Longtime NBC 5 anchor Dick Johnson died Tuesday, his station announced.
“I am stunned to tell you all that Dick Johnson passed away this morning….Dick was being treated at a hospital in northern Michigan the last several days for complications related to a respiratory condition. Because of that condition, Dick had gone to northern Michigan in early March after the advent of COVID-19,” Frank Whittaker, the station manager and vice president of news, announced to staffers.
“Dick so loved this newsroom and all of you,” Whittaker said.
Carol Marin said on Twitter he was “the best kind of newsman. Smart, thorough, nimble when deadlines were crashing around him. No cliches. Just facts, fairness and great writing.”
Johnson had been part of a Peabody Award-winning reporting team with Marin at the Chicago NBC station and also was honored with national Emmys and a DuPont-Columbia award for his work.
On March 19, Johnson had posted on Facebook, “My apologies for disappearing from NBC Chicago so suddenly. Like so many, I had no other choice. The Coronavirus, my age and a respiratory issue prompted my doctors to send me packing. So here we are, settled in “up north” and riding this out as safely as possible. I’m sure you are too. All the best.”
Johnson most recently co-anchored the WMAQ-Channel 5 station’s weekend evening news shows.
He started there in 2002 after working for WLS-Channel 7 as an anchor and reporter for 20 years.
Contributing: Tina Sfondeles