Executives at the Chicago CW affiliate agreed this week to a buyout of Payne’s contract so the longtime anchor can pursue other career options. “The station management has been so supportive, and I appreciate this amicable parting, because my health had become a burden to the station,” Payne told The Chicago Sun-Times.
Payne anchors the midday broadcast alongside Steve Sanders. Issues with her health have plagued the 47-year-old Payne, who has taken two illness-related absences in recent years — in 2008, for a series of small strokes, and in January of this year, for problems with her vocal chords.
Although Payne has not announced future plans, she did not discount a return to local television. “I hope to continue working in broadcasting in some capacity and will consider other professional opportunities,” she told The Sun-Times.