Janice Johnston Makes History After Becoming The First Black Woman To Be Named Executive Producer of ABC’s ‘20/20′


January 25, 2021

The year is starting strong!

Janice Johnston was just named the new executive producer of ABC’s 20/20 show, making history as the first Black woman to hold the title, The Root reports. 


Johnston is a veteran producer with more than two decades of experience at ABC News. She began her career as a network associate, producing segments for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and World News Now, before serving as supervising producer at Good Morning America for a decade. In 2008, she joined 20/20 as a senior producer. Her work includes several primetime specials, including The President and The People town hall, which won an Emmy, Highwire Over Niagara Falls: LIVE, and the CMA Awards In the Spotlight series. Johnston has also produced several documentaries about the lives of entertainers, including Bobby Brown and Dolly Parton. 

ABC News President James Goldston spoke about Johnston’s appointment, saying, “I am delighted to announce that Janice Johnston has been promoted to Executive Producer for 20/20… It’s not often we have the opportunity to announce a new EP for 20/20…[Janice] is a terrific journalist with an impressive talent for telling stories that resonate and an exceptional leader.”

For her work, Johnston has received many honors, including six Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, two duPont Silver Batons, a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), The Cine Golden Eagle, a Gracie Award, a Christopher Award, and a National Headliner Award. 


Johnston has been responsible for some of 20/20’s most widely covered stories in the past year. She worked on their two-hour broadcast on Vanessa Guillen, a special on John Lennon’s life, the Yosemite Serial Killer, Robin Roberts’ interviews with the Cleveland woman kidnapped and held captive for a decade, and several breaking news specials about the COVID-19 pandemic. 

She is only the 4th person to hold the executive producer position in 43 years, bringing her significant talent to the 20/20 team.

Congratulations, Janice!


Photo Courtesy of Heidi Gutman/ABC




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