Former WGN anchor Alison Payne has passed away at the age of 57, the channel confirmed on September 10. Payne, a native of Detroit, has spent 21 years at WGN-TV, where she has hosted several programs, including the 9 p.m. newscast. As the channel confirmed her death, tributes began pouring in on the social media of the famous journalist, and many recounted how her reports affected their lives. Payne joins several other notable journalists who have passed away this year. On June 16, Dick Stoley, founding editor of People M
agazine, passed away in a nursing home in Illinois. A few days later, Hawaiian
sports journalist and broadcaster Robert Kekkula died suddenly at the age of 56.
In early July, Grapevine TV panelist Aisha Vines died after suffering a fatal
allergic reaction at the age of 35.
Payne's sudden death was confirmed by WGN, through a statement. Channel correspondent Dean Richards also took to social media to announce Payne's death, with a touching tweet that read: "I am so sad to report the death of former WGN TV anchor, Allison Payne in her hometown of Detroit. She has been involved in... WGN News anchored for 21 A year she won 9 Emmys. Alison suffered from a series of health problems although the cause of death was not disclosed. She was 57 years old. RIP is my friend.”
At the time of writing, the exact cause of Payne’s death has not been revealed as Richards indicated. In its statement, WGN also alluded to her health issues but did not say what exactly caused Payne’s death. In January and August 2008, Payne went on medical leave after suffering a series of small strokes. This led to her announcing an indefinite leave of absence in November 2008 and admitting in January 2009 that she was being treated for depression. “Going out of the house was brutal, I couldn’t get out of bed,” she said in an interview.
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