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Allison Payne, Longtime WGN Anchor, Has Died

Allison Payne, former WGN anchor
(Image credit: WGN)

Allison Payne, former anchor at WGN Chicago, died Sept. 1 at 57. From Detroit, Payne started at the station in 1990 and departed in 2011 due to “a series of unfortunate health events,” the station said, when she returned to Detroit. 

No cause of death was reported. 

“Allison Payne was a one-of-a-kind talent who quickly became one of Chicago’s Very Own,” said Paul Rennie, VP and general manager of WGN, on Chicago news site “We are grateful for the many contributions she made to WGN-TV and to Chicago. Talented and much admired, she will be greatly missed.”

Payne suffered from mini-strokes and depression, noted, and had a long-term battle with alcoholism. 

She established a foundation for students looking to enter the journalism field, according to WGN. The station called her “a monumental contributor to the history of WGN-TV.”

Payne had previously worked at WNWO Toledo and WNEM Saginaw.  She anchored the nightly 9 p.m. news on WGN. 

After departing WGN, Payne started a production company. 

Nexstar owns WGN.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.