Longtime NewsChannel 9 new anchor Bob Johnson has died after a long bout with Parkinson's disease.
NewsChannel 9 officials said, "The WTVC and Sinclair Chattanooga family is saddened to announce the passing of longtime anchor Bob Johnson, who redefined local television reporting in Chattanooga and anchored our newscasts from the mid-1970s to 2007.
"Bob's family says he passed away late Monday night after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. When he announced his retirement to the Chattanooga community he lovingly joked he was 'putting the mic down and riding off into the western sunset.' He will be greatly missed by those who got the chance to know him personally, and the viewers who trusted him to tell them about the world beyond their front doors.
"Along with his co-anchors Don Welch, Darrell Patterson and MaryEllen Locher, Johnson was a fixture on Chattanooga TV news, and was welcomed by tens of thousands of viewers into their homes every night.
"In 1981, Bob was instrumental in the development and production of "Wednesday's Child," which publicized the plight of hard-to-place adoptable children, a series that won many awards. He also produced and hosted the weekly public affairs program "Face to Face" in 1979."
Born in 1947 in Marietta, Ga., one of his first jobs as a reporter was covering a Beatles press conference in Atlanta in 1965 while he was still in high school.
He spent time at WAGA-TV in Atlanta, WDOL radio in Athens, Ga., and WCSC-TV in Charleston, S.C., before coming to Chattanooga.
He was inducted into the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame in 2014.