By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
NBC Chicago anchor Zoraida Sambolin has announced she’s leaving the morning show and the station after returning from a four month leave.
Her last day at NBC owned WMAQ will be Oct. 1, 2021.
Sambolin, 56, started at WMAQ as a weekend anchor in 2002 and was eventually made weekday morning anchor. She left the station for two years to anchor for CNN in New York in 2011 but returned as morning anchor in 2014.
Sambolin speaks fluent Spanish and also did work for WSNS, Chicago’s NBC owned Telemundo affiliate.
No official word was given for her departure from WMAQ, though she did reference her physical and mental health in a Facebook video posted Sept. 20, 2021, the day she returned to the air.
Sambolin was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and underwent a double mastectomy.
Because of her current contract with NBC runs through July 2022, according to Robert Feder’s reporting, she will likely be forced to remain off the air in Chicago until then.
Sambolin previously anchored the morning news with Stefan Holt, the son of “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt.
The younger Holt left WMAQ for New York’s WNBC in 2016 but returned to Chicago in 2020, but moving to the 4 and 10 p.m. newscasts — a move that appears to be a step in making him primary co-anchor when Rob Stafford opts to retire.
After his departure, Sambolin anchored alongside a rotating cast of male anchors until Alex Maragos was named co-anchor. Shortly after that, Anthony Ponce quit the station, reportedly upset at being passed over for the job.
Maragos was eventually moved to weekends and Michelle Relerford took his place beside Sambolin, making it a two female team.
During Sambolin’s leave, a variety of personalities have filled in for her and NBC 5 did not immediately announce a successor.