Veteran Chicago weatherman Jim Ramsey will be back on the air this weekend after a “pretty strong flu virus” sidelined him for three weeks.
Ramsey’s absence from Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 during a period of severe winter weather was conspicuous to viewers because it coincided with chief meteorologist Tom Skilling’s vacation. In addition to his weekend weather duties, Ramsey also serves as Skilling’s principal backup.
Earlier in the week, Ramsey’s bosses said doctors had diagnosed the illness as pneumonia. But apparently it turned out to be the flu.
“In the 27 years that I’ve done weather at Channel 9, I’ve never missed a ‘fill in’ for Tom’s vacations,” Ramsey told me Thursday. “I got whacked with a pretty strong flu virus and have fully bounced back. I look forward to being on the air this weekend. We have snow coming.”
As for fans who wrote and called during his absence, he said: “Thanks to all those concerned. Here is my advice to everyone: Go get a flu shot!”
Ramsey joined WGN in 1987 after three years at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 and four years at WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.