Fox News Channel said it terminated anchor Paula Zahn Wednesday for breaching
her contract by negotiating an agreement to host a new morning show with its
rival, Cable News Network.
'She received a written offer from CNN, which she intends to sign,' FNC vice
president of legal affairs Dianne Brandi said Wednesday afternoon.
CNN has said that it plans to launch a morning show based at a new
street-level studio it is building in Manhattan. The CNN offer was for Zahn to
host the new morning show, Brandi said.
Zahn, host of The Edge with Paula Zahn, has a contract with FNC that
runs through Feb. 28, Brandi said. Zahn broke the contract by negotiating a deal
with a competitor before March 1, which is when FNC's three-month
right-of-refusal window begins, she added.
CNN released a prepared statement from CEO Walter Isaacson that said the
network 'made an offer that was subject to her availability and existing
obligations. If she's available, we're thrilled. She's smart and a longstanding
Brandi said FNC planned to file a lawsuit against Zahn's agency, New
York-based N.S. Bienstock Inc., Wednesday or Thursday. Richard Leibner, Zahn's
agent, didn't immediately return calls Wednesday.
One source said FNC is considering other options, including possibly suing
CNN for tortious interference. The network may also sue Zahn, the source
FNC first learned of CNN's offer late last week, a source