Feder: Former WGN anchor Allison Payne dies at 57

  • Allison Payne

    Allison Payne

Updated 9/11/2021 9:23 AM

Allison Payne, who anchored newscasts on WGN Channel 9 from 1990 to 2011, died Sept. 1 in her hometown of Detroit, the Nexstar Media station reported Friday.

She was 57.


No cause of death was reported for Payne, who battled addictions and other health issues during her later years in Chicago.

"Allison Payne was a one-of-a-kind talent who quickly became one of Chicago's very own," said Paul Rennie, vice president and general manager of WGN. "We are grateful for the many contributions she made to WGN-TV and to Chicago. Talented and much admired, she will be greatly missed."

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Payne grew up in Detroit and graduated from the University of Detroit and Bowling Green State University. She began as an intern and reporter at WNWO, the ABC affiliate in Toledo, Ohio. In 1988, she was hired as news anchor at WNEM, the NBC affiliate in Saginaw, Michigan.

Her big break came two years later when she was discovered by WGN news director Paul Davis and she moved to Chicago to replace Pat Harvey alongside Rick Rosenthal on the 9 p.m. Monday-through-Friday newscast. Payne later co-anchored with Steve Sanders and Mark Suppelsa.

Get the full report, and more Chicago media news, at robertfeder.com.

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