Clear-speaking, blonde, wide-toothed anchor of the "CBS Morning News" with solid credentials as an investigate journalist and reporter, Paula Zahn can count a 1989 interview with Cuban leader Fidel Castro among her career coups. She has also interviewed other heads of state as well as show business figures and numerous others. Zahn co-hosted the morning coverage of the Winter Olympics in both 1992 and 1994.
During summers while attending Stephens College, Zahn cut her teeth in TV at WBBM in Chicago (where she was raised) After graduation, she snagged her first professional job as a reporter with WFAA-TV in Dallas in 1978, where she remained for a year before moving on to San Diego as anchor and reporter for KFMB-TV, the CBS affiliate. There she won a local Emmy for investigative journalism. In 1981, she moved to KPRC-TV in Houston, TX, and two years later headed to Boston. It was back to the West Coast in 1986, where Zahn joined the CBS owned-and-operated KCBS-TV as anchor and reporter in the nation's second-largest market. While there, she won another local Emmy for her coverage of the mid-air crash between an Aeromexico jet and a private plane over Cerritos, CA. ABC News lured Zahn away to New York in 1987, giving her hosting duties on the short-lived "The Health Show", as well as the co-anchor spot on the early "World News This Morning". Additionally, she contributed segments to "Good Morning, America". In 1990, she moved back to CBS as co-anchor (with Harry Smith) of "CBS This Morning" where she did interviews in-studio as well as traveling to national and international locales. After nearly six-and-one-half years, she and Smith opted to leave when the network revamped their early morning show. Zahn moved to the anchor desk on the Saturday edition of the "CBS Evening News" and also agreed to contribute segments to "48 Hours".
Besides reporting on and anchoring the news, Zahn has been a reporter and host of many primetime news specials. For ABC News she did "America's Kids: Diet of Danger" (1988) and "The Electronic Time Machine" (1989). She also hosted the "PEOPLE Yearbook" (CBS, 1995), based on the stories from the magazine. An accomplished musician, Zahn played the cello with the New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 1992. She also has appeared, with several other prominent women from network news shows on a memorable episode of CBS' "Murphy Brown" sitcom as guests at Murphy's baby shower.