Allison Payne on Leaving WGN: ‘My Health Had Become a Burden to the Station’

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By Merrill Knox Comment

Allison Payne — a 21-year veteran anchor of  WGN who has recently suffered from a slew of health problems, including damage to her vocal cords — will say goodbye to the station in September.

Executives at the Chicago CW affiliate agreed this week to a buyout of Payne’s contract so the longtime anchor can pursue other career options. “The station management has been so supportive, and I appreciate this amicable parting, because my health had become a burden to the station,” Payne told The Chicago Sun-Times.

Payne anchors the midday broadcast alongside Steve Sanders. Issues with her health have plagued the 47-year-old Payne, who has taken two illness-related absences in recent years — in 2008, for a series of small strokes, and in January of this year, for problems with her vocal chords.

Although Payne has not announced future plans, she did not discount a return to local television. “I hope to continue working in broadcasting in some capacity and will consider other professional opportunities,” she told The Sun-Times.

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