CNN’s Zoraida Sambolin to Exit Network

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“Early Start” co-anchor returned to the air in August after undergoing double mastectomy

Just months after returning to CNN, Zoraida Sambolin is leaving the news network.

Sambolin, co-anchor of CNN’s “Early Start,” will exit the show later this month, with her last day on the job being Dec. 13.

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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.)

“Zoraida Sambolin is one of the best journalists in the business. Her insightful reporting, kind nature, strength and resilience are universally admired,” a CNN spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement. “Although we will miss her, we support and understand her decision and wish her and her family only the best.”

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Sambolin underwent a double mastectomy in May, after announcing that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She returned to “Early Start” in August.

“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,” Sambolin told her colleagues via email on Wednesday. “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.  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.”

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Sambolin added that she will continue to raise breast-cancer awareness and raise funds to find a cure.

A replacement for Sambolin will be named soon.