Broadcaster Paula Zahn was born in 1956. She told Seli Groves of 'Daily News' in 1991, "I know that when I came into this business in the mid-70s (Paula was the anchor and reporter on the San Diego TV station news in 1979), a lot of the major barriers that women had had to deal with had been broken, and I consider the women of my generation in television as the second wave of journalists. And while we still have to prove ourselves day in and day out that we are good, and well informed, and know how to do our jobs, we’re not being tested the way our predecessors were. Yes, I did encounter some problems when I started. Today (in 1991), I really believe that more and more we're being judged on how good we are as reporters, and that’s as it should be."
In 1990, Paula joined Harry Smith on 'This Morning'. It was understood male reporters usually got the "exclusive rights" stories. Paula recounted, "When I came on board, I told them (CBS) that that was an issue that was very, very important to me. And they made it clear to me that parity was part of the deal; that stories wouldn't be assigned on the basis of sex. Stories were assigned because Harry and I are good reporters. And that's why we share in the internationally breaking stories that we're asked to cover. We rotate trips. And it's really been great for both of us because that's what we are: reporters."
In July 1990, Paula went to Moscow to cover the Summit meetings between George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev. Paula made known, "When I learned I was going to be assigned to the Summit, besides doing stories on arms control, I asked if I could specifically spend a day with a Soviet woman. I felt this was part of a larger story that was often overlooked when we reported on the people of the Soviet Union. They have incredibly difficult lives. Most of them have jobs that demand a great deal of physical effort. When the work day ends, they stand in line, sometimes for hours, to shop for food. They do most, if not all, the housework, the cooking, the cleaning.
"What is especially sad is that so many women feel that all of this is the burden of their having been born female; that this is what women are expected to do. They seem to accept all of this uncomplainingly. Yes, these women do know their lives are difficult. But then they pose the question, 'So?'. Which means, what's the altermative? And for them, there is none."
At the time Ed Turner of CNN told the Los Angeles Times, "We will carry live all that we are permitted to get to – and by 'permitted' I mean how far we can push the technology, our own as well as the Soviets. While the Soviet technicians are very willing, they still are not able to match the U.S. in facilities. This has been a hurriedly called Summit. It wasn't announced until (July 17) and that's not a very long time to get a lot of the hardware in place. But one way or another, I think we will have most of the major events covered."
In January 1991, CBS broke the story of Saddam Hussein considering withdrawing from Kuwait at 4 o'clock (Pacific time) in the morning with Paula in New York and Harry in Saudi Arabia. Paula said to James Brady of 'Parade', the Oregon Bulletin Sunday newspaper magazine, "Kuwait was liberated on my first anniversary (in the job), and Mark McEwen (the weatherman) presented me with the world's smallest cupcake. It's been a dizzying year (1991)...A lot of the news broke on our clock. Some days we were on 8 hours without leaving the set. Most of us got used to living on 3 or 4 hours' sleep. There was no turnoff valve. Harry was in Saudi Arabia, and I was here (in New York), and it was incredibly demanding, with the office faxing me news at home." Of her work, Paula had stated in 1990, "There's no shutoff valve. We can leave the studio at noon, but we're already working on the next day's show. I've had to learn to pace myself."
Of the interviews, Paula mentioned, "One person who is exactly what you would think she would be based on the interviews you may have seen with her is Barbara Bush. She is just as warm, and just as humorous and low-keyed as she seems to be. My first introduction to her was at a State dinner at the White House. I was seated just a few seats away from her. Of course, everything at these dinners is off the record, but I must tell you, she set the tone for the evening. You can't help but be somewhat overwhelmed by the setting: the table, the Marine escorts. But she made us all feel very much as if we were at a big family dinner."
Paula also made the comment, "Fidel Castro was another one who was very much the way you expected he'd be. I got the only interview with him 3 years ago (in 1989) in Havana. He didn't want to stop for any reporters. I speak Spanish, and at the time was 8 months pregnant with my daughter, Haley. I placed myself in a doorway, realizing he couldn't get past me, and when he realized that, he agreed to speak with me. I found him charismatic, and also very accessible. He gave me a very good interview."