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After leaving The Fox News Channel on Sept. 5, Paula Zahn was scheduled to start with CNN in the spring of 2002. But on the morning of Sept. 11, Zahn jumped on the air and into the fray, working nonstop unitl Christmas before taking a two-week break to ski in Aspen with her husband and three kids. Zahn started her broadcasting career in 1978. By 1990 she was the co-host of CBS This Morning, and she co-anchored CBS’s coverage of the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympic games. An athletic and graceful skier, Zahn started when she was 6 at a suburban bump in Four Lakes, Ill. Her friend’s father was a National Ski Patrol trainer, and Zahn got free rentals and lessons in exchange for faking accidents in front of neophyte patrollers. Skiing and breaking news had met.
Born Feb. 24, 1956 (46)
Between Fox News And CNN “For the first time in my adult life, I was going to take five months off. I was going to spend a lot of time with the kids and find a way to string together as many ski days as I could. I’ve never had that luxury. I’ve worked since I was 21 years old. That’s why this Christmas was a real bonus for us.”
Snow, Then Show “In Albertville, we were on the air from 2 to 5 in the morning, French time, so I would get off the air, come home, eat breakfast and then go ski a couple of runs. Then I would go sleep. I skied every single day during the Olympics. And then in ’94, my show wasn’t on the air until 1 p.m., so I was on the mountain with my daughter at 8 o’clock every day.”
Anchor Away “I’m on constant call. I carry a beeper, and I can be turned around in an hour. The only time I can drop out is when I’m physically skiing.”
First Pair “The first pair of skis I owned were Head 360s, black ones with a white dot on the tip. I took every single dollar I earned from my lifeguarding job and plunked it down for my skis. I can remember how devastated I was the first time someone skied over them. I thought I was gonna die.”
Gold-Medal Family “The greatest thing about this sport for my family is that we’re together all day long. It’s a great way for us to try new things. We did some Nastar runs the other day, and we all brought home gold medals. I went from a bronze to a silver to a gold by my third run. We take it seriously.”