.
NY most famous avian citizens are homeless because of Paula Zahn's husband
For more than a decade, the Fifth Avenue hawks have brought a touch of the wild to Manhattan's concrete canyons. The raptors that captured the hearts of a city inspired a documentary, a book and reams of newsprint.
They have also inspired thousands of tourists and locals alike, who thrilled to see the birds hunting in Central Park and nesting on a ledge on one of New York's most elite apartment buildings. But now the residents who shared their building with the red-tailed hawks have destroyed their nest, leaving New York's most famous avian citizens homeless.
The strike was greeted with an explosion of outrage. Protests have been organised, stories splashed across newspapers and, in a move typical of New Yorkers, lawyers summoned. Hawks that live at an address such as 927 Fifth Avenue cannot be evicted without a fight. 'I am devastated. I am livid with anger that anyone could do such a thing as this,' said Marie Winn, author of the bestseller Red Tails In Love, which chronicled their lives since their arrival in New York 13 years ago. Dubbed Pale Male and Lola, the birds' attracted a fanatical group of supporters.
Now the same people are gathering daily to protest. On Friday night, as rain poured, a hardy group of 30 or so protesters carried signs saying 'Shame on 927' and heckled any of the hyper-wealthy residents who appeared.
'The people in that building are heartless,' said elderly Lee Stinchcomb, sheltering under a large umbrella. 'It is just unbelievable this could happen.'
Those sentiments have echoed across the media. The New York Times devoted an editorial to the matter: 'The hawks have gone out of their way to learn to live with us. The least the wealthy residents of 927 Fifth Avenue could have done was learn to live with the hawks,' the paper fumed. In the tabloid New York Post, columnist Andrea Peyser was blunt: 'Evict the evil bird-haters!', she wrote.
The besieged inhabitants of 927 have become the most hated people in the city. Their official reason for removing the nest is that it presented a health and safety problem. Residents complained of bird droppings, the remains of pigeons littering the pavements and of the nest's twigs undermining the building's façade. 'The nest was removed on the advice of the co-operative's engineer in order to comply with New York City law,' was the sniffy statement.
Lawyers acting for the board have refused to elaborate, but the hawks' supporters believe there is another reason. The birds had attracted so many binoculars and telescopes, that the well-heeled residents of 927 were fed up with being watched. The building's residents include multimillionaires such as financier Bruce Wasserstein and real estate mogul Richard Cohen and his glamorous wife, CNN presenter Paula Zahn.
But the most famous inhabitant, actress Mary Tyler Moore, has joined the protesters. She fingers Cohen for the blame. CNN has been forced to issue a statement in defence of Zahn. '[She] had nothing to do with this,' the station said. It declined to comment on her husband's role.
The reaction of New York seems typically over-the-top. But in one of the most urban environments in the world, the birds were a reminder that Manhattan was once a wooded island in an ocean bay.
The NYC Audubon Society, a wildlife pressure group, is now in talks with the building's owners, pressuring to have the birds' old ledge restored. The society has even been offered $100,000 to help by one hawk fan.
'They had moved far beyond being just hawks,' said Ygal Gelb, of NYC Audubon. 'They were a symbol of freedom for many people.'
Pale Male and Lola have already made a contingency plan: the upmarket Carlyle Hotel, where the penthouse suites are a mere $1,500 a night. For humans, that is.
Why NBC or CBS didn't replace old dudes with Paula Zahn
So one of the Big Three has gone, and another one is on his way out in 2005.
Unless you've been holed up watching the recently released "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" DVD, you know that Tom Brokaw stepped down Dec. 1 after 23 years as anchor of "NBC Nightly News." And, yes, Brokaw did the farewell thing, gladly accepting the pats on the back and the huge career retrospective TV specials and the big-time ego stroking.
Dan Rather's exit from the "CBS Evening News" anchor chair in March 2005 won't be as celebrated, because Rather will leave in shame after 24 years rather than in glory. And that's due mostly to the infamous "Memo Gate" scandal and the faked Bush Air National Guard documents and ... let's not revisit thatwhole mess.
These guys were huge, we are told.
Are these guys really that irreplaceable?
Tom Donovan, the lead anchor at WHP-TV (Ch. 21), might think so. Donovan said he's always been a big Brokaw fan and has learned a few things from him over the years. Donovan used to work for NBC and therefore met Brokaw more than a few times.
"He was just real down- to-earth, like the guy next door, no real pretense," Donovan said. "He was just so well-rounded. He did the White House thing, he did the stuff overseas."
Most people seem to think Brian Williams was the right guy to fill Brokaw's shoes. Williams started his tenure last week by thanking Brokaw, and so far the reviews have been positive.
No one really said too much about Rather.
No one except for WHP-TV (Ch. 21) news director Greg Zoerb. "I'll tell you, flat-out, when that whole debacle came over with the National Guard, we were bombarded with e-mails here from very angry viewers," Zoerb said. "We answered every e-mail. It was a very negative backlash."
In the end, NBC gets to roll out a passing-of-the-torch story, while CBS has to scramble to find a new guy. "Clearly the edge goes to NBC in this deal," Zoerb said.
Jim DePury, the news director at WPMT-TV (Ch. 43), said Williams would establish himself as a credible anchor but that neither change would really cause too much turbulence in the ratings. "I think people turn to (national news) for the information," DePury said. "I always look at long-term effects as opposed to one week to the next."
We know a lot of you macho-types aren't going to like this, but we here at Tuned In just had to ask: Why didn't NBC or CBS think about replacing these old dudes with a woman?
Lemon wasn't afraid to take the issue on when reached at the station's Lancaster headquarters last week.
She wondered why two of the most powerful media figures — Katie Couric and Oprah Winfrey — were women, yet the networks have never given a female a shot at one of the Big Three spots. Connie Chung earned a co-anchor slot with Rather on CBS, but the show bombed and the arrangement fizzled fast. Paula Zahn has her own show at CNN, but that's cable and not one of the three major networks.
"It's heartbreaking. You don't even see the networks grooming anyone," Lemon said. "(Couric) is like the Michael Jordan of news anchors, and yet she's scratching at the door. It's weird."
And what are the chances of a minority ever cracking the Big Three? Chung made it to the top briefly. And Donovan said former "Today Show" host Bryant Gumbel could have made it to the top at any time. Speculation is that his notoriously big ego might have gotten in the way.
The. Big. Three.
Three. White. Males.
They say America is a melting pot. Our major media outlets say otherwise.
Paula Zahn suggests that Oprah Winfrey will be a great moderator for next election
"No one has been more successful or effective on television" than Winfrey, Zahn said. "She has mastered the art of the great interview."
Winfrey's name has popped up as a possible alternative to journalist-moderators for presidential debates. (The '04 roster included PBS's Jim Lehrer, ABC's Charlie Gibson, and CBS's Bob Schieffer.)
Winfrey "tends to ask the kinds of questions people care a lot about," says Zahn, 48. "A good question is a good question. It's not solely the province of journalists."
The Queen of Daytime Talk "would not be interested in such a venture," says a Winfrey rep. Neither Bush nor Kerry has done "Oprah" in '04, but Bush appeared in 2000.
Zahn also would be happy to moderate a debate.
"As a pure intellectual exercise, it doesn't get better than that for a journalist. It forces you to assimilate a lot of information, and to think fast on your feet. The greatest challenge is to cut through the rhetoric."
Paula Zahn Wrong
CNN anchor Paula Zahn misleadingly downplayed Senator John Kerry's electoral wins in the November 2 presidential election. On the November 4 edition of CNN's Paula Zahn Now, she declared: "And there is just plain old geography. Look at the electoral map. Kerry took only the Northeast states, some of the upper Midwest and the West Coast. The rest of the country is a sea of red." Zahn's statement was misleading because "plain old geography" does not reflect population distribution; the 20 states that Kerry won contain 48 percent of the U.S. population. In addition, nearly half of all Kerry votes were cast by voters in "red states."
The 29 states that Bush won (the "red states") are geographically much larger than the 20 states that Kerry won (the "blue states"), making any map that shows electoral votes significantly more red than blue. But the 20 states that Kerry won contain 48 percent of the U.S. population, according to 2003 U.S. Census Bureau numbers. Here's how the U.S. map would look depicting the vote based on state population rather than geographic size.*
Further, Kerry's support was not limited to the 20 blue states that he won, as Zahn's characterization suggested. According to results posted by CNN, Kerry received a total of 55,949,798 votes (48 percent of all votes cast). Of that number, 49 percent were cast by voters in "red states."**