DETROIT – Allison Payne, a former news anchor in Saginaw and Chicago, died at the age of 57.
WGN-TV in Chicago said the longtime anchor passed away in Detroit on Sept. 1.
“Allison Payne was a monumental contributor to the history of WGN-TV, and we mourn her loss greatly,” WGN said.
Before moving to Chicago in 1990, Payne was a “beloved anchor at WNEM TV5 for many years,” the Saginaw news station reported.
Former WGN colleagues paid tribute to Payne on social media with anchor and reporter Lourdes Duarte remembering Payne as playing a “pivotal role” in encouraging women in the TV news industry.
Current ABC7 reporter Jessica D’Onofrio described Payne as “beautiful as she was sweet.”
Fellow Chicagoland journalist Afuna Owusu described on Twitter what it was like seeing a Black woman like herself on the news: “For 21 years she was theee face of (WGN News) for me, a little black girl living in Bolingbrook, IL. My parents moved my bedtime to 9:30p so that I could watch the nightly news with (Payne) & Steve Sanders.”
Payne spent 21 years at WGN-TV and moved back to her hometown of Detroit in 2011 due to health issues, the station reported.
WGN-TV says Payne was involved in the Chicago community by mentoring students and creating a foundation for students looking to enter the journalism field.
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