Former WGN-TV anchor Allison Payne has died at the age of 57. The 21-year veteran
of the station passed away September 1 at her home in Detroit, according to a WGN
Payne, who won nine Emmys, spent 21 years at WGN-TV before retiring 10 years ago.
The station said Payne returned home to her native Detroit in 2011, following a
series of health issues.
Although a Detroit native Payne started her illustrious career with WGN-TV after
joining in 1990 when she was aged 25.
She covered a number of key stories over the years including tracing former President
Barack Obama’s roots in Kenya and traveling to the Ivory Coast alongside the
Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Along with her news coverage, Payne played “an active role in the community by
mentoring students and eventually establishing a foundation for students looking to
enter the journalism field.”
In January and August 2008, Payne went on medical leave after suffering a series of
She announced an indefinite leave of absence in November 2008 and was admitted
in January 2009 that she was being treated for depression, reports say.
“It was brutal getting out of the house, I couldn’t get out of bed,” she told the Chicago
Payne returned to the screen later in 2009 but went off-air in January 2011.
She decided to end her career in September 2011.
“After a series of unfortunate health events, Payne and WGN parted ways in
September 2011 as she returned to her hometown of Detroit,” WGN said in its