Rob Stafford, longtime NBC5 anchor and reporter, to retire this month

Dec. 23 will be the last day for the journalist, who famously chronicled his 2017 medical treatment on Facebook.

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Rob Stafford has been with WMAQ-Channel 5 since 2007.


Rob Stafford, a veteran Chicago news anchor and investigative reporter, says he’ll be retiring after 15 years at WMAQ-Channel 5.

Dec. 23 will be his last day.

“I turn 65 next year and my wife Lisa and I look forward to making our own schedule,” Stafford wrote on his Facebook page.

The announcement follows last month’s retirement of another longtime Chicago TV journalist: Alan Krashesky of WLS-Channel 7.

Stafford, also an investigative reporter on NBC5, co-anchors the 5 and 6 p.m. weekday newscasts alongside Alison Rosati. He was on at 10 p.m. as well until Stefan Holt took over the co-anchor seat in 2020.

Stafford left the air for six months in 2017 to undergo a (unsuccessful) bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy to treat the rare blood disorder amyloidosis, which occurs when a substance called amyloid builds up in an organ.

Rather than keep his health battle private, he chose to share regular public updates on Facebook.

“I’m not a big Facebook guy. But my wife encouraged me to do it, and the more I did it, the more I felt good about doing it,” he later told the Sun-Times. “It’s sort of like you’re running a marathon, and you can run with nobody on the sidelines rooting for you, or as it turns out, with thousands cheering you on.”

In his announcement Thursday, he thanked viewers for their prayers after his diagnosis. “I’m happy to report I’ve been in remission four years and feel great,” Stafford wrote.

The New Hampshire native’s first Chicago job was at WBBM-Channel 2 starting in 1992. He also spent a decade as a Chicago-based correspondent for NBC News’ “Dateline.”

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