Feder: NBC 5 to stick with Michelle Relerford as solo weekend anchor

Don't look for WMAQ-Channel 5 to replace the late Dick Johnson as weekend news anchor at the NBC-owned station any time soon, Robert Feder writes.

That's the official word one week after Johnson died of pulmonary fibrosis while on medical disability in northern Michigan. Johnson, who was 66, had spent the last 18 of his 38 years in Chicago TV news at NBC 5.

Michelle Relerford, who was Johnson's co-anchor, has been solo anchoring weekend evenings since Johnson went on leave in early March - and will continue to do so, according to Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5.

"No immediate plans to add a second anchor at this time," Whittaker said Sunday.

The decision for Relerford to continue solo comes as NBC 5 is dealing with unprecedented declines in advertising revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Employees throughout NBCUniversal stations are said to be bracing for imminent layoffs and other cutbacks.

Get the full report, and more Chicago media news, at

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