A CNN personality who has been holding down a key on-air post is leaving the cable news channel later this month. TheWrap.com reports that Zoraida Sambolin, who co-anchors "Early Start" with John Berman, will make Dec. 13 her last day on the job.
Sambolin returned to her CNN post in August after taking a few months off to be treated for breast cancer. She announced her diagnosis in May before leaving to undergo a double mastectomy.
She joined CNN in November 2011 to take the "Early Start" post, initially co-hosting with Ashleigh Banfield.
In a statement, a CNN spokesperson told TheWrap: “Zoraida Sambolin is one of the best journalists in the business. Her insightful reporting, kind nature, strength and resilience are universally admired. Although we will miss her, we support and understand her decision and wish her and her family only the best.”
TheWrap report adds: "The anchor is vacating her position to return to Chicago. (Prior to coming aboard CNN, Chicago native Sambolin was the Weekday Edition co-anchor at Chicago’s NBC5 News Today.)"
In an email Wednesday to her co-workers, Sambolin, 48, wrote: “This past year has been full of challenges, blessings and a tremendous amount of reflection. I have come to realize that in order for me to be happy, my family has to be my first priority. I love my job and the gifted and committed people I’ve had an opportunity to work with but life is beckoning me back to Chicago."
Sambolin’s email adds: "When I was diagnosed with cancer, I entered a very dark place … not once did I think about not achieving career or material success. Rather, I thought about all the missed moments in life and how I was not ready to sacrifice missing any more. I wanted to live to see my kids grow up. I wanted more soccer games, basketball games, proms, weddings, grandchildren. … I am healthy, cancer free and strong but I know a long life is not promised.”
Sambolin has said that she will work to raise breast cancer awareness and to raise money to find a cure, the report notes.
Her replacement is expected to be named soon.